The Nine Essentials of Health #8: Drink Plenty of Filtered Water A Day
Water; oh, how I love thee. Let me count the ways…one…two…three…four…etc…
Water is one of five ancient elements that early philosophers believed made up the Universe. The ancient alchemists placed water in the second step of the purification process, dissolution, right after fire and its process, calcination.
Mystically, water is considered a conductor – a medium between the worlds of the physical and the spiritual. Myths of gods and goddesses worldwide speak of journeys over or in water to visit the lands of the dead, the spirit world, renewal and rebirth.
Chemically, water is considered the universal solvent. Because of its H2O polarity (each molecule looks like Mickey Mouse – remember?), it has the ability to break up all kinds of compounds; in fact, it dissolves more substances than any other type of known liquid.
It has surface tension, so we can float paper boats on it, and it tastes so good when we’re thirsty!
The reason water tastes so good when we are thirsty is because 75-85% of our bodies are made of water. Imagine that – most of what makes us who we are is just one compound!
Physically, water, by itself (pure H2O), is not a good conductor of electricity. However, it is a great solvent; and in nature, contains minerals and ions that make it a great conductor of electrical signals. Our bodies – in particular, our nervous systems – contain sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These are the very ions that fire the electrical signals that our neurons use to transmit signals. Once the water in our bodies contain these ions it will conduct neural electricity throughout our bodies as this electricity seeks out oppositely-charged ions in the water.The nervous system, made up of neurons and supporting cells that collectively constitute the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, controls all bodily functions and make sure they run smoothly together. It controls the functions of our every system of our bodies – our hormones and neurotransmitters, our muscles, our digestive systems, our immune systems, our emotional systems, our heart, our lungs, our sexual system – everything!
Neurons use electromagnetic fields to conduct the power it takes to run these systems. The nervous system is literally our electric wiring, and the reason why we have life.
Water is essential to this life process. Ionized water, because it is such a fantastic solvent, will conduct electricity in all directions at once. Therefore, when we have a thought, thanks to the medium of water, our bodies respond instantaneously to the electrical charge that carries the thought.
Isn’t that great? Isn’t that amazing? Our bodies are frickin’ amazing! Water conducts our life through our bodies the way that water carries our souls through the stuff of myth and legend! Fantastic! Doesn’t that fact alone make you want to go to chiropractic school? Doesn’t it make you want to go back to school and study ancient philosophy, history, and mythology? Doesn’t it make you want to get a drink of water?
*Ahem.* Anyway, if we don’t have adequate water intake in our bodies, we do not have proper conduction of neuronal signals, so none of the systems of our bodies work as well as they should. That’s why your chiropractor cares about water intake. What is good for our nervous systems makes us chiropractors happy.
Here’s some fun facts about water and the body:
The standard model is that we should drink ½ our body weight in ounces of water a day. There is controversy about this. I say that it is a good standard. The more active you are, the more water you need; but we shouldn’t stray far from the above model day-to-day.
For example, a kid who is 86 pounds should drink 43 ounces (5 ½ cups) of filtered water a day – not juice, not coffee, not sports drinks.
Many people ask me about drinking sports drinks in lieu of water. For most people, nothing replaces clean, filtered water for healthy hydration; however, if you are a power athlete, some quality sports drinks can help you improve performance and rate of hydration. High carbohydrate drinks (more than 10% carbohydrate) are best before high-intensity exercise; hydrating sports drinks (4-9% carbohydrate, 10-25 mmol/l sodium) are meant to be consumed during and after training.
This is not so for the occasional or not-so-occasional exerciser. Water is better for you.
Don’t give your child sports drinks, because developing bodies absorb liquids differently than adults, and the ratio of sodium to glucose in the drinks affect their rate of fluid absorption.
In both children and adults, higher exercise intensities slow the rate at which fluids and fuels are digested. However, this occurs to an even greater extent in children who are exercising at high intensities, and the maximum amount of fluid that a child can absorb per hour while training will be about 20-24 ounces.
Water is a food. We do not get enough of it, especially during workouts
Fluid loss during exercise can equate to weight loss just after the workout. You do not want to lose water weight directly post-workout! If you weigh 2 pounds less just after exercise, you have lost 2 pounds of water.
Sweat rate is heavily influenced by:
– exercise intensity
– ambient temperature (rm. temp)
For Your Kids: Proper Mineral Balance and Hydration
A direct threat to heart health is electrolyte imbalance, which can occur when we are dehydrated and not eating enough of the right nutrients. Remember: muscle, including the heart, is 75%-85% water.
The heart, in particular, has its own electric circuitry that is regulated by proper hydration and electrolyte balance. In particular, children become dehydrated much more quickly than adults, and the dehydration and electrolyte deficiency that can occur during athletic training and sport events can be dangerous, even life-threatening.
Water levels and minerals like sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphate in proper quantities and ratios are all necessary for the heart to function properly.
Sweat losses during 2 hours of exercise can equal 2 liters (68 ounces) of fluid or more. For this duration, your child should drink 8 oz (1 cup) of filtered water every 15 minutes! The child needs to replenish during training in order to keep hydration at proper levels.
A good rule of thumb for your child athlete is the following chart:
- 2 hours before exercise, 2-3+ cups
- 15 minutes before exercise, 1-2+ cups
- Every 15 minutes during exercise, 1 cup
- After exercise, 2-3 cups for every pound lost
Source: American College of Sports Medicine Position Paper, 2006
Keeping Up with Our Hydration Status
Monitor urine color (should be a light straw color).
- 1- 3 is good. If your urine is clear, you’re drinking too much water.
- 4-8, not enough.
If your urine is regularly 8, you definitely need to improve your relationship with water and possibly see your primary care physician.
Focus on fluids all day, not just during workouts and practice.
Water and Heartburn
Acids washing back from the stomach into the esophagus primarily cause heartburn. Too much water too fast can overfill your stomach and back up stomach acids, instigating heartburn. If this happens to you, sip room temperature water throughout the day (very cold water can tighten your esophagus).
Although this does not work with everyone, master vocalist Alice Garrott recently informed me that, for some of her clients with chronic heartburn, drinking 1-2 glasses of room-temperature water upon waking actually helps them overcome their heartburn by washing wayward acids from the esophagus back into the stomach. (for more information on Alice Garrott’s remarkable voice training services, visit (http://www.instantvocaltransformation.com/recommendationstestimonials/).
Muscle Cramps and Bruising
If you suffer from muscle cramps that lead to bruising, an electrolyte solution can help. Here is a good one by Designs for Health (available at a 10% discount to my patients – click here):
Electrolyte Synergy Grape Flav 30 pkt (ELS350)
Brand: Designs for Health
Electrolyte Synergy Grape Flavor 30 packet
Serving Size: 1 packet (11.5 grams)
Servings per Container: 30
Amount per Serving:
Retail Price: $28.00
In the fluorinated water controversy, I am squarely in the “don’t put fluoride in my water” camp. Without getting too far into it here, just consider the following: Fluoride is a known poison. Using fluoride toothpaste is considered adequate protection for our teeth by the American Dental Association (I don’t use fluoride toothpaste — see Nine Essentials for Health #8: Brush and Floss! for details). There is a poison control warning on fluoride toothpaste, and we are admonished to spit fluoride toothpaste out after brushing rather than swallow it, to protect us from the hazardous internal effects of fluoride. So…tell me again: why do we want or need fluoride in our drinking water?
The last is a rhetorical question.
Carbon filters like Brita® and Pur® are much better to use than buying most bottled water, and better for the environment. However, they do not remove fluoride from water. Fluoride is a very small molecule, and it take specialized equipment to remove it from water.
Reverse Osmosis Filtration
Reverse osmosis filters are used by some companies to remove fluoride and other impurities from their water. They are really expensive, so they are uncommon for personal use. You should know that not all bottled water is defluourinated. Look to make certain the bottled water uses reverse osmosis filtration.
Activated Alumina Defluoridation Filter
These are financially accessible to the general public. They need to be replaced frequently, but they do remove fluoride from home faucets. They range in price from $30-$200 per cartridge.
Distilling water removes most, if not all, of fluoride in water, as well as everything else. Not all distilled water is packaged as drinking water, so check the label before buying it. There is some controversy around distilled water regarding the leeching of minerals out of the body. Chemically, that is highly unlikely.
For Water Conservation: Laminar Flow Faucet Aerators
Laminar flow types are used in hospitals and medical clinics to prevent airborne bacteria from entering the water. They also are water savers because they restrict the flow of water from the tap without reducing water pressure. If you use an aerator on your water taps you can reduce the amount of water you use by more than 50%. You can purchase a tap aerator at most hardware stores and plumbing outlets, but make sure you are choosing the right insert for your flow rate. For instance, a 5 liter a minute aerator should be fitted to bathroom sinks, while a 7.6 liter a minute aerator is suitable for kitchen and laundry sinks.
There is so much more, and so many claims regarding ionization, oxidization, water cures, detoxification, and more. There are many documentaries covering these controversies so you can decide at your leisure how you want to proceed. Check out this site for documentaries on water, and go to the home page to discover many awesome documentaries on almost every subject you can think of: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/search/?results=water.
I’ll come back to aspects of water intake in future blog posts. In the meantime, again; drink close to ½ of your body weight in ounces of water a day – more or less as you exercise or are exposed to hot weather.
Next time: Nine Essentials of Health #9: Make Weekly Bodywork a Priority; in Particular, Chiropractic
Truthtime question: How much water are you drinking a day, on average?
Posted on 01/04/2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Drink, Drinking water, Environment, Health, Mickey Mouse, Physical exercise, Sports drink, Water, Water filter, Water ionizer, Water purification. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.