A few years ago, I read a very enlightening book called "Your Body's Many Cries for Water," by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj. I had always known that drinking water was important, but after reading this book and reviewing the research behind it, I was astounded at how many disease states are linked with dehydration. As a result, I became even more adamant about drinking water consistently throughout the day.
"Your Body's Many Cries for Water" provides a strong case for the benefits of drinking water, based on sound research coupled with testimonials of people whose health problems were eliminated by increasing their water intake. What many in the medical world view as problems to be solved with medications, Dr. Batmanghelidj sees as the "body's many cries for water." Here are some of the conditions which he believes are signs of dehydration: chronic fatigue, allergies, asthma, arthritis, high cholesterol, heart problems, diabetes, peptic ulcers, angina, migraines, obesity and weight control problems, water retention, and chronic back pain.
This is not surprising when you realize that:
- Your body is comprised of 70% water. Your brain is 85% water. Your muscles are over 70% water.
- Water is the body's number one detoxifier. It is essential for the proper elimination of waste products from the body. If toxins are allowed to build up in the body, disease will result.
- Water transports nutrients to all tissues of the body.
- Water regulates body temperature.
- Water supports all chemical reactions in the body.
- Water maintains the body's pH balance.
- Water is an energizer, and increases your metabolism.
- By the time you experience thirst you are already 2% dehydrated. If you are as little as 2% dehydrated, your energy is reduced 20-30%.
It is important to know that the body can only absorb 4 ounces of water every 10 minutes, so like many things in life, it is important to be proactive with drinking water. Aim to drink one glass of pure water every hour you are awake. And make the process enjoyable. Many people complain that they don't like the taste of water, or that it is boring to drink! Try these tips for making drinking water an enjoyable process:
- Add fresh mint leaves, slices of strawberry, apple, lemon, or lime to a pitcher of water. Serve chilled. Keep a pitcher of "fruit water" in the refrigerator so you always have great-tasting water available.
- Try Glaceu Fruit Water, which is distilled water with added fruit essence, without added sugar or artificial sweeteners. It is available at most health food stores. It comes in a variety of fabulous flavors including, watermelon, honeydew melon, raspberry/lime, and strawberry/banana.
- Drink herbal teas. Herbal teas have a variety of healing properties and come in a multitude of flavors. Try green tea, yerba matte, chai, chamomile, mint, raspberry leaf, and cinnamon/apple. In the summer time you can serve them over ice. In winter, drink them hot. Yogi Tea is one of my favorite brands.
- Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to water. Warm water with the juice of 1 lemon taken in the morning on an empty stomach is a great liver detoxifier, and has been shown to aid in weight loss.