I know it may seem obvious to suggest that water is a very crucial element to the human body, however do we really pay attention to our personal water consumption? Often times I realize that I may be a bit dehydrated due to being busy and I neglect to consume enough water for my body’s personal needs. So I’d like to give a basic overview of the role of water in the body.
Water is the most important macronutrient for the human body. About 60% of our body mass is comprised of water. Water is needed in all bodily fluids and is involved in almost every bodily function. Water cannot be stored in the body. We can produce about 8% of our bodies water needs through biochemical processes in the body. The remaining 92% must be consumed through foods and beverages in the diet. Without clean water we could not experience optimum health.
The Many Roles of Water
- water improves oxygen delivery to the cells
- water helps to keep the blood thin and free flowing
- water helps to transport nutrients throughout the body
- water enables our cells to be hydrated
- water cushions our bones and joints
- water acts as a shock absorber to our joints and organs
- water helps us regulate our body temperature, if we are dehydrated we can become overheated or have heat stroke
- water keeps our lymph free flowing so it can properly remove wastes and toxins.
- water prevents our tissues from adhering and sticking together
- water lubricates our joints, some of the most mature signs of dehydration is joint pain
- water helps to improve the way our cells communicate
- water is a conductor, so it helps the cells to talk to each other and communicate
- water helps to maintain electrical properties of the cells
- water empowers the body’s natural healing process
So those things realized, it’s clear how crucial water is to our body. Understanding how much water we individually require can vary. Many things can affect how much water you may need, such as climate, activity level, diet, weight and even what medicines you may take. If you are consuming anything that acts like a diuretic in the body, such as coffee, alcohol, fruit juice and many medicines, you will need to replace the water that was lost. A general rule of thumb is to divide your body weight in half and that will give you the minimum amount of water you should drink per day. However, you do not want to exceed a gallon per day, as too much water can actually cause dehydration since it simply depletes the body of minerals. Your kidneys will simply flush out the water and other nutrients if you are drinking too much water.
It’s a good idea to sip on water slowly all day long. Add some lemon juice to help alkalize the body and a pinch of sea salt to get some electrolytes in. Filtered water is becoming the best option as most tap water contains chlorine, fluoride, chemicals, bacteria and heavy metals. It takes a lot of water to digest our foods. We need to be hydrated for optimal digestion, and if you’ve spent any time reading my blog you know how crucial digestion is to overall health.
Filtering Your Water
Carbon block filters are the best overall option and usually the most affordable type of filter you can buy. When searching for a water filter to purchase be sure to look for the NSF approved filters. Water Filter Comparisons is a great website to search and compare many brands of water filters. Check out this chart that compares many known brands and varieties of water filters to see where yours may fall in its overall effectiveness. Two brands of filters that are recommended by the staff at NTA are AquaPure and Multi Pure. Those may be worth checking into if you are in the market for a new water filter for your home.
You may think purchasing bottled water is a safer option than drinking tap, but that is not true. Bottled water is less regulated than tap water and many bottled waters are nothing more than filtered tap water. The cost implications of purchasing bottled water should be enough to deter folks from this habit, but as far as the health implications we need to realize labeling is not all it’s cracked up to be, and ad campaigns can be very convincing. The following video shares excellent insight as to why the bottle water industry is not geared towards our health, but really just interested in profit.
Finally, a great site to check out is watercure.com. In his book, ‘Your Body’s Many Cries for Water‘, Dr. Batmanghelidj shares how to overcome many health maladies simply by consuming more water. Let him teach you how to recognize the different signals of thirst and when your body is really trying to tell you that you just need more water.
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