With water so plentiful around us, usually people question only the quality of water. Hardly anyone asks you seriously, whether you think you drink ENOUGH water. They ask, instead, what TYPE of water you drink, if they ask at all. Typically, the people who ask what type of water you drink have some sort of a water filter to sell.
I’m not selling water filters!
You can find many sources of information about the dangers of chlorine in our water, or the evils of fluoridation. There are, even, other cancer-causing agents added to our water by those who care less for your health than for their profit.
That is NOT the subject in this Viewpoint. I am writing about why you should drink more water than you are! I included some sixty pages about WATER in a Book I wrote -- about heart disease! You might ask why is there a Section of that Book about the importance of drinking more water.
The answer is intriguing!
One reason is that you can prevent, even reverse, symptoms of heart disease with water alone!
That seems such a preposterous statement that I waited until I’d already written 200+ pages in that Book to spring it on the reader. YOU are getting that statement on this FIRST page. It does sound incredible, but hang on because by the end of these few pages I think you’ll have such a new understanding of water that you will see how, in fact, drinking more water can reduce the chances of your having a stroke or heart attack!
You need not worry much about the quality of water until you are drinking as much as your body needs to stay healthy. That’s why it’s the wrong question (What type of water should I drink?). When you spend time on worrying about what type of water to drink and you don’t know how much you should drink and why, you are, indeed, putting the cart before the horse.
Yes, I’m claiming, even without knowing you personally, that you are not drinking enough water every day to keep healthy – I’m claiming that whatever health problems you may have, and no matter what OTHER source they may have, fundamental to all of them is that your body is trying to operate with less water intake than it needs and wants.
That is the subject of this Viewpoint!
How Much Water Should You Drink?
So, how much do I think you SHOULD be drinking? Ten or more glasses per day!
Let’s start with a simple definition of a "glass of water." That’s about eight ounces. It should be considered "plain," not flavored or with fizzy bubbles. Coca Cola is NOT water. Actually, when you drink Coke or any soda drink, or coffee, or tea, you THINK you are getting a lot of water into your body. It seems true.
But the real truth is that the other ingredients in these beverages are often harmful to the body, and, whether harmful or not, virtually all beverages increase the body’s need for water by MORE than the water taken in as part of these beverages.
Thus, it takes MORE than one glass of plain water to provide what the body needs to handle one glass of Coke!
So, now that we are measuring in regular 8-ounce glasses of plain water, how would my recommendation of 10 glasses per day stack up?
I’ve done surveys. Here are the results:
There will be about 10% who never drink one plain glass of water during the day. They have justifications, such as the orange juice, beer, coffee or milk they drink. These people are in deep trouble! There will be about 30% who drink one or two glasses per day. There are about 40% who drink from three to five glasses per day – water, not other beverages. There will be about 15% who drink six to nine glasses per day. There will be about 5% who drink ten or more glasses per day.
You’d find, if you looked at the people in these various categories, that those groups drinking the most water have the least illness.
You’d find those 40% of all people, drinking three or less glasses per day, take about 75% of all the drugs and medications of the entire US population! Yes, most of the drugs, most of the illness, attach to the vast majority of people -- drinking less than three plain glasses of water per day.
People on welfare drink much less water than affluent people. Surely is not because water is more plentiful in rich people’s homes!
Drugs & Illness - Increase Your Need Of Water!
Drugs, too, greatly increase the body’s need for plain water.
Almost every illness you have increases the body’s need for water.
Now, I’ve not even started explaining WHY this is true, or what goes on inside the body when you don’t have enough water, but I wanted to get your attention.
People who drink three or less glasses of water per day tend to be much more overweight than those drinking ten or more!
If you took a group of 100 people, each of them drinking less than three glasses of water per day, you’d find many of those people with serious medical problems.
If you took another group, people each drinking ten or more glasses of water per day, the percentage of THEM having serious medical problems would be very much lower!
Water Does Not Cure Disease – Quite!
I’m not saying that water cures disease. I am saying that when you get ill, for any reason, the body’s need for water increases AND your inclination often is to actually drink less water. If I could get you to change this one attitude about water, I would have done my miracle for the week! If, after reading this Viewpoint, you decide to give water a try, I think you’ll become a believer! You can do this without a doctor’s advice! Really!
This last point is one often missed in "self care." We are often too prone to depend on so-called experts, and doubt our own good sense. Hardly any doctor would ever disagree with your drinking more water – BUT, hardly any doctor would ever go out of his way to insist that you do!
And most doctors don’t even know the important data about the role of water in the body. You’ll see, after reading this Viewpoint, and applying some simple tests in your own life, how you can determine whether or not YOU need to drink more water. You’ll be able to figure out, also, how much water YOU should drink.
Why Don’t You Already Know This Data?
Once you understand the data in this Viewpoint you will realize that there is virtually NO traditional doctor who would benefit financially from encouraging you to follow the suggestions here.
Heart disease kills more people than any other disease. People see their doctors about heart-related problems very often. You may not know it, but there are very rote, government-promoted techniques of handling people with the symptoms of heart disease.
The sequence is simple. The doctor says: Improve your diet and lose weight. They know it won’t help much to tell you that, and they know very few people will benefit even if they do it. Next, if you are a failed dieter, they suggest group therapy! They know, for sure, that won’t help, but they are trying hard to make you feel guilty so that when, finally, you have failed at their "sensible" suggestions, you’ll be ready to cave in to the drug.
Next, they get into the money. They recommend drugs – Mevacor for the rest of your life, at a tidy $125 per month. If that doesn’t work, and you have enough "health" insurance, they get you with by-pass surgery.
Water, drinking enough, could greatly reduce the need for these foolish treatments.
But, the doctor doesn’t suggest water, he suggests drugs. So, reluctantly, you give up on the "natural way" and accept the doctor’s recommendation for pills. You start on the drugged route to health! Unfortunately, there isn’t any way you can get there on that road.
So, don’t be surprised that the information you are reading here has not been offered to you before.
The first thing to know about water in the body is that there is a lot of it. In fact the body is about 75% water and 25% solid materials. When we consider "blood," we may not think of that as mostly water, but it is. More than 90% of the blood is simple water.
There is also another entire system of another liquid in the body – called the lymph system – again virtually 100% water. The lymph moves around inside the body carrying away toxins from places they shouldn’t be at.
Almost any reference book you look at will describe water in the body as the stuff that dissolves and carries the really important things around.
Here, for instance, is a typical quote:
Water dissolves and transports other nutrients throughout the body, aiding the processes of digestion, absorption, circulation, and excretion. It helps regulate body temperature.
If that were all, or even the most important thing, that water does in the body, I’d have nothing to write about here.
The above statement is true, but it represents about 10% of the truth! I won’t have room for the full story on what water REALLY does in your body, but you can get more of that in my Book!
For instance, the energy created and stored in cells of your body comes from the physical passage of water into and out of the cell. If you have enough water (blood) in your body, the normal pressure in the arteries is HIGHER than it is inside the cells within the blood stream. This means there is a constant tendency for liquid to push inward – into the blood cell. As liquid moves into the cell, it moves through a small turbine-like generator that manufactures electrical energy which is used for running the cell. Some of that energy is used to pump the liquid, now carrying the waste products of the cell, back out into the blood stream.
If you don’t have enough water in your diet, you actually have less blood in your body than you need, and the differential pressure, inside versus outside the cells in the blood stream, is less. That means there is LESS pressure pushing into the cell, and therefore there is LESS electrical energy being created.
Very few people know that the energy created by the cell is NOT created by some little furnace burning food, but by those electrical generators (turbines) being activated by the physical passage of water through them.
This is just one of the very important functions of water in the body. If you don’t have enough water, you don’t have enough blood, and you will not have as much energy as you would otherwise have!
Fact! Hunger Sensation Is Common but False
Virtually everyone has experienced the sensation of hunger, or thinks he has. Consider the gargantuan consequences of the possibility that the sensation you think is "hunger," is very often not actually the body’s need for food, but the body’s need for water!
Some people have never experienced the classically defined sensation of "thirst," and most people experience that sensation very seldom. Here is a standard dictionary definition of "thirst."
A sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat related to a need or desire to drink.
That definition is very incomplete and can be the source of a great deal of illness! Isn’t that something! To claim that a simple dictionary definition is the source of illness!
Let’s look further.
You thrive on sensations – you love ‘em! Sensation is what you get paid in. You think you get paid with money? Well, money is mostly used to buy sensations.
The most valuable sensations most people seek are related to food and sex.
You respond to need sensations by eating and drinking. The body rewards you for this good behavior by giving back to you pleasure sensations.
Here’s where the villain enters this picture. Picture a body whose messages on sensation are all screwed up. In this example when the body really needs water, it sends out a message which you perceive as one of hunger you feed the body some food. You get some immediate enjoyment from the taste and the social surroundings, but if your body really needs water, food is not often a very good source for it.
So, the body, realizing that it did not get the water it needed, sends out an even stronger message for more water. You perceive it as a sensation of more hunger and aggravate the problem by eating more food when the body simply needed water. You sure can get fat this way!
After you’ve been drinking adequate water for several days you’ll begin to regain your lost TRUE sensation of thirst – a slightly unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth.
You’ll also find that if you do feel hungry, and drink water first, very often the hunger sensation will mysteriously disappear!
You see, it really wasn’t hunger at all – but thirst. Food does NOT satisfy the need for water. Water will very often satisfy your sensation of hunger.
Here’s an Experiment for You to Try
Now, back to the dry mouth perception; I can give you an experiment to try that will make a believer of you. You start, probably, with a belief that the dry mouth perception means that you are badly in need of more water in your body.
Not quite true.
What is true is that the dry mouth condition is very HIGH up in the reactions of the body to a lack of water. You are functioning, most of the time, at a level so far below the dry mouth reaction that you may never get UP to the level of having a dry mouth.
From this level of dehydration you would have to drink quite a bit of water to COME UP to the level where you start having a dry mouth.
Drink more water for several hours – the best way is to take a few ounces every thirty minutes or so – so that you are drinking 10 or more glasses all through the day.
In fact, the best way to drink water is to carry one of those drinking bottles with you all the time. Just take sips out of it constantly. Refill that one-quart bottle many times during the day. Don’t put flavor in it, for goodness sakes. Room temperature water is best.
Once you’ve been on this level of water intake for a few hours, you’ll find that if you MISS a drink of water, now, you may experience the dry mouth reaction.
In other words, when you are pouring far more water into your body than you normally have been doing, and slow that down slightly (stop for an hour), your body will react with the dry mouth reaction even though you have been putting far more water into the body than normal.
That should convince you that your "normal" water intake had your poor body so dehydrated that it didn’t even have the energy to create the dry mouth condition. It’s almost like being "below death!" Can you conceive of a body so ill that death would be an upscale action?
What Could Prevent You From Drinking More Water?
The very natural body demand that you urinate often comes right along with the behavior of drinking more water.
If you will face this often unsociable act as being so healthy for you that you spread the word rather than avoid the toilet – you’ll be far better off.
There will be a few people whose lives are such that they can’t go to the bathroom very thirty minutes (truck drivers and school teachers). Well, if you are one of those, I’m sorry for you.
But, the majority of us only have to change our considerations and simply go to the bathroom more often.
But, recognize this as a sign of good health rather than an annoyance! Incidentally, you should drink a lot of water JUST before going to bed. Yes, you will have to get up during the night to pee, and you should drink more water even during the night.
You will find that you get back to sleep easily and sleep better.
After all, hardly mentioned here, one of the obvious benefits of drinking more water is that you are flushing FAR more of those terrible toxins you have in your body – out.
Reduce Heart Disease?
Your arteries have to be very flexible because the body is constantly shunting blood to one part, then another part.
When you have food in your stomach, the body sends more blood toward the stomach. Some of that blood is converted into hydrochloric acid to help digest your food. Most people would find this sensible, but the related fact is usually overlooked.
When the body sends more blood toward the stomach, it reduces the amount of blood in other parts of the body. The control mechanism is the muscles in the arteries. The body closes down some arteries, and opens up others, thus regulating the flow of blood where the body thinks it’s needed.
If you don’t have enough water in your body, you won’t have enough blood, and the body will have to ration water! It will! The Body will decide, based on its own priorities, where to send the blood.
As those arteries close down, squeezing the blood into places the body thinks it is needed, the BLOOD PRESSURE in the closed area can actually become high and unhealthy.
If you had enough water/blood, those arteries wouldn’t have to close down so much, and the blood pressure wouldn’t be so high.
What an amazing, yet simple, explanation for high blood pressure.
The explanation for edema; is it the body’s retention of water? Just that the body is worried sick about the dehydration and is holding on to all the water it can.
What does the doctor do? He gives a pill that makes you pee more. He tells you to drink less fluid! This is exactly the wrong advice! If you have puffy ankles, drink more water.
When an individual cell feels endangered, by a shortage of water, guess what it does. It manufactures extra cholesterol.
Yes! Cholesterol is the natural defense mechanism of individual cells. They create it to thicken their cell walls and protect the cell against losing the little water it has.
So, you have high cholesterol? Take a drug that increases your need for water! Stupid!
Instead, drink more water and reduce the need for cells to manufacture so much extra cholesterol. Then there won’t be that "extra cholesterol" leaking out of the cell, into the blood stream, to give you a scare.
Oh, there is so much more to this, but you’ve now had a taste.
You can drink more water, and it will reduce the chances of your having a heart attack, high blood pressure, or a stroke.
It sure won’t cost you much to try, will it!
Yes, amazing but often true! Backaches, arthritis, and joint pains are very often caused by an accumulation of toxins in the joints. It’s your lymph system that is supposed to keep these areas clean. Inadequate water means insufficient lymph, and thus not enough cleansing in those joints.
The body creates pain – trying to wake you up to the problem. You, too often, put more drugs and food into the body, increasing the toxic overload, while ignoring the very simple remedy of drinking more water, increasing the cleansing.
Pee Your Way to Improved Health!
You see that I can’t make a penny trying to sell you anything with this advice. Yet I believe it will be one of the greatest health improvements you can make for your body. I would say that distilled water (or water cleared with a very good filter) with colloidal trace minerals added would probably be the best type of water to drink.