Restoring Health One Glass
Of Water At A Time
How often do you drink a glass of water? If you're like most people, you very
rarely consume water on its own.
Most of us prefer a soft drink
(pop) or a cup of tea or coffee whenever we feel thirsty. And while obviously there is water
present in each of these beverages, they also contain a number of potentially harmful
Soft drinks contain sugar (or sugar substitutes), tea contains caffeine and tannin, and coffee
contains caffeine as well as a large number of questionable chemicals.
Why is water consumption so important?
Water is the second most essential component for survival after fresh air. We can live for weeks
without food but we can't survive more than a few days without water.
Water is composed of one hydrogen atom and two oxygen atoms (H2O). Your body are composed of
between 55% to 78% water, depending on body size, while your cells are composed of 60-70%
Your body needs water to perform all kinds of functions:
What happens when you don't drink enough water?
- Water acts as a solvent within the body and performs an essential role in
many metabolic processes. Metabolism refers to the chemical reactions that allow the body
to grow, reproduce, maintain its structures, and respond to its environment. The
processes of metabolism require water to break down organic matter for both energy and
constructing components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids.
- Your cells utilize the oxygen in water and oxidize the hydrogen in the
process of cellular respiration – taking in energy and eliminating waste.
- Water is used to neutralize excess stomach acids.
- Water aids in the utilization of enzymes, biomolecules that convert
biochemical substances into more usable forms.
- Water aids in elimination by keeping waste matter soft.
When your body doesn't get a sufficient amount of water each day, it enters into a state called
The symptoms of dehydration (from mild to severe) include:
Although these symptoms may also have other causes, if you begin drinking a glass of
water more frequently during the day, you'll soon discover whether dehydration is a factor in your
condition or not.
|loss of appetite
flushing (with exertion)
low physical endurance
elevated body temperature
swelling of the tongue
decreased blood pressure
rapid heart rate
How often should you drink a glass of water?
How much water do you actually need every day? As with many aspects of health and well-being, there
is range of expert opinion on the subject. Here are a few of the main recommendations:
All of these recommendations allow for 20% of your water intake being provided by the foods
you eat, so they're not actually claiming that you need to drink a glass of water 15 times a day.
Most fruits and vegetables (excluding root vegetables) have a high water content.
- While there is no scientific basis for this figure, nutritionists have always advised
drinking around 8 glasses of water (2 pints or 2 liters) per day, to be increased in warm
weather and when exercising.
- Medical opinion favors a lower consumption, typically 1 liter (4 glasses) of water for an
average male, with allowances made for more strenuous activity.
- In 1945 the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended one
milliliter of water for each calorie of food, including water contained in prepared foods. How
a person should accurately calculate this is another issue, but, more recently, the Board
overcame this obstacle by specifying a daily intake of 2.7 liters (11 glasses) for women and
3.7 liters (15 glasses) for men, including food sources.
- The Institute of Medicine recommends 2.2 liters (9 glasses) for women and 3.0 liters (12
glasses) for men. In addition, the Institute recommends 2.4 liters (approx. 9 glasses) for
pregnant women and 3 liters (approx. 12.5 glasses) for breastfeeding women.
Reducing these recommendations by 20%, you could conceivably modify the 8 glasses a day figure to
Can you drink too much water?
Yes. Some people drink far more water than they need while exercising. The result of excess water
consumption is known as water intoxication or hyperhydration, and can cause death in extreme cases.
Recently, a young university student died as a result of a hazing ritual that required him to drink
water continuously for a period of several hours. His classmates were charged with
How does your body lose water?
Your body excretes water through the urinary and elimination tracts, via sweating, and through
water vapor in the breath. With greater activity and heat exposure, your water loss increases and
needs to be replaced.
What kind of water should you drink?
Your body needs a daily supply of fresh water, free of impurities like metal salts and harmful
In the past, when we lived more rural lifestyles, the water that we drank was from streams and
wells. It was free of pollutants and contained many minerals our bodies need to function. But as we
moved into the industrial age the quality of our water began to deteriorate, and when we moved from
the countryside to the cities, the type of water we drank was no longer pure. The water that we
drink now, if we drink it from the tap, is generally filled with toxins, bacteria, and all kinds of
contaminants, and it can often do us more harm than good.
In many countries clean water is becoming scarcer, and, combined with poor sanitation, has led to a
life-threatening situation. Drinking polluted water is responsible for over 5 million deaths a
What about bottled water?
In recent years, commercially bottled water has become a major industry. Unfortunately, the
regulations concerning this industry are often ineffective. In Australia, a study of 30 brands of
bottled water revealed that 12 of them contained an unacceptable level of bromate, a chemical
compound that can cause diarrhea, nausea, depression of the central nervous system, kidney failure
and deafness. In addition, the use of ozone to treat any lingering bacteria or viruses in bottled
water can leave traces of bromate.
Under the regulations, spring or mineral water must come from underground sources but it can be
treated with ozone or chlorine before bottling.
Australian Brands that don't use ozone to purify water include:
How to drink your daily quota of water
Aqua Pure Spring Water
Aussie Natural Spring Water
Black and Gold
Black Marble Mountain
Cooroy Mountain Spring Water
Margaret River Spring Water
Origin Spring Water
Peats Ridge Springs
Royal Harvest Spring Water
Ultra Pure Water
If you have any of the symptoms of dehydration, you need to increase your water consumption as
quickly as possible. But the challenge is to find a way to incorporate drinking more water into
your daily routine without it being a chore, or something you have to think about too much. A
simple method we use works like this:
Even if you start with one glass of water a day, then over the next few weeks add another
glass of water each week until you reach a total of 6-8 glasses, you should begin to notice some
positive changes in how you feel within a short period of time.
- Fill three or four 16-oz bottles with water every morning.
- Place the bottles in your work area (where you can see them).
- Drink one glass of water per hour, starting at 9am.
By 2pm-4pm you'll have consumed your 6-8 glasses.
You can experiment with adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to your glass of water, which won't
negate the benefits and may actually enhance them.
Health Essential #3: Nutrition
It's important that you consult with a qualified health professional before
embarking on any new dietary or exercise regimen.
Gathering information online is fine for research purposes, but you need a real
live professional to monitor your progress if you attempt to make drastic changes
to your lifestyle. Unless you're a health professional yourself, you aren't
equipped to objectively observe your body's responses to a new diet or exercise
program. So whatever your chosen course of action, please be sure you enlist the
support of a qualified professional.
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