Why your Body Loves a Glass of Water   1 comment

ImageHealthy Living Series: Water-Part Three

by Stan Sauerwein

Pure Leadership News is delivering a Healthy Living Series on the subject of water.  Readers of the Pure Leadership textbook series will be acquainted with some parts of this topic as it was well covered in Lift the Veils to Reality and Change is Natural.

What does water do in my body?

If we don’t know the many ways that water functions in our physical body, we’re not likely to care very much about the quality or the quantity of water we drink.  We might even assume we’re getting enough water from our daily dose of latte or caffeinated tea, and the three or four more cups of java or cans of soda we might slurp (when we feel we need that little energy boost), or that frothy glass of beer after work (which we’ve misconceived is going to calm things back down). Seemingly, many people think that is the way to hydrate.  In fact, it’s been estimated that 40% of the North American population is in a chronic state of dehydration because so many of us have that impression.  Some people are in a state of dehydration for so long they’ve actually lost the ability to recognize when they are thirsty!

Our physical body’s need for this miraculous substance is not supplied by drinking coffee or tea, soda or even fruit juice.   Mixing pure water with almost every other substance changes it from its most helpful form to something else chemically.  For example, mixed with coffee it becomes a diuretic, prompting the body to expel water rather than retain it.  Alcohol acts the same way. So if you’re going to drink these substances you’re going to require even more water. Your cells are all intelligent and they know what they need inside them and that need is pure water.

Water serves a long and vital list of purposes in our body.  Understanding just how important it is to pretty much every physical function might be enough incentive for you to give extra thought to how much and what kind of water you drink.

To understand what water does FOR you, it might be helpful to first review how much of your physical is actually made of water and to understand what happens if you are dehydrated.

When water deficient, a body’s blood pressure rises and kidneys can malfunction, you may become constipated, listless, have trouble concentrating.  In other words, water is the means of balancing the functioning of your entire physical body. Every organ is surrounded by water so when water deficient, the body pulls the water from the organs and puts the organs into stress!  Put into the simplest of terms, the route to your health is water!

If you divided us into our components you’d find the thing you call “you” is about 60% water.  In a 150-pound man that amounts to about 11 gallons.  Your blood is 83% water.  Your muscles are 75%.  Your lungs are 90% water.  Your brain is 76% water.  Even your bones, strong and stiff as they seem, are actually 25% water.

Dr. F. Batmanghelidj was once forced to care for patients in an Iranian prison by treating them with nothing more than water.  From that experience, he learned just how miraculous water is when it comes to our health. Here are some other affects of dehydration illuminated by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj in his book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water1 and on his website2:

  • Water prevents and helps cure arthritis,
  • Water prevents and helps to cure back pain,
  • Water prevents and helps to cure angina,
  • Water prevents and helps to cure migraines,
  • Water prevents and helps to cure colitis,
  • Water and salt prevent and help to cure asthma,
  • Water prevents and helps to cure high blood pressure,
  • Water prevents and helps to cure early adult-onset diabetes, and,
  •  Water lowers blood cholesterol.

How many of you suffer from one or more of these common complaints?  How about your loved ones?  Neighbors?  Business associates?  It has been my experience within my circle of influence to find lots of people expressing pain and suffering from arthritis, back pain, migraines, asthma, the ever- growing presence of high blood pressure, adult-onset diabetes and high cholesterol. If this list was exhaustive I’m sure you’d already be super excited about water addressing so many of these concerns.  But there’s more.

Water is important for getting rid of various toxic elements from the body, in the form of urine, sweat and fecal matter.  It helps cushion our joints.  Water present in the blood is the carrier of oxygen and nutrients to all our body’s cells.  In the lymph (a fluid that is part of your immune system) it helps your body fight disease and infection.  Water regulates your body temperature.  It helps maintain proper metabolism.  But how does water accomplish all this?

Water and digestion

Let’s look at digestion for starters.

Water is fundamental to the digestion process.  Huge portions of the population in North America suffer because of defective digestion. Diseases of the digestive tract are in fact responsible for the hospitalization of more people in the United States than any other group of disorders.3  For as many as 20 percent of the adult population that equates to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS has become one of the most common disorders diagnosed.  It occurs more often in women than in men, and it begins before the age of 35 in about 50 percent of people.4

Many others suffer from a condition known as hypochlorhydria.5   This is the underproduction of hydrochloric acid, or stomach acid, and it occurs in about 15 percent of the population. By age 40, it’s been estimated that 40 percent of the population is affected, and by age 60 that rises to half the population.

Our bodies are comprised of an estimated 70 trillion cells. Of course the actual number is different for different folks as a 300-pound man has more cells than a seven-pound baby, but the point is that you have a lot of cells and your cells are organized into “tissues”.  You have muscle tissues, skin tissues, fat tissues, bone tissues, and nerve tissues.  These tissues are, in turn, organized into “organs”.  When it comes to the function of water, some of the most important are your digestive organs. Good digestion is fundamental to good health. The digestive organs include the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine, the pancreas and the gall bladder.  Digestion is the combination of the mechanical and chemical processes by which food is transmuted into essential nutrients that can be absorbed through the walls of your small intestine into your blood and transported to where they are needed.

Digestion starts in the mouth as the food is chewed and mixed with saliva.  And what is saliva?  Mostly water.  Saliva contains enzymes that start the chemical breakdown of your food. These protein molecules catalyze the digestive chemical reactions by lowering the energy level required to drive these reactions. Each of the many chemical reactions in the body require a different, specialized enzyme. All enzymes can be reused but some need to be replaced more quickly than others. An enzyme can change compound X into compounds Y and Z without being changed itself.  And how are enzymes delivered?  With water.  Water in digestive fluids sustains movement throughout the gastrointestinal system. Digestion is actually only the beginning of the series of biological events that take place as food is incorporated into the human body. Eventually, the nutrients in the food you eat will be delivered to each and every cell by your blood.  Remember blood is 83% water.  Our body’s digestive processes therefore rely on water.

Good digestion enables you to digest all of your life.

Water and elimination

Your body needs water for proper elimination as well. Water serves as a solvent for toxins, waste products such as urea, carbon dioxide and various electrolytes that the body excretes. Water is necessary to transport these waste products away from each cell. Water is also what is going to flush waste matter through you when it contains no nutrients that your body needs. The food may, indeed, contain deleterious toxins that are harmful to your body.  Without adequate water, the food waste in the colon can become heavy and difficult to expel.  We experience that condition as constipation.  Study the amount of water a constipated person drinks.  Odds are that person is dehydrated.  Foodstuffs retained in the colon cause the body to reabsorb the very toxins that the body was trying to eliminate.

Water can help you lose weight

Consuming the proper amount of water helps to reduce sodium buildup in the body and maintain muscle tone. I think all of you want a lean firm body don’t you?  Well read on because reducing sodium buildup and toxins is fundamental to remaining lean.  Water is necessary to help the body eliminate waste and toxins and, to relieve fluid retention.  Exactly the opposite transpires if your body is dehydrated.

When dehydrated the body’s response is inflammation. During a state of drought your body switches into “water conservation” mode.  One of the main ways it ensures adequate hydration is by holding onto sodium.  The excess sodium results in a rise in fluid levels – inflammation.  With more severe dehydration, if your body is forced to operate with an even further reduced volume of water, it compensates by temporarily constricting capillaries. The body now has to increase the pressure it needs to force the water through the constricted capillaries resulting in high blood pressure.

Should your body be in “water conservation” mode, the brain and other vital organs will be given a preference in receiving the necessary water, but to do that some tissues must go without. If capillaries remain constricted [closed], the tissues they supply become starved of nutrients.  Cellular wastes build up. Among the first areas affected are cartilage and synovial fluid, and the result is discomfort in the joints.  The next time you have a general feeling of malaise with aching joints and you suspect you are coming down with the flu, think back to your water consumption.  You may be causing your own discomfort simply by not drinking an adequate amount of water!

As well as inflammation and joint pain, with dehydration you may find yourself suffering from respiratory problems.  That may also be a water deficiency situation because in addition to constricting and perhaps even shutting down some capillaries, your body releases water-conserving chemicals.  Chief among them is histamine.  While histamine is a vital emergency response to preserving water in a severely dehydrated body, it can trigger respiratory challenges.  Histamine release will be accompanied by a rise in the release of vasodilation hormones, and these, although providing vital functions in retaining water in a parched system, when imbalanced can lead to another variety of discomforts.

Water increases your energy

Water is integral to the regulation of your autonomic nervous system. Those functions of the body that occur automatically such as blood pressure and alertness. Researchers have shown that ordinary water — without any additives — raises alertness, blood pressure and energy expenditure. Usually the reasons why we reach for that second cup of coffee!

The sympathetic nervous system is a branch of the autonomic nervous system and generally increases the activity of most of the body’s internal organs.7  Drinking water, raises sympathetic nervous system activity — and consequently energy expenditure — drinking water can also promote weight loss.  Besides the fact that drinking water suppresses the appetite, one researcher calculated a person could lose five pounds of weight a year if three 16-ounce glasses of water were consumed a day and nothing else changed!

You already know dehydration, even at minor levels, can cause various bodily systems to slow down.  That can make you feel sluggish, tired and irritable.  The antidote to that is simple.  If you’re in need of a quick “pick-me-up” try drinking a glass or two of water. Water will give you an energy boost and fight off fatigue.

So, we’ve learned water helps us digest our food and deliver the nutrients to our cells.  It cools the body as necessary.  It flushes the toxins and cushions the joints.  It nourishes our skin and keeps the tissues of our brains pliable and soft – thereby securing the continuation of our consciousness.  It is a prime regulator for our sympathetic nervous system which is managing important organs in our body.

Water, the marvelous substance we might sometimes forget, is what keeps us healthy.

Citations:

1 – Batmanghelidj, Dr. Fereydoon, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, Global Health Solutions, Falls Church, VA, 2008

2 – Dr. Batmanghelidj’s website: http://www.watercure.com/index.html

3 – Dr. Peter W. Gardner and Dr. Stuart Waldstreicher: http://www.gastro.com/Gastro/facts.aspx

4 – National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC):  http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/

5 – Explanation of hypochlorhydria: http://www.aim4health.com/stomachpains.htm

6 – Hansen, John T., and Koeppen, Bruce M., Netter’s Atlas of Human Physiology, Icon Learning Systems, Teterboro, N.J. , 2002

7 – Science Daily, “Waters Unexpected Role in Blood Pressure Control”, July 6, 2010.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100706150639.htm

Advertisements

Posted November 14, 2012 by Pure Leadership in Healthy Living, Stan Sauerwein

Tagged with , , ,

One response to “Why your Body Loves a Glass of Water

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?

    My website has a lot of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d truly appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: