Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Importance of Water

One thing I can tell you for sure from working with many in the CF community on better health plans - as a whole, we don't drink enough water. This doesn't come as a big surprise as most Americans, by a super large majority, don't drink enough water either.

I can't tell you how much better I feel on the days that I get my water needs met. And until you make the commitment to drink the amount of water you need, you'll have no clue what I'm taking about. Every single person that I have convinced to drink more water has never regretted it and in fact, ended up embracing the lifestyle change.

I ran across this article about the importance of water and I wanted to share it with you guys.

Getting enough water is the single most important thing you can do to live a healthier life.
But are you getting enough? And are you drinking the right kinds, at the right times? It is estimated that over 99% of Americans do not get the proper amount of water their body needs. Did you know that water contributes to everything from a healthy glow to your skin, to transporting oxygen and nutrients to your body’s cells?
Many health problems we treat by simply popping pills, can be solved by getting enough water in your system daily. This article aims to tell you everything you need to know about water, so read on and feel healthier!
The FormulaThe age old “eight glasses of water a day” works great for some people, but not all of us. Instead, we have supplied something a little bit more customized to your body type. Simply take your weight (in pounds) and divide it by two:
__ lbs. / 2 = ___ ounces a day.
So for example take a 120 lb female. Divide her weight by two, and you have 60 ounces of water a day. Keep in mind that this is total water intake, and there are many foods with a high water concentration. To be safe, you should drink eighty percent of this in pure water. So using our female example again, 80 percent of 60 ounces is 48 ounces, or six eight ounce glasses of water per day.Your Body, and WaterWater is vital in our body, and a lack of it certainly has its consequences. Your body is roughly 70 percent water. The build of your muscles are about 75 percent water, blood 82 percent, brain cells 85 percent, and even your bones are 25 percent water. Your body looses approximately two quarters (64 ounces) of water per day through urination, perspiration, and even exhalation. The average adult can last as much as seven weeks without food, but not much more than five days without water.
F. Batmanghelidj, MD, highlights some main benefits of keeping your body well hydrated in his book titled “Water for Health, for Healing, for Life”:Water being the main lubricant in joints, helps prevent arthritis and back pain.
Water increases efficiency of the immune system
Water prevents the clogging of arteries in the heart and brain, thus reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Water is needed to efficiently manufacture neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin and melatonin (for hormones). It also improves are attention span, and can prevent attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Water prevents memory loss as we age, reducing the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Water reduces the effects of aging, making our skin smoother and giving is a sparkling luster.
Health Complications Caused by DehydrationWhen your body is not getting enough water, it will ration what it has. There are five primary organs your body hydrates above all else, and they are your brain, heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Thus your non-vital organs will often suffer from a lack of water. Signs tend to manifest first in your skin, joints, and gastrointestinal tract.
Arthritis and joint pains are common signs of not getting enough water. The cartilage in your joints provides a nice smooth surface for your joints to glide across during movement. Cartilage itself is eighty percent water, and is five times slicker than ice. Well, that is a well hydrated joint. When your body is not getting enough water, one of the first places it puts on a rations list is your joints. Less lubrication equals greater friction. And over time that friction causes your joints to degenerate quicker, eventually leading to arthritis.High blood pressure is another sign. Instead of spending money on medication, why not try drinking some good old fashion water? Think of a garden hose, when you constrict it at any point, the pressure flowing increases. Your body does the same thing. When dehydrated, it restricts blood flow to less important organ, which may cause an increase in pressure.Digestion problems. Do you suffer from heartburn, indigestion, or constipation? Do you constantly intake medications such as Pepcid or Tums? Your stomach has a lining on it that should be 98 percent water. This lining contains bicarbonate, which protects against stomach acid. Drinking enough water ensures a thick layer to protect our stomach lining from damage. However, not getting enough water will cause it to thin out, causing many of these problems.Water Keeps you YoungYes you read that right. Getting the proper amount of water each day will keep you looking and feeling young. For one, drinking water helps you loose weight. Not many people know this, but hunger pains and thirst pains are nearly identical, so many people eat when they should be drinking. Assuming that you are dehydrated, you body will carry extra “water weight” because it is unsure when it will get some next, and it wants to be sure it has enough to survive. This is caused by the hormone aldosterone, and its main job is water retention. However keeping your body well hydrated dramatically decreases this emergency storage, so you are not carrying around extra weight. Emerging research shows that dehydration also contributes to a low metabolism, which in turn causes your body to store up more fat.Water revives your cells, and keeps them alive. Roughly two-thirds of your body’s fluids are on the inside of cells, and the other third are on the outside of them. The first sign of failing health is when the fluids shift from the inside to the outside. After this happens, cells do not have enough energy to maintain the membrane pumps inside them, causing the cells to die. Likewise, when there is more water on the outside of cells than there should be, your blood vessels compress, causing less nutrients and oxygen to be delivered to them. Everything from your cells to the largest organ in your body, your skin, suffers.Did you know a lack of water contributes to memory loss? Your brain cells are eighty-five percent water, and your brain itself is the only organ that never rests. It is safe to say that your brain is the single most important organ to be sure is well hydrated. Ensuring it has enough water guarantees the production of new brain cells to replace damaged ones, as well as being sure the brain is working to its full potential. Many doctors today believe that long term dehydration contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.When is it best to drink water?There are two big mistakes many people make here. One is drinking when your thirst, and the second is drinking with a meal. A dry mouth is actually one of the last signs of dehydration, and when you experience it, you are already mildly dehydrated. When you drink with a meal, you are washing down all the hydrochloric acid in your saliva, and enzymes in your stomach. What results is a poor digestion process. Don’t get us wrong, you need to drink some liquid during a meal, but no more than six – eight ounces.
Here is a good schedule to follow, adopted from Don Colbert, MD’s book ‘The Seven Pillars of Health”:Start by drinking eight – sixteen ounces of water before breakfast (There is no need to replace the juice, tea, or coffee you may drink in the morning. Instead, enjoy the water with your choice beverage.)A couple hours after breakfast, drink another eight – sixteen ounce glass of water.Again, a few hours after lunch, drink another eight – sixteen ounce glass.Thirty minutes before dinner, drink sixteen – twenty-four ounces of water.About an hour before bed, have another eight ounce glass.
So what do you think? Are you ready to go and pound the water?? You won't regret it if you do, just be prepared for many more potty breaks :)