Wonderful Water

Sinus problems, weight gain and asthma, dehydration can trigger a whole host of illnesses. Here’s how to keep your body hydrated and healthy with the right intake of water.

Every second of the day you are losing water from your body, it evaporates through the skin, is lost in sweat, urine, bowel movements and even every time you breathe out. This loss amounts to approximately two and a half liters of water per day. No wonder it’s so easy to slip into a state of mild dehydration.

So why we even need water? The key organs regulating water in the body are the kidney and the digestive tract. The walls of the small intestines and colon absorb water from food and drink and from there it enters the bloodstream. Blood is the body’s key transport system, delivering all kinds of things from energy in the form of glucose and nutrients to cells and picking up cell wastes (toxins) for disposal via the colon or bladder. If we are not taking in enough water, then the intestines have to divert more than it would like into the body, resulting in constipation and toxin build up. Likewise, toxins also concentrate in urine in the bladder, If there is not enough water coming in to trigger the urge to urinate frequently.  This kind of toxic build up can lead to frequent toxic headaches. Yet the headaches can easily be cured by regularly drinking more water.

You also need enough water to prevent body fluids from becoming too thick. People who drink at least five glasses of water every day are more than 40% less likely to die from a heart attack than those who drink two or fewer a day. Extra water thins the blood, which makes it less likely to clot and clog a vital artery to the heart triggering a heart attack. Other conditions that may be exacerbated by thick fluids resulting from mild dehydration include sinus problems, middle ear infections, and asthma. This is because thick mucus in the lungs, ears or sinuses is congestive and stagnant mucus is prone to infection. Drinking more water cal also help dilute the stomach and liver juices, which may prevent ulcers and gallstones in those people prone to them. Bloating, puffy legs and ankles, can all be signs of water retention. Paradoxically, restricting fluid intake only worsens the problem, because the water starved body tries to hang on to more body fluid so it can do its work properly. So by regularly drinking more the body learns that its water needs are going to be met, and is happier to let go of excess fluid. The exceptions to this general rule are people with water retention and kidney problems. They should check with their doctors about fluid intake, as their kidneys may not be efficient at eliminating excess fluids.

Drinking plenty is a secret of efficient weight loss and maintenance, too. When you are trying to lose weight, the initial weight loss is mainly water so it needs replacing to prevent dehydration. You also need water to burn calories but as you are eating less food, you are getting water into the body, so you need to drink even more. Dehydration can actually contribute to weight gain because many people mistake the need for water for hunger. If you are well hydrated you may not feel so hungry. So if you are trying to lose weight, reach for a tap, not a treat! Back and joint pains could also benefit from drinking more. The gel like pulp inside the discs between the vertebrae of the spine and cartilage between the joints need to be well hydrated to stay plump and pliable, better cushioning and protecting the joints and spine from damage.

A well hydrated produces almost colorless urine. You should be able to achieve this by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day. If you do this for six weeks, people are likely to notice the difference in your skin and eyes; you should look and feel healthier and niggling health problems may disappear. Upping your water intake could well be one of the best health investments you make.

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