Water of life
When I lived in Spain, lots of friends and family would visit for holidays. Even people I didn't really know asked if they could hliday.
Most, after a few days, would eventually complain of the heat, of being tired, of headaches. They moaned of quickly putting on weight despite the wonderful and healthy Mediterranean approach to eating.
No matter how I tried to connect the dots for them – suggesting they drink less alcohol, coke and other fizzy drinks and instead drink more water – it made no difference. Some I had to take to the local hospital with pains in the abdomen, constipation, and bloatedness.
Some would even say they thought I drank too much water, but with diabetes and extremes of heat, I had learned to heed the body’s signals of dehydration. But dehydration isn’t just a feature of warm climates.
Most of us go throughout our lives chronically dehydrated and are unaware of it. If you have experienced dehydration you will know how miserable it can be. Day on day dehydration affects our stress levels, our bodies’ ability to function, and limits our overall wellness.
When I was a child I had free access to flowing streams, chilled water fresh from the woods, vibrant, running, energised water…water that swirled in cold, rushing hill rivers, or bubbled up from deep underground. Compare that to the stagnant water that sits on shelves for months.
But there are things you can do to re-vitalise your water; just read on.
My golden guidelines for water
Drink water when you are thirsty - if you are regularly thirsty, get checked for diabetes.
Drink it when you feel hungry - hunger pangs don't always signal the need for food.
Drink when you just feel like some refreshing water.
Listen to your body.
Add some lemon or lime to your water... or other fruits.
As our body fluids are not just water but electrolytes, it’s worth a wee look at these substances, usually salts, acids or bases, that contain ions. These electrical ions help receive and send messages throughout the body. Like water, they can be depleted through heavy exertion, exercise, and sweating, vomiting, diarrhea and alcohol, all of which can cause dehydration. There are a few things you can do to replenish the body with electrolytes.
Processed drinks are not the way to do it however.
Instead add cost effective, household ingredients to a half-filled 30oz bottle of water.
Adash of salt to a glass of water; this will add sodium to the mix, a necessary electrolyte for keeping the nerves healthy for sending and receiving messages in the body. Baking soda works as a substitute to salt.
Add 16 oz. of fresh citrus juice (lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit and orange.) The citrus family of fruit contain calcium and potassium, which combined with salt provides a balance for pH and fluid levels in the body.
Add a half teaspoon of honey to the drink. (Omit if diabetic.) Honey will provide glucose and help for better absorption of minerals within the body, while bringing a pleasant taste to the drink.
Put the cap on the bottle and shake well.
The technical stuff
On average, 60% of your body weight is comprised of water. Or is it? Our body is made up of fluids, both water and electrolytes.
You lose fluidswhen you sweat (which people tend to do in the heat!), urinate and breathe. And for the body to continue to operate at its max, the lost fluid has to be replaced.
I’d hear guests say, “I don’t like the taste of water” and use that as the reason to drink fizzy drinks (and alcohol!)
I'd prepare fruit waters, jars of chilled water filled with fruits which would leak electrolytes into the water. But to them, it was just disguising the watere. How people resist. And continue with their coke addiction.
But many sodas contain caffeine, which acts as a diuretic, increasing urination and leaving the body with less available fluid to carry out important functions. Additionally, some diet sodas contain significant amounts of sodium, which may draw water from the cells and promote dehydration.
Early signs of dehydration include thirst and dark-coloured urine. It’s the body’s way of trying to cope by reducing water loss.
Other dehydration symptoms include:-
Dizziness or light-headedness
Dry mouth, lips, and eyes
Feeling weak, losing strength
Kidney function problems
Urinating infrequently and in smaller amounts
The body needs constant replenishing.
Fizzy drinks don’t count
As my doctor keeps telling me, weight gain results when you consume more calories than your body burns so “eat less and walk more!” If only it were that simple. And losing weight is not as simple as that. But let’s stick with water for now.
If you are feeling lethargic, suffering in the heat then you are unlikely to do much in the way of appropriate exercise. So drinking plenty of water is key – not fizzy drinks, and not alcohol.
A 12-ounce serving of cola contains 140 calories, often called "empty calories" because they contain no nutritional value. Drinking one can of cola a day for four weeks amounts to 3,920 extra calories, or a gain of 1.1 pounds if the calories are not burned. Add to that the extra food on holiday and well, you get the picture.
A 160-pound person must walk for 27 minutes at 3.5 miles per hour to burn off the calories in one can of cola. If they don’t, they may gain more than 12 pounds in one year. Additionally, sweet-flavored fizzy drinks may disrupt appetite signals and promote cravings for other sugary foods.
A friend who drinks several cans of diet coke a day says that’s okay because there are no calories in diet coke. Maybe not, but have you ever checked the other toxic ingredients - Carbonated Water, Colour (Caramel E150d), Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame K), Natural Flavourings Including Caffeine, Phosphoric Acid, Citric Acid and a source of Phenylalanine
The message is still – read the labels and drink water.
More than a thimbleful!
When I first trained as a teacher with Louise L Hay, author of you can heal your life, I was struck by her many stories used
to demonstrate how abundant our world is. I loved her visualisation of going to the sea shore and looking out at the vastness
of the ocean and it’s never ending supply of water and likening the ocean to the abundance that is available to me.
She asked us to look down at our hands to see what sort of container we were each holding, ready to draw water from this
infinitesimal supply. Were we holding a teaspoon, a thimble with a hole in it, a paper cup, a glass, a larger tumbler, a bucket,
perhaps something even bigger or indeed had we connected a pipeline to draw from this ocean of abundance?
We were then invited to be aware that no matter how many people there were present, and no matter the size of all our
containers, there was enough for everyone and it wasn’t possible to take so much that the ocean dried up.
The smaller the container, the more limiting our beliefs and consciousness but it can always be exchanged for a larger vessel.
A small container perhaps indicted an attitude of not feeling deserving of much. By changing the container to a larger one, we
allow our consciousness to expand.
You might like to try this exercise yourself, chosing to change your vessel to a larger one if you feel you are perhaps running with low deserving, prosperity consciousness.
Your prosperity consciousness is not dependent on money, your flow of money is dependent upon your prosperity consciousness. As you think, so you get.
As you can conceive of more, more will come into your life. Just do it, regularly.
Water of Life
Tam o' Shanter is a wonderful, epic poem in which the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns paints a vivid picture of the drinking classes in the old Scotch town of Ayr in the late 18th century. In the poem he refers to the fact that Tam, faced with the devil, coped better as he was filled with the water of life – translated in old Scot’s gaelic as uisce beatha/ uisge beatha from which the word whisky is derived.
Whilst not recommending copious amounts of whisky such as enough to blot out images of the devil, I rather like the phrase, “water of life” for indeed, without it, we would be nothing.
The human body, as averaged earlier, is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size. So water is the main component of the human body.
Blood consists of 83% water
Bone consists of 22% water
Brain consists of 90% of water
Muscle consists of 75% water
The functions of water in the human body are vital. The water:
Detoxifies, flushes out impurities and toxins – especially after too much of the other usquabeatha
Helps with metabolism, the chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of the body’s cells and organs
Helps our organs to absorb nutrients better
Helps with weight loss and maintenance
Moisturises the air in lungs
Protects and moisturises our joints
Protects our vital organ
Regulates body temperature
Transports nutrients and oxygen into cells
The following are signs to watch out for as they may indicate dehydration:-
Dark Urine – Dark Yellow or Orange in Color: Urine is generally pale yellow to clear when you have sufficient water intake. Dark color or strong smell indicates that you need to drink more water.
Dry Skin: Skin is the largest body organ and requires its share of water.
Thirst: Thirst is the most obvious sign that you're already dehydrated. It is always a good practice to drink more water when your are not thirsty, don’t wait until you're thirsty.
Hunger: Most people mistake hunger for the indication to eat more, whereas in actual fact, they may be dehydrated. So before you have your meal, grab a glass of water.
Fatigue: Water is a source of energy and gives you a boost in energy.
So, every cell in your body needs water from head to toe. That is why it is so important to drink enough fluid. If you do not supply enough water to your body, your brain cannot function well, and you will get headache or migraine. If you feel tired, it may be the sign of dehydration.
As to how much?
There is no one size fits all because it depends upon varying factors such as your current state of health condition, how active you are, the climate, your physical size, your weight and your environment etc.
The classic advice was to drink 8 glasses of water a day but this recommendation is no longer in favour. And is not scientiically based anyway.
Instead, a more accurate estimation is to drink at least half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water.
1. You weigh 180 pounds.
180 ÷ 2 = 90 (ie 90 ounces of water per day)
amount of water to drink in ounce per day)
Answer: Drink 80 ounce of water per day.
* If you are using kilograms in unit, divide the kilograms by 30, this gives you the water to drink a day in litre.
2. You weigh 90kg
90 ÷ 30 = 3.0 – or 3 litres of water per day.
Alas diets are seldom the answer to our health issues and as far as weight loss is concerned most of them only deliver short term results, before the pounds pile on again. The very word diet often suggests deprivation, loss and lack of pleasure, calorie counting and watching the carbs. Which is why throughout this website the focus is more about nutrition and not diet and addressing the basic issue, “How can we nourish the body?”
And in this section, we state simply, the best nutrient you can take is water then fresh, unprocessed, unadulterated food.
Look after your nutrition and the pounds will look after themselves – aided by unadulterated water.
Toxins can have a very negative impact on your body, especially your alkaline balance. Good hydration makes a massive difference. If you are feeling below par, cut out all the energy depriving fluids and just drink at least a couple of litres of water per day for a month. And reap the rewards.