Water has always been important in the lives of human beings and all living organisms. Throughout history, societies have gathered around the rivers, lakes and seas in order to have sufficient access to water.
The human body is generally made up of 75 percent water and 25 percent solid mass. Water is considered by many to be the most important nutrient; water regulates every function in the human body, including proper digestion, nutrient absorption, metabolic reactions, circulation, and more. In fact, most humans cannot make it past three days without water, while they can survive weeks without food.
Many people generally know the suggestion of drinking six to eight glasses of water per day, but this usually is far less than their body requires. A good way of knowing how much water to drink is to divide your weight in pounds by 16; hence a 150 pound person would need roughly nine and a half 250ml glasses of water daily. If you exercise, drink an alcoholic beverage, or if it is a very hot day, this figure will increase. The rule is not entirely constant but a rough estimate, since all people are different.
The best way to know you’re getting enough water is when you’re urinating every two hours and your urine is colourless. If you only urinate a few times a day, and your urine is yellow, chances are you’re not getting enough water. The reason for this is when your body is short on water, it urinates less frequently in order to preserve water, and when the body urinates less frequently, toxins accumulate in the urine, giving it a yellow colour.
When one’s water requirements have not been met, one’s body becomes dehydrated. Dehydration is far worse than what most people suspect. People who have lived for many years without proper hydration tend to have toxins accumulate in their body.
When toxins accumulate in the body, after some time, they may cause a list of many chronic illnesses including (but definitely not exclusive to): heartburn, arthritis, back pain, angina, heart disease, migraines, colitis, stomach ulcers, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease,
These illnesses are in most cases initiated by years of dehydration. Chronic illnesses are most often accompanied by dehydration and in many cases caused by it. In fact, most viruses, bacteria, and other infectious substances cannot thrive in a well-hydrated body.
In most cases, there isn’t much use in treating an illness with a pharmaceutical drug, unless proper hydration has been met first. In fact, many drugs can have fatal side effects; they tend to kill thousands of people every year. Most pharmaceutical drugs, especially painkillers do not actually solve the problem, but rather hide it.
Consider this: if one’s back is in pain, it is often due to a lack of water in the intervertebral discs which support the backbones. When there is not enough water in these discs, the backbones are literally crushed onto each other, causing pain. When the person experiencing back pain takes medication, the problem with the intervertebral discs still exists, the only difference is that the pain is blocked, and this over time leads to irreversible damage.
In addition, most pharmaceutical drugs leach water from the body, further complicating the problem. Back pain is definitely not the only condition that is brought about by dehydration. Almost every part of the body will produce destructive and painful effects when receiving an insufficient water supply. Nevertheless, pain that was not caused by injury should be primarily interpreted as a possible cry for water.
Another big cry for water from your body is stress. Being 85% water, the brain needs more water than any other part of the body. Hence when one does not have sufficient water in his or her brain, the brain will reduce its energy consumption in order to preserve water.
When brain energy is reduced, emotional problems such as fear, anxiety, anger, lethargy and depression, will be much more prevalent. In fact, the most common cause of daytime fatigue is lack of water.
Other signs of dehydration include digestive disorders, such as constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, heartburn, and ulcers; and urinary disorders, such as kidney stones, and kidney failure. If the disorders are still in a minor stage, they can be effectively treated simply by rehydrating the body. If the disorders are in a more complex phase, additional treatment may be required, although sufficient water is still necessary.
The most common sign of dehydration is the thirst mechanism. The thirst mechanism, however, is problematic in the sense that after years or even months of dehydration, enzymes and proteins within dehydrated cells become so inefficient that they are no longer able to recognize the dehydrated state of the body. If this occurs, the thirst mechanism weakens tremendously and can actually be mistaken for hunger.
If people choose to rehydrate their body, they must, at all costs, avoid anything with caffeine. Most beverages containing caffeine are diuretics, which means that they steal more water from the body than they add. This is due to the fact that caffeine is a nerve toxin, requiring large quantities of water in order to remove it. It gets this water from your cells, hence dehydrating them.
Soft drinks, especially those containing caffeine are even stronger diuretics; drinks such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi can never actually quench thirst, and if someone were to constantly drink them, they would start mistaking their constant thirst with hunger. This false hunger, combined with the sodas, combined with the lack of water can lead to excessive weight gain and obesity.
Alcohol is also a very powerful diuretic; alcoholic beverages tend to steal tremendous amounts of water from the brain. If alcoholic beverages are being consumed repeatedly, many brain cells can become damaged and die; this can cause many vital brain functions to permanently slow down. Recovery is possible to some extent if alcohol consumption is ceased.
It seems ironic that there are countries where the water supply is exceedingly low, and people are dying daily due to water shortage. However, in countries such as Canada and the United States where water is abundant, people prefer to drink soda, coffee and alcohol which take water away from the body.
When you’re dehydrated, your body has to put up the fight of a lifetime. So why go through the trouble when you have the nutrient you need right at hand, in nearly unlimited quantities? Knowing all this, do yourself a favour and don’t wait; rehydrate.