Water is by far the most important resource in the world, yet it garners the respect of so few. How often do you find yourself standing with the fridge door open looking for something to drink – completely ignoring your jug of filtered water that sits before your eyes?
The truth is, water should always be the beverage of choice. While the human body can go about 3 weeks without food, it cannot survive for more than 3 days without water.
Water is essential to every bodily function. No other liquid can sustain your body like water, and the body needs a certain amount of water to function well.
About 80% of the human brain is water, blood contains 83% water, the lungs 79% and muscles 76%. All in all, the human body is comprised of about 75% water. Every function in the body is dependent on a steady supply and flow of water.
Water transports such things as hormones, chemicals and nutrients which are vital to efficient organ function. Without water we would not be able to digest or absorb minerals or nutrients and our kidneys would fail from toxic overload.
Water is, in fact, a sort of miracle elixir – but have you ever thought of it that way?
Here are just a few of the amazing things that water can do for your health:
- keep skin vibrant and supple
- escort toxins from the body
- support healthy metabolism
- improve energy
- remove body heat
- lubricate joints
- improve mental and physical performance
- support digestion
But hold on… we are just getting started. Water, yes, simple, plain old water, the same water that you might bypass for something more glamourous… not only sustains life but holds within it the capacity to heal. Here are sixteen illnesses that water can help prevent and reverse. We hope that after reading this article you will be convinced that water should ALWAYS be your first beverage of choice.
It is estimated that over 52 million adults in the United States have some form of arthritis – which literally means “joint inflammation”. The pain and discomfort of this condition varies from a minor inconvenience to a full-blown disability. Millions of dollars are spent on anti-inflammatory and pain medications that often have harsh side effects.
Persons suffering from arthritis are often subjected to a life sentence to these harsh drugs, but there may be a better way. The most important thing that someone with arthritis can do is to make sure that their joints are lubricated, and water can do this. Water not only lubricates but also pads joints and reduces the friction that causes pain.
A suction-like motion pulls water from bone marrow to the joint cavity; this helps joints glide easily. If there is not enough water available it causes friction and eventually pain. If you are severely dehydrated, dry cartilage can die and peel off from the contact surface of the bones.
Gout, being a form of arthritis, is also markedly improved if not completed kept at bay with a proper consumption of water. Water helps to remove uric acid and other toxins from joints that build-up causing swelling and pain.
This painful condition is characterized by low bone mass and a structural breaking down of bone tissue. Over 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and over 34 million have low bone mass – a precursor to this disease. Although there are certain risk factors that are out of our control, such as race and gender, there is much that we can control – such as how much water we consume. Water not only helps prevent this condition but it can also help sufferers cope.
Often called the silent killer, taking the lives of almost 2,200 people daily – yes, we said daily. Heart disease is rampant and we seem to be able to do little to control it. However, it appears as though there is a strong relationship between water and coronary health. One study demonstrated that drinking 5 or more glasses of water per day can cut the risk of dying from a heart attack by 50%. Study leaders say that drinking water is as important as exercising, not smoking and diet in preventing heart disease.
Constipation is an annoying and often painful condition that millions of Americans suffer from. If you have less than 3 stools per week you are constipated. If you have less than one stool a week, you are severely constipated.
The cause of constipation can be traced back to any number of things, including poor diet, medication, poor bowel habits, dehydration, hormonal disorders and laxative abuse. For many people, the discomfort of constipation becomes so great that they reach for over-the-counter medications for relief. Unfortunately, many of these medications only mask the symptoms and can make the problem worse.
It is important to consume a diet that contains healthy fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals, but it is equally important to consume adequate amounts of water. Not only does water help rid the body of toxins but it also supports healthy digestion. When you are hydrated, less water will be taken from the colon – leaving stools softer and easier to pass.
Many people have high blood pressure and don’t even know it. Of course such things as dropping a few pounds, adopting a healthy diet and exercising can all help keep blood pressure in its normal ranges – but did you know how important it is to drink water as well?
When you don’t consume enough water the body actually hangs on to sodium to preserve fluids. Dehydration forces the shutdown of capillary beds and puts a tremendous pressure on both capillaries and arteries which elevates blood pressure. So, staying well-hydrated is a very important part of keeping hypertension at bay.
Starve a fever – feed a cold, is a common saying we hear a lot. What about hydrate a fever instead? Having a fever actually means that the body is fighting off an illness or an infection and is a good sign that things aren’t quite right. Having a fever leads to dehydration because the body will drain water from cells. Fever causes fluid loss and it is paramount that you replace these fluids – water is the best choice. Dehydration can make symptoms worse and cause additional discomfort.
You may not think about your skin as an organ but in fact, it is the body’s largest organ and is comprised of cells that are made up of water. Just like any other organ, skin needs water to be healthy. Many skin conditions such as overly dry, flaky or blotchy skin may be the result of dehydration. Without adequate water, skin can age prematurely and develop a greater number of wrinkles.
One in three persons suffer from some kind of sleep disturbance, more commonly known as insomnia. Characterized by a persistent problem falling asleep or staying asleep, insomnia can interfere with your work and social life and also contribute to serious health conditions.
An alarming number of people turn to both prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills to ease their suffering. However, these pills are dangerous and can be highly addictive. Like so many other conditions, an adequate water intake is essential to reducing overall inflammation which can interfere with a good night’s sleep. When combined with a healthy diet, stress management and exercise, it is possible to develop a healthy sleeping routine without the use of medication.
Yeast infections, caused by a fungus, are annoying and can be very painful. Almost 75% of women will be impacted by one of these infections in their lifetime – some more than others. Although many people turn to garlic and yogurt to combat these infections, one of the best tools is actually pure and simple water.
The more water you drink, the more you flush out excess sugars that can cause yeast infections. If you are prone to yeast infections, adding plenty of water to a healthy diet along with managing stress can prove to be one of the most effective tools for keeping infections at bay.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, MD., Americans suffer over one billion colds each year. Oh the dreaded cold; runny nose, sore throat, lack of energy and the host of other uncomfortable symptoms that go with it drag so many people down.
Over-the-counter drugs only seem to keep symptoms at bay – and some, don’t do this very well. The truth be known, once you get a cold virus there is very little you can do but ride it out as comfortably as possible.
However, you can do things to keep a cold from turning your life upside down in the first place – including washing hands and eating a healthy diet. While you may do these things, it is easy to forget that one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy is to replace lost fluids with water. Water helps to flush out toxins and also helps the body to produce mucus. When fighting off a cold, the body needs more water than usual and can easily get dehydrated.
According to French researchers, drinking four or more 8 ounce glasses of water per day can prevent the development of high blood sugar – a condition known as prediabetes. One in three Americans have this dangerous precursor to diabetes.
Researchers state that a hormone called vasopressin (an antidiuretic hormone) helps to balance water retention. When we become dehydrated, the levels of this hormone increase which causes the kidneys to conserve water. Studies indicate that there are vasopressin receptors in the liver – which produces glucose in the body and that higher levels of vasopressin may cause a rise in blood sugar.
Although the bladder passes fluids from the body – it needs water to do its job. The elastic muscle fibers of the bladder allow it to expand and store up to 750 ml of fluid. Pressure on the bladder walls trigger the need to urinate. Bladder infections are the result of bacteria entering the urine, which in turn creates the same urge to urinate as a full bladder. Consuming 6-8 glasses of water each day can help keep the bladder healthy and free from bacteria.
A proper supply of water helps to keep the kidneys functioning properly. Kidneys, along with the liver and urinary tract, are responsible for ridding the body of toxic materials. If the kidneys stop doing its job for just two days, metabolic toxins would accumulate and cause poisoning. When bacteria and proteins build up, stones (crystals) form – these are very painful and can be difficult to pass. Studies indicate that dehydration can increase the chance of stones to develop.
Asthma and Seasonal Allergies
According to studies, a lack of water vapor in the lungs can cause airways to constrict and produce mucus – this can bring on an asthma attack. For this reason it is vital that persons suffering with asthma drink plenty of water each day. At least ten 8 ounce glasses are recommended.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it is also highly important to stay hydrated. Drinking water helps the body flush out irritants, thins mucus and helps with sinus drainage.
What kind of water should I drink?
There are some people who drink enough water but are not consuming the right water. Perhaps you are under the assumption that your tap water is safe because the government says it is safe? In fact, your tap water might contain up to 80 so called “regulated” contaminants and many unregulated toxins.
Perhaps you purchase bottled water in an attempt to stay safe, however, there is a major problem with deceptive labelling in the bottled water industry.
Don’t be fooled by marketing campaigns that state that the water is from a spring or pristine pool. Bottled water is just water and a very, very big business. Each year, over $75 billion dollars are spent on bottled water.
Bottled water in the United States falls under the authority of the FDA. Since over 70% of bottled water never crosses a state line for sale, it is exempt from the scrutiny of the FDA.
Tests done on bottled water have turned up traces of carcinogenic compounds, pharmaceuticals, fluoride, and arsenic to name a few. Bottled water is not a good value and creates mounds and mounds of trash that ends up in our oceans and landfills, no matter how much we recycle.
Toxins in Drinking Water
Known as an extremely dangerous toxin, fluoride is added to water sources including municipal water as well as bottled water. Adding fluoride to water has been banned in other countries but remains a common practice in many American cities; although some have rejected this practice since as early as 1990.
Arsenic is a heavy, toxic metal that is classified by the International Academy for Research on Cancer as a Category l carcinogen. This means that it is a known cancer causing metal. The Environmental Protection Agency set the acceptable standard for arsenic at 10 parts per billion in tap water. Many states exceed this standard.
Inhaling chlorine is dangerous to health and ingesting it is even more so. Chlorine is added to water to kill certain bacteria. Once chlorine enters the body, it joins with other compounds to form Trihalomethanes which trigger free radical damage. In a recent study, chlorine was added to the water supply of rats who developed tumors in their intestines, liver and kidneys.
The United States Council of Environmental Quality, states that people who consume water with chlorine have an over 90% higher risk of developing cancer than those who don’t. Even after the results of this and other similar studies have been presented before the government, chlorine continues to be added to water.
So, after reading this you may be thinking, what should I drink if I cannot drink tap or bottled water? Here are a few options; as with anything, be sure that these options are suitable for your needs and do your research before making a purchase. Some systems are better than others at removing harmful contaminants. Arrange to have your tap water tested so that you know what it is you need to filter out.
There are a few options to consider when it comes to improving the quality of your drinking water. A whole house water filtration system may set you back a few bucks, but it is worth it in the long run. A good system will filter multiple impurities including chlorine from your entire water supply and requires only minor maintenance like changing the filter.
Reverse osmosis systems, either countertop, under the counter or whole house types can be costly and actually strip water of just about everything, including healthy trace minerals. Do not use a reverse osmosis filter system unless you are going to supplement your diet with trace minerals. Pitcher filtration systems that go in the refrigerator are inexpensive, but many often fall short of removing all water contaminants. However, we have found one type of pitcher filtration system that actually does work and leaves the water tasting amazing.
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How much water should I drink?
If your urine has low odor and is pale colored, you are most likely on track. Some health practitioners say to aim for at least ten glasses a day, while others recommend half of your body weight in ounces.
Of course, if you are working out or spending time outdoors in the heat, it is essential that you replace water lost due to perspiration. You can also pull the skin on the top of your hand to see if it bounces back. If it stays up for a while, grab a glass or two of water, your tank is probably low.
So, it is clear, the next time you really want something to drink – push the soda, fruity juice concoctions, energy drinks, etc. aside and satisfy yourself with pure and natural water – your body will thank you.
-The Alternative Daily