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Reasons you need water

Reasons you need water

An on-going list/series

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.

The following list is from his book “Water for Health, For Healing, For Life: You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty!” with explanations taken from around the internet.

1. Nothing lives without water

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.

Next week we will continue this list/series with a look at water and our immune systems. Until then, be sure to download the water tracker and make sure that you get your recommended amount each day.

How much water do I need to drink each day?

How much water do I need to drink each day?

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.

a weight-based chart that helps people determine how much water they need to consume daily by age
Based on the chart, a 32 year old person who weights 150 pounds would need to drink 11 cups of water each day. (source for formula)

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.

So now that you know how much you should drink – how much are you actually drinking? An excellent way to keep track of that is to use a personalized water tracker. Print out a copy and put it on your desk at work or home. Mark off a glass for every glass of water you drink. Put a tally mark on the blank line for any additional liquids you take, like coffee or juice.

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.