One of the first resources that I came across while beginning my research into water and health, was “Water for Health, For Healing, For Life: You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty!” by Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D., a researcher, author and advocate of the natural healing power of water. Though he passed away in 2004, his lifetime of research was based on his personal experience of treating prisoners in a notorious political prison in Iran after the 1978 revolution. A prisoner himself, he was able to reduce the pain fellow prisoners suffering from peptic ulcers with only water. Once he was released he devoted the rest of his life to researching why that helped and spreading the word that many of our health problems are all related to the chronic dehydration that most of us impose on ourselves.
And without water, nothing lives. Either way you look at it — anything that is alive on our planet simply must have water in order to keep living. The question then is “What is it about water that makes it so essential?
There are two main properties of water that are important for life.
It is a liquid across a large range of temperatures on earth
It has polarity (a slight electrical charge) due to its molecular structure
2. Lack of water causes body systems to shut down and then die
All of your body systems are affected by dehydration. If you don’t get enough water:
you will not be able to regulate your body temperature
you will loose muscle control as your electrolytes become unbalanced
you will loose motion control as your joints will not work properly
your brain will swell
you will not be able to regulate your blood pressure – it will decrease or increase to dangerous levels
We can only live a few days without water, though, and that’s because our kidneys need it to flush out wastes from our blood. If you don’t get any water, your kidney function will cease and the toxins in your blood will cause all of your organs to stop working. That means death. (Source)
3. Water is the root source of energy
Since water doesn’t have any calories, it doesn’t give the body energy in the same way that carbohydrates, proteins and lipids (fats) do. Instead water aids our body temperature regulation and allows our bodies to metabolize and absorb the energy from those sources.
4. Water generates electrical and magnetic energy inside each cell
Our cells are specialized conductors of electrical current. In order for our nervous system to work, to be able to move and think and feel, our body sends signals throughout using electricity. The 70% of water that makes up our body is where the electrical current begins: sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium or able to attach to the polarized water molecules and create a differential that creates charge and allows the body to send signals out. Without water, those ions could not be generated. (Source)
5. Water is the bonding adhesive of cell structure
Our cell membrane is made up of phospholipids that have a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail. That means the head likes to water and the tail doesn’t. So they form into a sort of double layer chain where the the tails face each other and create a layer that dislikes water between two layers that seek out water. This creates a semi-permable seal around our cells that allows small polar (and non-polar) molecules to enter and exit our cells – things like gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) and water. It prevents larger molecules like glucose and amino acids from entering. It is the phospholipids structural reaction to water that creates that adhesive semi-permable layer.
The truth is you are probably not drinking enough water but how do you increase your daily water intake? It may seem like a daunting task to gulp down 64-80 oz of water every day. This is where the science of habits and behavior change can help us out.
“This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be.”
In other words, we are not powerless against our habits. We have the ability to change them but the first step is to recognize them. Recognize them as auto-pilot moments and then take it a step further and realize what the cue is that sets us off into auto-pilot. What reward is that habit giving us? Understanding this framework is the key to begin change.
“This process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future: THE HABIT LOOP.”
Recognize your cues
You wake up in the morning, tired and groggy. That’s the cue. Your brain goes into habit form and you reach first thing for a cup of coffee. The reward is a nice hit of caffeine that wakes you you. It also pulls water out of you and adds to the overnight water deficit. Once you are aware of the loop you are in, you can begin to move out of it.
So, let’s look at our tracker again. Rather than just jumping in and attempting to increase water intake, let’s see where we are first. After a few days of just noticing and marking how much we drink, let’s also mark the time when we drink. If you find that you don’t drink any water until noon, then you know, you need to find a way to fit water into the morning. It will be easier to add a cup or two between the hours of 8-12 than stuffing 4 more cups into 6-9pm. It also lets us see how our average schedule affects our wellbeing, helping us to identify the stress points that we need to change.
Being aware of our habits is the first step to changing them. So after tracking how much and when we normally drink water, we can now add a cup or two more each day as we need to until we reach the ideal amount listed in the table.
Water bottles for kids at school are becoming essential so picking a good one for you children can back the transition back-to-school a little easier.
As much as the kids dread it, August has arrived and that means back-to-school time. This year we are concentrating on increasing the amount of water we drink so I was looking for durable and easy to clean water bottles for the kids. They also needed to budget-friendly. I am not about to spend $40 on a fancy designer water bottle that can’t go in the dishwasher.
With those criteria in mind, I spent some time cruising the virtual aisles of Amazon and sorting through the reviews and here in no particular order are the top five kids bottles based on customer reviews and sales.
There is one outlier – #4 is bigger and more expensive than the other four in the list but I think it’s my favorite. And I will probably be ordering that one for myself. I appreciate the fact that it comes with straws and a brush to clean them out and keep them neat and bacteria-free.
CamelBak Eddy 0.4-Liter Kids Water Bottle
The Eddy 12-ounce kids’ water bottle is made from Tritan plastic that is 100% free of BPA, BPS, and BPF. It’s dishwasher safe, and all parts are easy to remove for simple clean-up. It is only spill-resistant not spill proof. Replacement value and straws are also available.
Contigo AUTOSPOUT Straw Gizmo Flip Kids Water Bottle
Another 14oz BPA free water bottle with a straw but kids love Contigo’s AUTOSPOUT technology – push a button and watch the spout pop up. Entertaining and spill-proof – even when it’s open and held upside down.
BUZIO Stainless Steel Water Bottle 40 oz Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle with Straw Lid and Flex Cap
At 40 oz this one might be a little to big for preK-4th grade set but it would be a good option for the older student since it is insultated and keeps drinks cold (or hot). Stainless steel means no funny taste.
The BPA-free Eastman Tritan construction is stain and odor resistant while the stylish silicone sleeve on this 14 oz bottle keeps drinks colder and reduces condensation making it less likely to slip out of little hands. The button lock keeps backpacks and lunch boxes dry and the capacity gauge lets you see how much water they have left.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars
Customer reviews: 306
The brilliant answer is – it depends. Believe it or not there is a complex formula based on your weight, age, gender and activity level that will determine the optimum amount. I’ve done the math for you (well actually the spreadsheet did the math) and you can find your required amount in the tables below.
Activity level will also affect how much you need to drink each day. And you may be surprised by how much it changes the need. If you work out for 45-50 minutes you will need to add a minimum of 40 ounces of water to replenish what you spent in sweat during the workout – that’s an additional 5 cups to your count – at minimum.
For the first couple of days, just notice and record how much you normally drink. Don’t attempt to push yourself to drink more. Aim for just increasing the amount by 1 to 2 glasses per day. That will be a stretch enough.