I saw this cool video this morning and it made me think of how important water is to our overall health and wellness. Check out this song with all of the sounds and music made entirely out of water. Very cool!
The Importance of Water
Our bodies are literally made of water. 50 to 65% of an adult body is composed of water, so it is no wonder that is vital to our health and well-being.
Water is needed for every metabolic and cellular function in your body.
This quote was taken from Lyn-Genet Recitas’s book The Plan. In her book she talks about how low water intake forces your body to extract water from food and your body then holds onto water in your cells in the form of a reservoir. It takes a lot of energy to do this. When your body is forced to use this energy for water extraction, your body may not have the stamina to keep your body healthy and/or repair tissue damage. This often leaves you feeling tired. When you drink an appropriate amount of water in a day (half your body weight in ounces), your body is free to release the water in your cells and tissues. This is extremely important if you are attempting to lose weight. Water intake that is too low can show up as weight gain on the scale. Lyn suggests that 2 glasses of water less than your ideal consumption level can force your body to hold onto up to half a pound. Depriving your body of water can also cause an inflammatory response. For some people fighting weigh loss, simply following this formula for water intake can make a dramatic difference. Ensure you are properly hydrated every day.
In Dr. Batmanghelidj book called Your Body’s Many Cries For Water, he talks about the many wonders of water and uses the tag line:
You’re not sick, you’re thirsty. Don’t treat thirst with medication.
On his website, he discusses ailments and diseases such as angina, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, back pain, colitis, diabetes, heartburn, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pain and migraines. If you suffer from any of these conditions it is worth checking out his website to see what he says regarding water consumption and dehydration. The section on autoimmune diseases is particularly interesting.
A Water Testimony
Of course, I don’t know if all of this is true, it is merely what Dr. Batmanghelidj’s research and experience have revealed to him. What I do know, is that water proved stronger and better than any medication on the market for my own mother. Back in the late 80’s (I think), Oprah did a show all about water and how miraculous it was. I was already living on my own away from home, but immediately called my mom to tell her about the show. One of the claims on the show was how water helped with migraines. (Today, we are all much better educated and know that dehydration causes headaches, but back then it really wasn’t as well understood.)
My entire childhood, I had watched my mom suffer with the debilitating pain of migraine headaches. I don’t remember details well, but what I do know is that she seemed to be sick often and when a migraine struck she would be bed ridden for days and usually throwing up with the severity of the pain. I remember always thinking of my mom as a “sickly person”. She had medication for her headaches (222 Pain Killers with Codeine), but the headaches were not prevented and still lasted about 3 days. I can remember her saying that if she could “catch it” and take the medication fast enough, the headache might not progress and be so extreme. I guess the pills must have helped with the symptoms and pain somewhat or she wouldn’t have taken them.
I had always been concerned about my mom and her headaches, so I was excited to share the news that water might be the solution to her health issues. Water was cheap and it was certainly an easy solution worth trying. She immediately began to drink one “pint” of water per hour throughout the day. (She was a little heavier set, so I am not sure if this would have been similar to half her body weight or not?) She would also get up to go to the washroom once during the night. I remember her telling me that she would do a few stretches and shrugs just to loosen her muscles and any neck tension while on route to the bathroom down the hall. She would also have one pint of water during her bathroom break.
The results were amazing! She went from regular migraines to no more than a couple per year. The water intake totally rectified whatever imbalance there had previously been in her body. That Oprah show on water literally changed my mom’s life.
Other Benefits to Drinking Water
Although the list of pros for drinking ample water seems to be endless, here are a few other good reasons to consume appropriate levels on a daily basis:
- Water aids in digestion and helps lessen constipation
- Water can contribute to making you look younger, but keeping your skin hydrated and much healthier looking.
- Water energizes our bodies and muscles.
- Water helps curb hunger and control calorie intake.
- Water is great for lubricating the joints.
- Water can boost your mood and your brain power.
- “Hot lemon water first thing in the morning can help reduce bacteria that causes acne. ” (according to Skincare specialist Rouleau)
- Water helps to flush your system of toxins.
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
The answer is yes. In fact, drinking too much water can cause adverse health effects as well. Robin, at thankyourbody.com wrote an interesting article regarding drinking too much water. Some of the information she shares contradicts what I have said above, specifically regarding the amount of water one should consume in a day. She mentions some of the signs to look for if you may be drinking too much water and she also lists some of the side effects. Robin covers water intoxication, which is more of an extreme condition caused by overloading your system with water. Below are some of the problems that you might notice if you are drinking too much water.
Drinking too much water can lead to:
- Decreased metabolism
- Decreased mental clarity
- Cold hands/feet
- Decreased emotional well-being
I think we can all agree that water is essential to our overall health and well-being. How much water you consume may vary from person to person and you really have to discover what is right for you. If you are very active or working out, you will need to increase your water intake. Other things to consider are consumption of alcohol or coffee, both of which deplete your system of water and therefore you may need to compensate with additional water. Discover what works for you, but don’t ever underestimate the power of water!
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