Friday, January 28, 2011

Pass the Water, Please

Today I sit writing to you, drinking a cup of one of my favorite organic chamomile teas. I enjoy tea and sometimes drink 4 or 5 cups a day. Tea has many health benefits and since most herbal teas contain no caffeine, I contribute them to my daily water consumption. I’ve always preferred plain water over any other beverage but our local water has an annoying sulfuric smell and taste. When I moved here I stopped drinking water because it tasted so bad. I bought bottled water because I felt it was the only way I could deal with it but I hate the waste of bottled water. I’d go through a minimum of 3 bottles a day! We rent an apartment so we’re not investing in any fancy water system so I attached a faucet filter and during the day I flavor some of my water with an array of herbal tea. 
What sparked my thoughts on water was a conversation we had at dinner tonight with some friends. My husband and I each ordered a glass of water to have with dinner, while a friend of ours ordered beer. The friend asked why my husband ordered a water and he said it was because he was thirsty. The friend replied jokingly that the beer would quench his thirst just as well. My husband said, “I drink a lot of water, it’s good for you.” His friend replied that he doesn’t ever drink water. He drinks beer, and soda. I kept my mouth closed because it’s rude to lecture - er, educate - your friends at dinner, but NO water!? I love my water! So this post (and probably several to follow) is dedicated to: our good friend, H2O.

It is pretty common knowledge that your body is almost 70% water. My bathroom scale even measures my hydration level. Water is the base of nutrition for all living things. To function, your body needs water to regulate everything from temperature to nourishing your organs, removing waste and protecting your joints ( 
Your body loses water naturally so throughout the day you must consume water to replenish it. Some substances such as caffeine and alcohol dehydrate you further so you need to drink more water to make up for it. 
The average person should drink roughly half their body weight (pounds) in water (ounces). This contradicts the old saying of eight (8 oz) glasses per day. According to the weight rule, this would only be enough if you were around 130 lbs. Some of the water we use comes from food we eat - primarily fruits and vegetables. No, you can’t count your fast food apple turnover as a serving of fruit. Other elements such as sodium  are hydrophilic and retain water. This causes instant bloating and weight gain from the extra water. How do you get rid of water weight? Drink more water!
Illnesses and Cures
Dehydration comes in many forms. Mild dehydration can cause cramps, bloating, headache, joint or muscle pain and fatigue. Severe dehydration can accompany many other illnesses or cause other symptoms. Consuming enough water will help your body function at its best and prevent common ailments such as arthritis, back pain, heartburn,  migraines, colitis, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol (WaterCure). Millions of people are on prescription medication for these conditions - many of these are side effects of prescription medications! If you knew you could prevent them or reverse them, wouldn’t you? It seems like many of the conditions that plague us today are affects of the highly processed, sugar and sodium laden, nutritionally void foods that are sold to us. It’s an easy fix, we just need to 1. Care, and 2. Educate ourselves to improve our health for future generations, it’s simple. We can start by drinking water
So this is my challenge to all the water haters out there to incorporate more H2O into your diet. You could start small, maybe replacing some of the soda you drink with water, or just add an extra glass or two in when you wake up or before bed. You’ll be doing yourself a favor with immediate results and lasting benefits. Maybe you’ll learn to like it! 

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