have most likely heard that our bodies are not capable of lasting more
than two to three days without water, though that you would be capable
of going weeks without food. Water is required for very basic
physiologic functions such as regulating blood pressure and body
temperature, hydration and digestion (the body requires about 1.5
milliliters of water to absorb every calorie ingested).
Not Drinking Enough Water Can Be Dangerous
Did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. Even mild dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3% (a huge contributor to weight gain). Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. A mere 2% drop in body water is capable triggering fuzzy short-term memory trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
According to a survey, nearly three quarters of Americans are aware of the recommendation of drinking eight 300ml servings a day, though only 34% actually drink this amount of water each day. Most humans consume only about 6 servings of water a day and nearly 10% declared that they do not drink water at all.
Chronic dehydration has been implicated in Attention Deficit Disorder, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Alzheimer' Disease. If you consider the brain as an electrical energy producer like a battery, which is 80% water, it does not require a leap in consciousness to understand how a lack of simple, elemental water would compromise its most basic function. Much like a car battery that dries up and dies.
I don't know about you, but this information makes me run for my water bottle!
Water Truly Is the Source of Life
Crucial to numerous functions in our body, water:
* Transports vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose, hormones, enzymes and other substances throughout your body.
* Assists chemical reactions such as the burning of glucose and the breakdown of fat for energy.
* Carries digestive juices.
* Lubricates joints, eyeballs, nasal passages, and the intestines.
* Is a shock absorber for your eyes and spinal cord.
* Maintains your body temperature - cools it by evaporation from the skin and lungs, throws off heat when blood is circulated near the body's surface - helps retain warmth in winter.
* Removes wastes through the kidneys and helps solid waste pass through the intestines.
Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day is capable of significantly easing back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. According to studies done at the University of Washington, just one glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it is capable of slashing the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.
Water assists to prevent bladder infections. Studies indicate that men who consume more than 10 glasses of water per day are less likely to develop bladder infections than those that did not. Water also helps keep your heart functioning.
Unfortunately, we lose water all day long. We do that in 2 ways: through normal bodily functions (urination, breathing, perspiration) and by consuming foods and drinks that are dehydrating our bodies (dried and processed foods, coffee, black tea, sodas).
Coffee, black tea, and carbonated beverages are very acidic, especially colas. In order to neutralize a glass of cola, it takes 32 glasses of high pH alkaline water. It is clearly known by the medical profession that disease loves acid. In fact, a physician from Loma Linda University declared in a speech that if we were capable of getting our cells to maintain a normal pH (slightly alkaline), cancer would not be capable of growing in the human body!
A three-year study of over 1,000 men with a history of kidney stones showed: "There was a clear-cut difference in the group's experiences, with much less renal colic in the men who had avoided soft drinks. Of those who continued to use soft drinks, there was also a big difference in outcome depending upon the nature of the soft drink consumed. Soft drinks acidified with phosphoric acid were the worst offenders. Colas of all kinds, of course, are well known for their high phosphoric acid content."
Coffee has over 1000 chemicals per cup of coffee, and 500 of them are known carcinogens. Caffeine is a "pesticide" given off by the bean to keep the bugs from eating it. Each cup of coffee contains about 120 mg of caffeine. Caffeine's harmful diuretic effects appear to outweigh any potential performance benefits. To protect themselves from the caffeine, women's bodies use calcium to neutralize it. You lose about 5 milligrams of calcium for every 165ml of coffee, or two cans of caffeinated juice.
So Now What?
To replenish daily water loss, we need to drink plenty of water. To discover your optimum water intake, divide your total body weight in ounces by 2. The result is how many ounces of water you need to drink each day. So, for example, a 140-pound person would need 70 ounces of water per day. Keep in mind that exercise and climate conditions make the amount go up so you will need to drink even more water.
Making sure you stay well hydrated throughout the day is not difficult. Here are my 5 easy steps to staying super hydrating all day long:
Step 1: Starting the morning right
Getting hydrated first thing in the morning is the smartest thing you can do for your body. Start by drinking a liter of water upon awakening. This will help you flush the toxins accumulated during the night out of your system and also will re-hydrate your cells after a good night's sleep (after all, you haven't been drinking any water for at least 6-8 hours!).
Step 2: Drink your water all day long
The easiest way to create a habit of drinking lots of water throughout the day is to drink one or two glasses each hour on the hour (you can even set up your computer calendar to pop up reminders for you). This way you will insure a constant supply of water to your body's cells and vital organs.
Now, I don't want you to be glued to your clock or feel bad if you miss a couple of hours, this is just an idea to help you get started.
Step 3: Vegetable juice
Let's face it - drinking lots of water can be boring, no matter how important hydration is. So what is the best way to add variety to our day?
Drink vegetable juice! Especially one with celery and cucumber as the base - these two are nature's most water-rich, alkaline, super hydrating veggies you can find. It is highly recommended to drink a glass of celery juice daily for maximum cellular satisfaction!
Step 4: Green smoothies
Short on time to make the juice? Well, green smoothie is another hydration winner. Not only you get lots of life-giving nutrients into your body, but you also help your body stay hydrated with the help of juicy, high-water content fruits. Green smoothies are a great way to add greens into your diet, which are rich in minerals that may not be easily available in fruit, and also more water to your daily intake.
Word of caution: some people believe that if they drink lots of smoothies and eat fruit they don't need additional water - this is not so, because pure water serves a lot of purposes in the body and we still need to drink more of it (particularly for cleansing and detoxification).
Step 5: Good quality water
I hope by now you know that drinking bottled water is not the best for your health. The plastic from which the bottles are made is very toxic and negatively effects our adrenal system. Plus, bottled water isn't any better in quality than tap water (in most cases), and most of bottled water is very acidic.
You can make your water more alkaline (structured, more "wet") by doing one of the following:
Squeeze fresh juices into the water (lemon or lime)
Add a few pinches of Celtic salt or Himalayan pink salt
Add MSM powder crystals
Put water in a glass jar outside under moonlight for the night (especially on full moon)
Run water through a water ionizer
Drinking plenty of water each day will help you stay healthy and feeling vibrant and energized.
© 2009 Radiant on Raw
WOULD YOU LIKE TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR ON YOUR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Alina Vladimirova, Raw Food and Lifestyle Coach, publishes "Radiant on Raw" - a free bi-weekly eZine for anyone who is ready to look great, feel amazing, and rediscover passion for living. Interested? Then sign up at www.RadiantonRaw.com".