Water is Life ... A Deep Dive into the Many Ways Water Serves Your Highest Good
I've often marveled at how precious water is to our existence. And although precious water is our body's 2nd most important nutrient ( the 1st most important being oxygen ), many people rarely give it the place, beautiful treatment and acknowledgement it deserves within their daily experience. You might remember hearing in grade school how your body, just like the planet's surface, is made up of 60- 70% water. Water really IS life.
Many years ago, while pregnant with my third child, I had the joy of sitting in deep conversations with Deanna Delong, author of the water benefits reference guide for wellness educators Drink Water For Life ( inspired by her extensive research on water, which included insights from the influential book Your Body's Many Cries for Water ). We marveled at what water does in every single function and system of the human body. It was a delightful, comprehensive and illuminating series of discussions. Since that time, I have come to respect and cherish water on a whole new level.
It's estimated that nearly 75% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated. You'll learn in this post why, in my view, water is one of the top most useful, safe natural allies in multi-dimensional health and well being, not just for Americans, but for our species at large. Once we begin to understand all that water can do for us ( and as us ), it is much easier for us to get into a healthier relationship with it and with ourselves.
WATER IN OUR BODY:
In many ways, water is YOU. Water may just be this planet's top natural remedy. Water constitutes, migrates and interpenetrates everything within your physical structure. Inherent in it's natural chemistry water holds, among other things, polarity, cohesion, and surface tension that help smooth and orchestrate the mutli-functionality and fluidity of every cell of the human matter based vessel. You are invited to pour yourself a tall, clean glass of refreshing water as you discover just some of the body systems that water supports:
- Proper Brain Function and Connectivity - water helps cushion your brain and spinal cord, maintain optimal memory function, improve focus and mental alertness, perform tasks of clear cognition and memory by conducting electrical neurological synapses. the human brain is 95% water and without proper hydration, brain fog, poor memory recall, impaired judgement and reasoning, poor mood and headaches can ensue.
- Maintaining Healthy Body Weight - drinking water in the proper amounts may activate metabolism and energy levels while it also helps signal to the brain that you are fully satiated, thereby suppressing appetite. dehydration can cause you to believe you need to eat when you really need liquid intake.
- Healthy Digestion- ample water in your body doesn't just help you to have the right amount of digestive fluids of the body, it also helps reduce constipation and aids in optimal nutrient absorption
- Heart and Blood Health - our human life blood is 90% water! and the cardiovascular system requires plenty of water for it's optimal functioning. water in blood helps maintain healthy blood pressure and properly deliver oxygen throughout the entire body
- Detoxifying the Body, Kidneys and Liver - proper hydration helps the body excrete toxins through the breath, urine, skin and digestive tract. insufficient water can lead to kidney stones, acne prone skin and other skin conditions
- Vocal Strength- drinking enough water is especially important for those that use their voice for a living. proper hydration promotes the formation of a protective mucus barrier between vocal cord folds, which helps reduce inflammations and guard against vocal physiology damage.
- Reduction of Allergy Symptoms - not only does water help create healthy mucus linings, it can also help prevent higher histamine production and alleviate allergy symptoms. distilled water steam treatments help keep airways moist and can also help reduce symptoms of asthma attacks.
- Glowing and Healthy Skin- ample water intake helps plump up and hydrate skin cells, clear toxins, speed skin healing, reduce puffiness and inflammation, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone and may promote collagen production
- Lubrication of Joints and Muscles- a good structural fluidity of being requires that our joints and muscles function smoothly. water helps to lubricant the spaces between our joints and keep muscles electrical signals firing cohesively
- Healthy Growth of A Baby - from our watery beginnings in our mother's wombs we are reminded how water helps with every aspect and function of our place in Life. semen, ovum, amniotic fluid and all cells of an embryo, fetus and newborn have water as a key ingredient of dna transmission. even human breastmilk, our first and unquestionably our most perfect living food is comprised of 87 percent water
- and beyond
From washing wounds, preventing wrinkles and dry eyes, helping with weight loss all the way to reducing migraines and heart attacks, the powerful natural ally of using water wisely and staying well hydrated can have profound effects on our over all health and well-being. You might be wondering how much water does your body actually need to thrive?
What is "proper hydration"?
Are you drinking enough water?
Although there is no set amount of water that all experts agree upon, many researchers suggest drinking a minimum of around half your body weight in fluid ounces every day to maintain the optimal functioning of all systems of the body... more if you exercise heavily, have a special healing requirement or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
HERE'S AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO FIGURE OUT AN OPTIMAL BASE AMOUNT FOR YOUR DAILY WATER INTAKE:
In our example we'll say that we are figuring out water intake for a person who is 150 pounds in weight
150 pounds divided by 2 = 75 (use this number now in ounces)
75 ounces divided by 8 ounce cups = apprx. 9 and a half cups ( we round up )
by the above example an average 150 pound individual could benefit optimally from a base intake of around 9 and a half cups of water per day, spread throughout the day.
***An extra hydration tip: For good digestion, one of the best times to drink water is about half an hour before and/ or about one hour after each meal. This can help you absorb the nutrients in your meal much better.
***And for those who are physically active: It is advisable to pre hydrate at least one hour before workouts.
You may have heard about how useful electrolytes are in proper hydration. Electrolytes are mineral ions that help conduct and enable the smooth flow of electrical signals throughout the body, replenish mineral losses and help you make the most of the available water within your body. There are sports aides on the market that help to replenish and rebalance electrolytes.
However, you can also make your own
THIRST QUENCHING NATURAL ELECTROLYTE SPORTS AID:
Some of the top athletes who've taken my herbalism for athletes workshops have reported great performance and post performance recovery using this simple, all natural electrolyte recipe. You can make your own natural electrolyte sports aid drink using pure coconut water, calcium magnesium powder ( key mineral electrolytes) and the energizing, mineral rich adrenal support herb Organic Stinging Nettles.
2 cups fresh Coconut Water
2 cups Stinging Nettles Infusion ( 1oz dried nettles steeped in 1 quart of boiling hot water for 4 hours, covered, then strained )
1/8 - 1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
1 tsp Calcium Magnesium Powder
optional: flavor with 1/4 cup of fruit juice ( like pineapple ) and or sweeten with 1-2 TBLSPs honey or stevia
*** Blend together all ingredients. Makes 1 quart. Drink as you would a commercial sports aide. Will keep in fridge for up to two days. You can substitute all water, all coconut water or all nettles infusion to make up the full 4 cups of fluids depending on what you have on hand. Both coconut water and nettles infusion contain other naturally occurring minerals and electrolytes.
The healthiest hydration includes drinking the HIGHEST QUALITY WATER that is available to you.
Since water makes up most of our bodies, the water we drink should be as clean and pathogen free as possible. I mean, think about it..... that ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Eliminating the possibility of water born diseases, harmful substances and pathogens ( like giardia, E.coli, cryptosporidium, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, arsenic, heavy metals, amoebas or cholera, etc ) ensures that up to at least 60 percent of our body and 95 percent of your brain begins in good, clean running order. You can upgrade your physiology today by upgrading the quality and intake of your water. Worth it!
Most bottled water is not regulated for filtration and is most often discovered to be tap water which sits in BPA laden plastic bottles for long periods of time before making its way to the consumers lips. Although decent drinkable tap water is readily available in most places, it's good to be aware that tap water is of differing quality and filtration standards depending upon it's sources and the regulations of the municipality where it is distributed. For this reason, its a good idea to filter the water we drink with a high quality filter whenever possible.
One of my favorite go to, high performance home water filters is the Travel Berkey Water Filter I like that I can set this on a countertop or bring it with me camping... and it has been tested to remove more than 99.999% of viruses and pathogenic bacteria, while also removing or dramatically reducing protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium), trihalomethanes, inorganic minerals, heavy metals (including arsenic, lead, mercury, chromium), pharmaceutical drugs (including caffeine, Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Progesterone, Triclosan) from water. One of my other very favorite low cost water purifying methods, due to its ease of use and other wellness boosting properties is to use Natural Shungite Water Purifying Stones to purify water. You can learn more about how to make really good clean, affordable wellness promoting Shungite Water in my previous blogpost So simple.
Offering your body high quality, pure water in optimal amounts and in beneficial timing is a medicine and a magic all it's own. I invite you to drink deep this elixir of Life optimally from this moment forward.
And speaking of clean water for all....If you are interested in helping to bring clean drinking water to others in water scarce communities around the world ( yup 1 in 10 of our fellow humans on the planet still need access to safe, clean drinking water ), you can hook up with and make your offerings to a solid, impactful organization like CharityWater.org