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Some H2O Facts

¨    Water is the most basic, natural drink available to keep us healthy.

¨    Our bodies should comprise approximately 65 -70% water and so it is probably our most important nutrient.

¨    We can survive without food for about 5 weeks :  but no longer than 5 days without water.

¨    Our bodies lose approx 1.5 litres of water per day through our skin, lungs, gut and the kidneys ensuring that toxic substances are eliminated from the body, or more if we are exercising or living in a dry/warm to hot environment.  Given “active living”, this would approximate to a requirement for 2 litres per person per day to keep our water table at the correct level throughout all our cells.

¨    We do get some of our water from whole-foods that we eat.  If our diet is rich in fruit and vegetables, this can provide nearly one litre of our water, and we also produce about one third of a litre of water per day when converting glucose into energy. 

¨    We should therefore aim to consume 1 litre a day as a minimum ~ and a better goal would be to aim for 1.5 litres, which is the volume acknowledged by most people, if not actually consumed!

¨    Water is involved in every bodily process ~ includ­ing digestion, absorption of nutrients, circulation and excretion.

¨    Water is essential for carrying waste out of our body ~ it reduces con­stipation and helps maintain body temperature.

¨    Water is used to detoxify our systems having consumed coffee, or tea, or alcohol ~ so these “drinks” usually result in our water account being in a net deficit ~ they are diuretics (take water OUT of our systems) and dehydrating.

¨    By the time you FEEL thirsty, you are already dehydrating.  Sipping water frequently, especially when exercising, is the best way of keeping your intake at a safe level.

¨    However, it IS possible to drown yourself by drinking too much water, too quickly ~ literally waterlogging all the cells, especially those in the brain.  This would require as little as 2.5 litres of water ingested in a very short period of time.

Drink more water

Most of us do not drink enough water and, ironically, people who suffer from water retention tend to restrict liquid intake ~ thinking the less they drink, the less their bodies will retain. Actually, the opposite is true. If we restrict fluids the body tries to compensate, just as it adopts a famine-mode when food is restricted, and will retain liquid in case it is in short supply.

Initially the idea of consuming 1.5 to 2 litres of water day seems to cause many people to think that they will be forever visiting the smallest room!  Although this may be the case at first ~ in a very short time our systems adapt to the correct intake.  Our metabolism utilises the liquid intake to ensure that all cells are adequately supplied and so arrive at a level of elimination which is not “abnormal” or a cause of inconvenience.  Indeed, there is the paradox that a reduction in tea and coffee for most people actually reduces the elimination needs for detoxification.

Ideally we should try to drink around six to eight medium-sized (8 oz) glasses of water a day, as a substitute for other, less healthy drinks.   An excellent start to the day is a cup of hot water and a slice of lemon : it’s wonderfully refreshing and excellent for the liver.  Other sources of water would be well diluted fruit juices, herb or fruit “teas”.

One idea to ensure that we are consistent in getting enough water is to fill a 1.5 litre bottle with filtered/bottled water (this could be from the water cooler at your workplace).  Then set yourself a goal to finish that yourself over the next 24 hours before refilling/replacing.

To keep your skin healthy and moisturised ~ think about putting water into your body, not just products onto your skin.  You are then properly working from within.

Which water is best  ~ tap, filtered or bottled?

Tap water can be contaminated with any number of impurities which vary from area to area. Arsenic, lead and copper can all occur naturally in the water and some water can be contaminated by the pipes carrying it. Other sub­stances such as agricultural pesticides and fertilisers can leach into the water through the ground.  In addition, water companies usually add some fluoride and chlorine in most areas ~ for purification and other purposes.  Our bodies are best without ingesting these additions.  What we need is purer water for optimum health.

Filtering water will not eliminate every single impurity, but it will help. You can buy a jug filter from health food shops, supermarkets, chemists and some ironmongers. Tap water is poured through a cartridge which ‘cleanses’ the water, but it must be changed regularly or bacteria can flourish. Alternatively, you can have a filter plumbed into your water system before the water gets to the taps — under the sink is an ideal place. Cartridges also need changing with this system. Once you have your supply of filtered water you can use it not only for drinking but also for washing fruit and vegetables and cooking.

Bottled water comes in many guises ~ so here is a short guide to help you understand what you are buying :

¨       Spring water — may have been taken from one or more underground sources and have undergone a range of treatments, such as filtration and blending

¨       Natural mineral water — bottled in its natural underground state and untreated in any way. It has to come from an officially registered source, conform to purity standards and carry details of its source and mineral analysis on the label.

¨       Naturally sparkling water — natural water from its underground source with enough natural carbon dioxide to make it bubbly.

¨       Sparkling (carbonated) water — has had carbon dioxide added dur­ing bottling, the same as with ordinary fizzy drinks.

Soft drinks

Use pure, unsweetened fruit juice to make your own soft drinks, diluted with pure, filtered water.  Neat fruit juice is treated more as a food by the body than a drink.

If a carton or bottle has ‘fruit drink’ on the label then you should check whether something else has been added. Many “fruit drinks” have only 5% fruit, the other 95% being water, sugar and additives.

You should always check the labels on flavoured spring waters, as many contain a surprising amount of sugar. Liven up fruit juice with naturally sparkling mineral water or try the sparkling natural apple juices : i.e. Appletize and Kiri ~ but best diluted down with equal volume of naturally sparkling water, as these are neat, sparkling juices.  Aqua Libra and Ame are also good soft drinks.

Check out your carbonated drinks, and especially any “colas”.  These have usually been carbonated with phosphoric acid ~ which adjusts the body’s natural mineral balance by providing more phosphorous into the blood stream, and is acidic in nature.  To counter this, our system naturally buffers the process by taking calcium from our Bone Stores and brings the extra calcium into the blood stream as alkaline carbonates.  Taking unnecessary calcium from the bone stores is just about the last thing that one should be doing (particularly not if there are any risks of Osteoporosis to be taken into account in your physiology).  Sparkling mineral waters, whether naturally sparkling or not are not usually loaded with phosphoric acid, however.

The following suggestions are available from most health food shops :

¨  Free Drinks makes a range of sugar-free sodas.

¨  Whole Earth makes a wonderful ‘real’ lemonade and orange soda which are free from sugar, preservatives and artificial colours and flavours.

¨  Meridian makes a very good range of concentrated juices in an interesting mix of flavours including apple and blackcurrant, pear, apple and cherry, apple and raspberry.  Meridian Apple and Strawberry Juice is particularly delicious diluted in hot water.

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