Water and the Human Body
NOURISHES THE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT
WHY THE BODY NEEDS WATER; There are many reasons the body needs water. Water is one of the life-giving forces of nature as is air, and sunshine. Life on this planet as we know it would not be here without these forces. Nothing can live without water. Water generates electrical and magnetic energy inside every cell, it provides the power to live. Water is the main solvent for food and nutrients, and increases their absorption. Water transports all substances in the body. Water is essential for the bodies cooling and heating system. Water integrates mind-body functions. Water is a lubricant and fills the spaces in our bodies. Water clears toxic waste from the body and expels it. Our bodies are 75% water and that water needs replacing as we use it.
FUNCTIONS OF WATER IN THE BODY: The human body cannot function without water. We can go for long periods without food, however we need water on a regular basis to exist. The nerve impulses that come from the brain that tell the body what to do must have water to perform. Water is the adhesive that holds together the solid parts of the cells. Water regulates the energy in the body by generating the energy we consume in foods into usable energy for body functions. Blood is normally 94% water, without the fluidity of the blood to carry the essentials to and from our cells we would die. It is very important to continually feed the body this critical life force.
HOW OUR BODY GROWS WITH WATER: From the moment of conception the body needs water to grow. In a fetus the division of cells relies on water, so it is important that the mother is well hydrated to build the best body possible for the child. The process of growing inside the womb determines the health of that human being for life. Once born the body continues its need for proper hydration to develop further. Infants still rely on their mother’s water intake to be sufficient as to have plenty of breast milk for the baby. If the mother cannot breast feed, the child will need their formula diluted with water or supplemented with water as cows and soy milks are far more concentrated than breast milk. Young children must be constantly reminded to drink water to enhance the growing process further. Hopefully teens and adults will take the responsibility seriously to hydrate their bodies regularly with pure fresh water. This still in some form is the mother’s responsibility as having taught the child and teenager the importance of hydration to the bodies functioning properly. As we grow older the thirst sensation diminishes and unfortunately many senior citizens are severely dehydrated. Chronic dehydration in seniors is the cause of a lot of misdiagnosed complications. Symptoms that could be alleviated by proper hydration are often diagnosed as “diseases” that need medications or surgery. Proper hydration throughout life is a key factor in staying healthy. So maybe in old age it is time for the well-taught child to take over and stress the need for proper hydration of their elders.
MINERALS AND SALT REGULATE WATER LEVELS: Minerals are an important aspect of keeping the balance of water inside and outside the cells. This delicate balance must be maintained for the body to function properly and the blood pressure to be maintained at proper levels. It is also of utmost importance for proper brain function to have the proper levels of water inside and outside the cells of the brain. Sodium (salt) plays an important role in the hydration of the body and the cells. Contrary to popular belief these days, salt is an important nutrient to the body. Our bodies have about the same solution of salt in its fluids as the oceans of the earth. When someone is transported to the emergency room the first thing they do is to start a saline drip (salt). The body needs the proper ratio of salt to water to function properly and when we release a lot of our salt, as in sweating, we need to replenish it. Going on a salt free diet is not only detrimental to the body but it will increase blood pressure, not decrease it. Taking a multi-vitamin with minerals is a good idea, and making sure you are getting adequate amounts of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium, as they are the minerals that regulate the water levels inside the cells. Also have some salt in your diet along with plenty of pure fresh water. A good way to determine water and salt intake are to take your weight and divide it in half. That number is the amount of ounces of water you need each day (taking into account the need for more due to exercise, stress, environment, etc.). Salt needs to be regulated taking into account the amounts that you are already getting in your food, but generally about ½ teaspoon is usually adequate unless you are sweating a lot due to exercise. The key with salt is to consume real salt not the salt in the blue container we were raised with. Himalayan or Celtic sea salt are the best!
HYDRATION AND ASTHMA: Asthma is a condition that millions of people suffer from needlessly. In dehydration, lung tissue becomes vulnerable to the symptoms of asthma. The air sacs in the lungs are very thin and need water to keep them moist at all times. The constant airflow through these sacs also evaporate the available water in their lining. Dehydration automatically reduces the amount of available water in these tissues and causes damage unless the rate of airflow is reduced, thus the shortness of breath in asthmatics. In dehydration histamine is released. Histamine is responsible for the symptoms of allergies (thus the need for anti-histamines). Histamine is responsible for cutting down the rate of airflow in the lungs. It causes constriction in the lungs and thick mucous to protect the linings of the lungs when the body is dehydrated. This is why chronic dehydration can show the signs of asthma and allergies when that may not be the case. Through proper hydration these symptoms can often be alleviated.
HYDRATION AND HEADACHES: The brain is 85% water, and therefore very sensitive to dehydration. The brain cannot endure overheating, due to the fact that its enzyme systems are very sensitive to heat fluctuations. When the body is dehydrated and there is potential for overheating, the brain sets up its own priority and allows more blood to flow to the head, this is why a headache can start with a pulsing sensation in the head. Histamine, as we know is released during dehydration. Histamine is released because of the brains concern for its dehydration and overheating. Histamine controls the regulation of body temperature and activates certain systems to promote more circulation. In trying to keep the brain from overheating it causes the pain we know as headache. By simply drinking several glasses of cool water the pain will go away. This has long been known as a hangover cure due to the dehydration that sets in due to the consumption of too much alcohol.
So drink plenty of good fresh non-chlorinated, non-fluoridated water every day! Start by re-hydrating the body as soon as you wake up, especially if you drink coffee.
Submitted by Tricia @ Nutrition By Tricia