Water for Your Health

Water and health

One of the biggest health secrets is the value of drinking water, and drinking enough water every day. Why is it so important to drink enough water? Lack of water causes loss of muscle tone, excess weight gain, slow metabolism, increased toxicity, and even organ failure. Other negative effects include arthritis, dry skin, migraines, hypertension, digestive complications, and persistent constipation.

Healthy water

The human brain is composed of 95% water; blood is 82% water; the lungs are nearly 90% water. Even bones are over 20% water. How important is this composition? A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. How common a problem is this? Estimates are that 75% of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. At the very minimum, one should consume one cup of water for every 20 pounds of body weight daily, that’s around 6-8 glasses for the average person.

Importance of water for seniors health

Senior citizens are at particular risk for dehydration because their kidney function has diminished to some degree.

Side effects for seniors who do not drink enough water, however, extend far beyond dehydration. Even short-term water deprivation has been known to cause chronic pain. Over time, lack of water causes loss of muscle tone, excess weight gain, slow metabolism, increased toxicity, and even organ failure. Other negative effects include arthritis, dry skin, migraines, hypertension, digestive complications, and persistent constipation.

Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

Health and water

Drinking sufficient quantities of water daily can have many significant health benefits. For example, it is well-documented that drinking sufficient amounts of water will help reduce constipation, but most people do not know that drinking eight glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%. Drinking enough water can also reduce the risk of bladder cancer (by 50%) and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Water distribution as health solution

In the book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. says every function of the body is monitored and pegged to the efficient flow of water. “Water distribution” is the only way of making sure that not only an adequate amount of water, but its transported elements (hormones, chemical messengers and nutrients) first reach the more vital organs. Water shortage in different areas of the body will manifest varying symptoms, signals, and complications now labeled as diseases. Optimal water intake is a natural solution to these problems.

Dyspeptic pain (stomach upset; a disorder of the digestive function, marked by vague discomfort, heartburn, or nausea) is the most important signal for the human body. It denotes dehydration. It is a thirst signal of the body. For this pain (even when an ulcer is present), water is most probably the only effective substance to give relief. Antacids and other such medications are usually prescribed, but in fact are not good for you and can have serious side effects. Plus, they do not ‘fix’ the problem. When in pain, drink two to three glasses of water and see what happens. Moreover, Dr. Batmanghelidj believes that colitis pain and hiatus hernia are caused by dehydration.

Other conditions that may be a result of dehydration, and can be eased by added water intake are: Rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, neck pain, anginal pain, headaches, stress, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess body weight, asthma and allergies, and many other conditions.

Health norms of water consumption

Your body needs an absolute minimum of six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. The best times to drink water are: one glass, one-half hour before taking food – breakfast, lunch and dinner – and a similar amount 2 ½ hours after each meal. For the sake of not shortchanging your body, 2 more glasses of water should be taken around the heaviest meal or before going to bed.

A salt-free diet is not a good idea. Salt is a most essential ingredient of the body. In their order of importance, oxygen, water, salt and potassium rank as the primary elements for the survival of the human body. The precaution to keep in mind is loss of salt from the body when water intake is increased and salt intake is not. After a few days of taking 6-10 glasses of water a day, you should begin to think of adding some natural sea salt to your diet. About 27 percent of the salt content of the body is stored in the bones in the form of crystals. It is said that salt crystals are naturally used to make bones hard. Thus salt deficiency in the body also could be responsible for the development of osteoporosis. Salt will be taken out of the bones to maintain its vital normal levels in the blood.

Dr. Batmanghelidj suggests a rule of thumb for daily salt intake. For every 10 glasses of water (about two quarts), one should add to the diet about ½ teaspoon of natural sea salt per day.

Good health is the result of a good balance in the body, not only good nutrition, but a balance of water and salt intake.

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