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The Magical Elixir

Do you know what the second most  common nutritional deficiency is in America?  Lack of vitamins?  Lack of minerals?  Poor digestion?  Well, these are all extremely important, and deficiencies in these areas cause untold suffering and lead to many diseases and ill health, but are not on the very top of the list in terms of nutritional deficiency.  The second most common deficiency is an essential fatty acid deficiency (and this will be the topic of a later blog entry).  The most common nutritional deficiency, however,  is water – good, wholesome, pure, given-from-nature, natural water.  You can last many days without food, but only about three days without water.  Water makes up between 55 to 65% of our total body mass (the actual amount varies with the size of the person, their age, their gender, etc.).  This means that a 140 pound person has about 84 pounds of water weight.

We live on a water planet, where 71% of the surface of the earth is made up of this special and unusual liquid. waterplanet2When I look at the human body, I see that we are really a quite accurate reflection of planet earth.  We are, as is the earth, made up of fully functioning ecosystems within ecosystems within ecosystems.  Our organs, our tissues, our cells are energetic, vibratory, interactive systems that function on many micro, macro and meta levels of relationship between themselves and the greater “outside.”  It is no accident that our bodies reflect a similar percentage of water and that the water in our bodies is nearly identical in many ways to the chemical make-up of most of the water on the planet – salty seawater.

Water plays a vital role, in some way, shape or form, in nearly every chemical interaction in the body.  We truly are an electrical (or vibrational) being – our cells and processes communicate via electrical impulses and water acts as the “battery” medium for this transference of energy.

Functions of Water

Water has an amazingly long list of important functions, each of which is critical to healthy biological processes.  Some of the important ones listed in Water: The Ultimate Cure by Steve Meyerowitz, include:

  • Improves oxygen delivery to the cells
  • Transports nutrients
  • Enables cellular hydration
  • Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
  • Cushions bones and joints
  • Absorbs shocks to joints and organs
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Removes wastes
  • Flushes toxins
  • Lubricates joints
  • Improves cell to cell communication
  • Maintains normal electrical properties of cells
  • Empowers the body’s natural healing process

Water Loss

In humans, the body can make about 8% of its water needs through metabolic processes, using hydrolysis and hydration (chemical processes of breaking off water molecules and recombining them).  Other animals, such as desert Kangaroo rats and camels can make and/or store much high quantities of water for long term use.  We are not camels.

Because our water needs are so high, we have a constant need to replenish.  This, coupled with the choices that many people make regarding their beverages, is what leads to chronic (and sometimes acute) dehydration issues for so many.

Humans lose about a liter of water a day just through breathing (although I don’t suggest you stop breathing just to conserve water).  About 24% of our water loss is through the skin and about 60% is excreted through the kidneys.  The GI system moves nearly 10 liters of water per day, mostly through the process of creating water through hydrolysis (the breaking apart of water from other constituents) in the gut through digestive processes (much of this is reabsorbed later in the small intestine and colon).

Dehydration

As in any other healthy functioning system of the body, there is a natural balance that is in effect, in this case between water in and water out.  And, as is often the case with so many people, this balance has been changed significantly in modern life. 

The majority of Americans today live with chronic (or worse) dehydration.  A rule of thumb to tell if you’re getting enough water to be adequatley hydrated is to take your weight and divide it by two to get the number of ounces of water you should be drinking (a 150 pound person should take in about 75 ounces of water per day).  Of course on hotter days, or with more physical exertion, this number would be higher. dehydration-parched-soil

Most people don’t drink nearly that much water.  To make matters much worse for many people, what they do drink actually takes water from the body.  Drinking fluids that contain diuretics, taking many medications that are diruretic and eating certain foods, all remove water from the body’s needed stores instead of adding to it.  Commonly consumed diuretics include all caffeinated beverages, beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks and many types of fruit juices. 

To get a more accurate sense of how much fluids one should be taking in, you need to take your body weight, divide it by two (to get the starting point for water intake), and then add 1 1/2 ounces of water for each ounce of diuretic you are taking in.  For every 8 ounce can of Coke or other soft drink you’re drinking, you’d need to drink an additional 12 ounces of water to just break even (which doesn’t include the many other nutritional problems involved with drinking soft drinks).

If water content drops by as much as 2%,  people become fatigued (what is the main complaint of many people? – they’re too tired all the time).  A 10% drop will cause severe health problems (digestive, immune, musculo-skeletal issues) and a drop of more than 10% can cause death.  There are early signs and more mature or later signs of problems related to dehydration, as follows:

Early
Signs                                                                                             

  • Fatigue                                                                                                                  
  • Heartburn
  • Joint Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Migraines
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Constipation
  • Colitis

Mature
Signs

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Cramps
  • Headaches

If you experience several of the above (especially on a regular basis), you might want to look closely at your quality and quantity water intake. 

There are many other issues related to water and health that will be covered in later posts, including sources of good water, containers that should be and shouldn’t be used, filtering systems and so on.

So, let’s drink a toast to your good health, with lots of pure, clean and healthful water.

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