The human body is a water machine‚ designed primarily to run on water and minerals. Every life giving and healing process that happens inside our body… happens with water. In just the last decade medical science has begun to focus more on the tremendous healing ability our body has and how much that ability depends on water. Our body instinctively knows how and strives to sustain youthful longevity‚ and in its every effort… water is the key. The human body is made up of over 70% water. Our blood is more than 80%‚ our brain … over 75%‚ and the human liver is an amazing 96% water!
Our energy level is greatly affected by the amount of water we drink. It has been medically proven that just a 5% drop in body fluids will cause a 25% to 30% loss of energy in the average person… a 15% drop in body fluids causing death! Water is what our liver uses to metabolize fat into useable energy. It is estimated that over 80% of our population suffers energy loss due to minor dehydration.
Water is a fundamental part of our lives. It is easy to forget how completely we depend on it. Human survival is dependent on water — water has been ranked by experts as second only to oxygen as essential for life. The average adult body is 55 to 75% water. 2/3 of your body weight is water (40 to 50 quarts). A human embryo is more than 80% water. A newborn baby is 74% water. Everyday your body must replace 2 1/2 quarts of water. The water you drink literally becomes you! Since such a large percentage of our bodies is water, water must obviously figure heavily in how our bodies function. We need lots of fresh water to stay healthy.
Water is the medium for various enzymatic & chemical reactions in the body. It moves nutrients, hormones, antibodies, & oxygen through the blood stream & lymphatic system. The proteins & enzymes of the body function more efficiently in solutions of lower viscosity. Water is the solvent of the body & it regulates all functions, including the activity of everything it dissolves & circulates.
Water helps regulate our body temperature through perspiration, which dissipates excess heat & cools our bodies.
We even need water to breathe! As we take in oxygen & excrete CO2, our lungs must be moistened by water. We lose about 1 to 2 pints of water each day just exhaling.
Asthma is frequently relieved when water intake is increased. Histamine plays a key role in regulating the way the body uses & distributes water & helps control the body’ s defense mechanisms. In asthmatics, histamine level increases with dehydration. Our defense for the body is to close down the airways.
The kidneys remove wastes such as uric aced, urea & lactic acid, all of which must be dissolved in water. When there isn’t sufficient water, those wastes are not effectively removed, which may result in damage to the kidneys.
Water lubricates our joints. The cartilage tissues found at the ends of long bones & between the vertebrae of the spine hold a lot of water, which serves as a lubricant during the movement of the joint. When the cartilage is will hydrated, the two opposing surfaces glide freely, & friction damage is minimal. If the cartilage is dehydrated, the rate of “abrasive” damage is increased, resulting in joint deterioration & increased pain.
The actively growing blood cells in the bone marrow take priority over the cartilage for the available water that goes through the bone structure.
Rheumatoid joint pain frequently decreases with increased water intake & flexing exercises to bring more circulation to the joints.
75% of the upper body weight is supported by the water volume that is stored in the spinal disc core. 25% is supported by the fibrous materials around the disc. The spinal joints are dependent on different hydraulic properties of water which is stored in the disc core. Back pain is frequently alleviated with hydration.
Brain tissue is 85% water. Although the brain is only 1/50th of the body weight, it uses 1/20th of the blood supply. With dehydration, the level of energy generation in the brain is decreased. Depression & chronic fatigue syndrome are frequently results of dehydration.
Migraine headaches may be an indicator of critical body temperature regulation at times of “heat stress.” Dehydration plays a major role in bringing on migraines. Dehydration causes stress & stress causes further dehydration.
Adults lose nearly 6 pints (12 cups) of water every day. We lose 1/2 cup to 1 cup a day from the soles of our feet. Another 2 to 4 cups is lost from breathing. Perspiration accounts for another 2 cups. Another 3 pints (6 cups) are lost in urine.
When the body is dehydrated, a form of rationing & distribution goes into play to ration the available water. Since the body has no reserve system, it operates a priority distribution system for the amount that has been made available by intake.
The body’s signals of dehydration are frequently joint pain, stomach pain & ulcers, back pain, low energy, mental confusion & disorientation. Numerous disease symptoms respond to increased water intake.
If you’re not drinking sufficient water, your body starts retaining water to compensate for this shortage. To eliminate fluid retention, drink more water, not less. If you don’t drink enough water to maintain your body’s fluid balance, you can impair every aspect of your body’s physiological function.
The “dry mouth” signal is the last outward sign of extreme dehydration. As our bodies try to adjust to being deprived of water, our thirst mechanism becomes disabled. The only time we receive the “dry mouth” signal is as the last outward sign of extreme dehydration. In addition, the thirst sensation gradually decreases with age. The result is increasing dehydration. As we start to give our bodies more water, the thirst mechanism begins to work again, but doesn’t become fully apparent until our bodies are fully hydrated. When we are getting sufficient water, we’re often thirsty.
Water vs. other beverages
There is a difference between drinking pure water & beverages that contain water. Fruit juice, soft drinks, coffee, etc., may contain substances that are not healthy, & actually contradict some of the positive effects of the added water. Caffeinated beverages stimulate the adrenal glands and act as diuretics, robbing your body of necessary water. Soft drinks contain phosphorus which can lead to depletion of bone calcium. Soda contains sodium. Fruit juices contain a lot of sugar & stimulate the pancreas. These drinks may tax the body more than they cleanse it. A 12 ounce can of regular soda contains the equivalent of 9 teaspoons of sugar and loads of empty calories.
Other beverages also contain dehydrating agents. They may actually reduce the water reserves in the body! Drinking other beverages to the exclusion of water also causes you to lose your taste for water. This is particularly true with children as they become dependent on Sodas & juices.
How much is enough?
A non active person needs a half ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. That is ten 8 ounce glasses a day if your weight is 160 pounds. For every 25 pounds you exceed your ideal weight, increase it by one 8 ounce glass.
An active, athletic person needs 2/3 ounce per pound which is 13-14 8 ounce glasses a day if you’re 160 pounds. The more you exercise the more water you need. Spread out your water intake throughout the day. Do not drink more than 4 glasses within any given hour. After a few weeks your bladder calms down & you will urinate less frequently, but in larger amounts.
Here are a few tips for adding more water to your life:
Keep a supply of water containers full in the fridge. That way, water is always on hand as an alternative to other less healthful drinks and conveniently available when you’re on the go.
Upon arriving at the office, fill up a big jug of water at the tap. You’ll get plenty of water to drink throughout your workday.
Caffeinated beverages act as diuretics and increase fluid loss, so they don’t count toward your daily hydration needs. Try substituting water for your second cup of coffee or that mid- afternoon soda.
Don’t wait for your body to signal it’s thirsty. By that time, you’re already starting to be dehydrated.
source: medicine plus