Water

Posted by Patricia Benson on November 5, 2016

The # 1 recommendation I make to my patients to support their healing & to rebalance their Qi, Yin, Yang, Blood and Body Fluids, regardless of their symptoms, is to Drink More Water! Here's Why:

The Water Within

Water is fundamental to Life: ranked by experts as second only to oxygen as essential for life.
We are Water: in adults, 55 to 75% of our total body weight is water ! (depends upon age, weight, & body fat). We contain between 10-12 gallons of Water. Its presence is vital in every part of our body: our Blood is 90% water, our Brain--83%, Kidneys--82%, Lungs--80%, Heart-79%, Muscles-73%, Body Fat-25%, Bones-22%.
Water is vital to many day-to-day functions of the body: aiding in digestion, absorption of food, body temperature regulation, carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells, enabling chemical reactions to take place, removal of wastes and toxins , maintenance of muscle tone, protection & cushioning of joints, spinal cord, body organs, tissues, & cells from shock or damage.
Our Body's Water Use . . . Where does it go?

The Water you drink literally becomes you: every process in our body occurs in a water medium. We can exist without food for 2 months or more, but we can only survive a few days without water. We need lots of fresh, clean water to replenish all the water that is used up daily. During normal daily body functions we use up 2/3 of a gallon of water (= 84.6 oz = 2.5 L ). This water is used up through evaporation via the skin and lungs (24 oz), perspiration, urination & defication. We must replace this water daily in order to maintain the body's homeostatic & fluid balance. That's over TEN-8 oz glasses of water that we need to drink just to replace the water we excrete daily. In addition to this, every organ and cell within our body requires water to function properly so we also need to drink more water to meet this demand.

What happens when we don't drink enough Water ?

When you don't get enough water your cells start to draw water from the bloodstream, the blood thickens and the heart has to work harder and the body starts to redirect blood away from less vital areas. When you are dehydrated the kidneys function of purifying the blood and ridding the body of toxins is reduced. When you lose just 2% of your body weight in water your brain power and performance level diminishes and if you lose another 2% you will start to feel dizzy. If there is not enough water to moisten the mucous lining in the nasal passages, they dry out and irritation is caused to the lungs, making them more susceptible to irritants, allergens, bacteria, & viruses. Our nerve conduction becomes less effective when there is not enough water to conduct neurotransmission. Water contains essential minerals and nutrients, so when we are lacking water we are depriving our body of essential building blocks. Finally, if we don't get enough water, toxins and chemical substances accumulate and begin to have destructive influences on cells, which in turn leads to changes in DNA structure. This inability to detoxify is the first stage of almost every disease process. How Water can restore Health:

While in an Iranian prisoner of war camp, Dr. F. Batmanghelhidj was surrounded by prisoners sick with a wide variety of diseases. As he had no access to medication, he treated his fellow prisoners, with water alone. He was able to restore health in even those with 'incurable' illnesses, astonishing even himself. After his release, Dr. Batmangelhidj continued his research and has confirmed and quantified how increased water intake normalizes physiology and biochemistry.

What kind of symptoms & diseases can result from drinking too little water ?

Dryness of hair, skin, eyes, nose, mouth, throat, nails & reproductive tract, constipation, heat symptoms, loss of appetite, lethargy, dizziness, lack of mental clarity, acne, itchy skin, eczema, nose bleeds, urinary tract infections, muscle & body pain, dry and unproductive coughs, constant sneezing, sinus pressure, headaches, allergies, fatigue, increased susceptibility to injury, irritable bowel syndrome, sluggish digestion, pyloric obstruction, hemorrhoids, insufficient breast milk production in women with young children, edema, weight gain or loss, decreased endocrine gland function, diabetes, colon cancer, kidney and bladder stones, high or low blood pressure, acute or chronic renal failure (kidney).

Other considerations:

Exercise--When you exercise you are loosing more body fluids through sweating and deep breathing. Therefore you need even more water to replace what you've lost. The American Dietetic Association recommends at least two-8 oz glasses of water two hours before exertion, followed by another two-8 oz glasses ~20 min. before endurance exercise. It is also important that you replenish again after exercise, drinking at least one extra-8 oz glass of water per 30 min of exercise. I also recommend replacing essential electrolytes and minerals after a strong exercise session. You can do this by drinking a sports drink like "Recharge" that contains sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium. Heat & Cold--In extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, we need more water to regulate body temperature. When it's a hot day or you've been in a hot tub or sauna it's a good idea to drink an extra 16-24 oz of water to replaced lost fluids. Illness-When you lose fluids due to fever, sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting its important to drink lots of extra water to prevent dehydration. Start with one-8 oz glass every hour. Pregnancy & Breast Feeding-Eat for two, drink for two. Pregnant women need to drink at least 50% more water daily to support their increased blood supply and the growing baby. Breast feeding women also require additional water to produce sufficient breast milk. Nocturia-Some of my patients complain that they have to get up and go to the bathroom frequently at night when they start drinking more water. To prevent this, stop drinking water about 2 hours before bed. You can keep a glass of water at your bedside to help with thirst at night.

Which fluids count towards your daily water intake & Which do not ?

Count: Water, herbal tea, diluted fruit juice or diluted sports drink (at least 2/3 water).

Do Not Count: Coffee, caffeinated tea, milk, juice, soft drinks, alcohol. **While water is a component of the beverages that 'do not count', beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol are diuretics and increase fluid loss, so they work against the count. In order to equalize, drink an extra glass of water for every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you consume.

Tips to increase your daily water consumption:

Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Keep water pitchers or bottles of water at work stations, in your car, on your bike, or in your bag or purse. Take a water bottle with you when you exercise or go on a hike. Drink a glass of water upon waking daily.

What's the best kind of water?

Always drink filtered water (either activated carbon or charcoal filtered) so that you can ensure the water you are drinking is free of most of the carcinogens and bacteria commonly found in drinking or tap water. Tap water often contains fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, chemicals or resistant bacteria. Room temperature water is also best as it won't disrupt digestion.