H2O: Are You Drinking Enough Water?
Water the “Life Force” of our bodies. We can survive without food for sustained periods of time. Without water, we will perish quickly!
Some Facts –
Our bodies are made up of 50-78% water depending on your age and sex. Infants, percentage-wise, is made up of more water than adults. Women have less water, percentage-wise, than men.
According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, our heart and brain are composed of 75% water, while our lungs are about 83% water. The skin is 64% water, our muscles and kidneys make up 79%, and our bones contain 31% water. (1)
What water does for us –
- Aids in digestion (saliva) & converts our food into necessary components.
- Mucosal membranes are moistened.
- Cell growth and reproduction
- Flushes out body waste (if not enough water, the body will extract it from our poo – leaving our bodies to use poopy water)
- Keeps joints lubricated
- Body temperature regulation (sweating and respiration)
- Delivers oxygen to the entire body
- It is the major component of the body parts listed above and more.
- Utilized by the brain to manufacture appropriate hormones and neurotransmitters
What if we don’t get enough water? –
According to Randall K. Packer, a biology professor at George Washington University, there are many variable factors to determine a person’s survival time.
“For example, a child left in a hot car or an athlete exercising hard in hot weather can dehydrate, overheat and die in a period of a few hours.” (2)
Other factors, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and diminished sweat production, are also dangerous. Sweating too much reduces the blood volume, quickly contributing to severe dehydration or death.
If not faced with extreme conditions, the likelihood of survival without water is, on average 3-days.
Signs of Dehydration –
- Saliva decreases
- Decreased urine amount
- Urine color darkens
- Urine develops a strong odor.
- Impairs cognitive function
- Mouth becomes dry
- Urine decreases even more.
- Eyes become very dry.
- Rapid heartbeat
- No urine
- Vomiting and diarrhea (which further accelerates dehydration)
- Skin becomes blue-gray and cold to the touch.
Shock is the final stage of dehydration. The blood pressure drops, and death soon follows.
How much water should you drink & when to drink it? –
According to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D, “To better determine how much water you need each day, divide your body weight in half. The answer is the approximate number of water ounces you should drink daily. It would help if you drank half of your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces’ water (3.13 quarts, 2.98 liters, or 10-12 cups of water a day). If you weigh closer to 100 pounds, you will need only about 50 ounces of water or about four 12-ounce glasses daily.
Individuals who are physically active or live in hot climates may need to drink more.” (3)
Tips for drinking more water –
- Add fruit/vegetables/herbs to a water container (glass preferable). Experiment and find the flavors you like the best.
- Drink a large glass of water first thing in the morning (before the coffee)
- Drink a large glass of water about 15 to 30 minutes before every meal.
- There are apps for your phone now that can help you keep track of your water intake. Just google water intake apps, and you’ll find one for your phone type.
- Keep a gallon jug (glass preferred) with you while you are at work.
- Take water breaks whenever you can
- Drink from a water bottle that indicates how many ounces there are.
- Add a filter system to your tap water.
Can you over hydrate? –
The average person will more than likely not over-hydrate themselves. However, the kidneys cannot excrete excess water during intense exercise. The excess water then moves into the cells, including the brain. The results could be fatal.
According to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D, “It is essential you balance your sodium intake with your water consumption. Take 1/4 teaspoon of salt per quart of water – every 4-5 glasses of water. Be sure to get sea salt. The best is Celtic sea salt or Himalayan sea salt, both of which are readily available at any health food store.” (4)
The bottom line is –
We cannot live without water. We do not function well without adequate amounts of water in our daily living. Staying hydrated is very healing and can prevent many medical issues, such as headaches and joint pain.
For more information on the “Life Force” and the “Healing Benefits” of water. I recommend reading Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, “The Water Cure.”
- “The chemical composition of the adult human body and its bearing on the biochemistry” last modified May 1, 1945, http://www.jbc.org/content/158/3/625.full.pdf+html
- “How long can a person survive without having water,” last modified December 9, 2002, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-long-can-the-average/
- “The water cure – frequently asked questions, last modified 2008 http://www.watercure.com/faq.html#howmuch.
- “The water cure – frequently asked questions, last modified 2008 http://www.watercure.com/faq.html#howmuch