November 22, 2017

Habit 2 Part 2 Not Drinking Enough Water

magic glassNext lets look at how much water you drink.

It is said that water is the elixir of life and this is very true. The human body is made up of approximately 75% requiring more water than any other organ to function properly. In fact the brain itself is composed of 83% water, the heart 79%, liver 90%, blood 83% and bone just 35% water.

Water is needed everywhere in the body, it is in every cell. It is even part of our bodies energy system, acting like little hydro-electric pumps managing the flow into and out of everyone of the bodies cells. Most people don’t realise this, they think of water in the body in relation to perspiration, breathing (you see the water vapour when you see your breath on a cold winters day) digestion and elimination. Most people know that if it is hot day or they are exercising they need to increase their fluid intake, but the reality of water and the effect of imbalance in the levels in the body are actually much more complex and far reaching.

Normal everyday bodily functions like those listed above require 2 litres of water per day. This water must come from our food and drink.  In reality too many people do not drink adequate amounts of water and they also drink too many caffeinated drinks, which have a side effect of causing the body to shed water (diuretic effect). Just a 1% drop in the normal level of hydration will have an effect on your body’s ability to function effectively.

So how do you know that you are not drinking enough water?

The first sign that you water levels are out of balance is fatigue. You start to yawn and have difficulty concentrating. If at this point you don’t drink a glass of water then your working memory starts to malfunction and you will have trouble remembering information. So next time you can’t remember something like a person’s name or a word for something stop and have a glass of water to help rehydrate your brain.

Another sign that you are dehydrated is a headache and again a glass of water should always be the first remedy for a headache. Followed by 10 minutes walk in the fresh air. Then and only then if you still have a headache should you take medication.

Dry eyes and mood swings are also signs of dehydration. At this point your body is pulling water from every available source to meet essential demands because you are not drinking enough water. If this continues imbalances at a cellular level lead to malfunctions and disease.

Interestingly the thirst sensation doesn’t kick in until you are nearly 2% dehydrated. And as we get older the thirst sensation decreases in sensitivity so people over 50 years of age are even more dehydrated by they time they are thirsty.  Research estimates that 50 -75% of the population is dehydrated.

In many cases signs of dehydration are mistaken for common ailments such as:

  1. Constipation
  2. When water is needed the gut is one of the first places water is pulled from. Ideally you should pass a medium soft stool after every meal. Most people only pass one per day. Constipation is when the stools are hard and/or difficult to past
  3. Fatigue Water is a source of energy for the body at a cellular level, in effect it is providing a kind of hydroelectric power moving water through osmosis in and out of the cell. This is why one of the early signs of dehydration is fatigue.
  4. Digestive disturbances Dehydration reduces the secretion of digestive juices and can lead to such problems as indigestion and acid reflux. So first line remedy for indigestion is a glass of water.
  5. High Blood Pressure The blood is 83% water. When you are dehydrated the blood is thicker which makes it harder for the heart to pump and move around the body. When the heart as to work hard for a long period of time blood pressure rises.
  6. Joint aches and pains Cartilage is found in joints. It is part of the cushioning or shock absorption system for the body. Cartilage is mainly water so when you are dehydrated the cartilage becomes fragile and weakens. Therefore it is more likely to be damaged.
  7. Skin Problems
  8. The skin is the body’s largest organ of elimination. When you are dehydrated the movement of toxins through the skin is sluggish leading to break out of spots, wrinkles and premature aging.
  9. Weight gain. When the body is dehydrated it stores toxins in fat cells. These fat cells cannot be broken down until the toxins have been diluted and removed. So to aid fat metabolism stay hydrated
  10. Lose of memory and mental focus. As we have said the brain contains a very high percentage of water. If we are even mildly dehydrated then memory and concentration are affected.
  11. Liver and kidney problems. These organs are responsible for processing toxins and need water for this process to take place effectively. When you are dehydrated toxins start to accumulate. This is thought to ead to inflammation, infection and pain.
  12. Breathing Problems. Water is lost from the body as we breathe through water vapour. The vital moisture in the lining of the nasal passages and lungs is more vulnerable to dust and allergens when the body is dehydrated. Also the body will attempt to reduce further water loss by restricting the airways.

Renowned physician Dr Batmagheldi believes that the first treatment for any ailment should be a glass of water and an assessment of drinking habits. And I agree with him, in many cases simply addressing lifestyle habits like drinking caffeinated drinks and how much water the client drinks can be life changing in terms of health, vitality and wellbeing.

Tips on Drinking More Water

  1. Start each day with a glass of water. Take it up to bed with you the night before and drink it before you get up to go to the bathroom. It helps rehydrate you after the long night of  dehydration and fasting.
  2. Have half a glass whenever you are waiting for the kettle to boil when you are making a hot drink.
  3. Have half a glass whenever you come back to your desk from the bathroom.
  4. Have half a glass before you eat a meal. This helps your digestion.
  5. Make sure you get a glass of water when you head into a meeting.
  6. If you feel tired and are yawning have a glass of water, chances are you are dehydrated.
  7. If you have a problem remembering something, have a glass of water as the chances are you are dehydrated.
  8. Every time you pass a water cooler, stop and have a glass.
  9. If you are hungry have a glass of water, its more likely that you are thirsty rather than hungry.
  10. If you are a big tea or coffee drinker replace every other cup of hot drink with a glass of water or a mug of hot water.
  11. When you go for a walk take a bottle of water with you and sip as you go to stay hydrated.
  12. Keep a water chart and reward yourself when you reach your target of 2 litres minimum per day.
  13. If you still don’t like the taste of water then add in a small quantity of something like Natures Sunshines Liquid Chlorophyll which adds a minty taste and helps make your body more alkaline . This is meant to have great benefits.
  14. When the advert breaks are on the TV in the evening have a few sips of water. By the end of a 2 hour drama you will have drunk a whole glass.
  15. Finish your day with a glass of water before you head off to bed.

 

Enjoy drinking your water and let me know how you get on.

Wishing you ultimate wellbeing.

 

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