Have you ever suffered from afternoon fatigue? Do you get headaches? What about varicose veins, kidney stones or urinary problems? Do you have brain fog or constipation? What about skin issues? All of these annoying and sometimes serious issues have a common denominator. They can all be caused by dehydration, which is MUCH more common than you would imagine.
So just how important is it to drink the recommended daily dose of good old water? I was recently participating in the Chronic Lyme Disease Summit and a very well respected doctor mentioned that if his patients still aren’t getting better after trying the usual protocol, it is often because they are not drinking enough water. A light bulb went off in my head and in that moment, I went from a girl who drank a glass or two of water per day, to a girl who drinks at least 75 ounces of water each day, and often more.
You may wonder what the connection is between water and a health condition such as Chronic Lyme. For starters, water is absorbed into the blood stream and flushes out what doesn’t belong. You can kill off as much bacteria as you like, but if it is circulating through your blood stream, you will still feel miserable! Water helps combat fatigue, headaches and a myriad of other symptoms that are common in Lyme patients.
Here are 5 things to remember about water:
#1 – The kind of water you drink matters.
You do not find alkaline water anywhere in nature. That is because God knows what He’s doing! Your stomach needs acid to digest food. We will discuss pH at a later time, but don’t spend money on alkaline water. I know the internet will try to make you believe that you must be alkaline to be healthy. Most of those articles are not written by doctors.
You also don’t want water that has been enhanced. Many bottled water companies add softeners, sodium, and even fluoride. Fluoride is a neuro toxin and should be avoided at all costs. You don’t need water with “added minerals”. I won’t get into a debate over which water is the best, but I personally drink distilled water or reverse osmosis. Drink room temperature or slightly warm water. Cold water shocks your organs and should only be consumed if you are trying to cool down.
#2 – The amount of water you drink matters.
You probably know that you should drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. If you exercise, you need to increase your water intake accordingly. Other beverages do not count toward your water intake, even if they are herbal teas, iced tea, fruit juices, etc. Only water is water, and your body wants pure water. Your blood is 90.7% water, your brain is 80.5% water and your lungs are 80% water. Every organ in your body needs water! If you drink caffeinated beverages, you need to add to your water intake because caffeine dehydrates. For example, if I need 65 ounces of water per day but I drink a 12 ounce caffeinated beverage, I now need 77 ounces of water to maintain hydration. The best thing you can do is start your day with 8 ounces of warm water.
#3 – Water plays an important role!
Water is responsible for helping regulate your temperature, balancing your pH, and lubricating your tissues, joints, bones, and muscles. It is also necessary for cell creation and cleansing your body. As I mentioned, water is critical for flushing out the abundance of toxins we are exposed to every day.
After 5% water loss, you will get a headache, experience drowsiness and be unable to concentrate. After 6% water loss, your heart will begin to race. Next time you feel a headache or brain fog coming on, drink a big glass of water! Remember, our bodies are flowing with electricity and what conducts electricity? Yep, water. Your brain needs to be wet in order to work right. It is 80.5% water for a reason. I wonder how many kids have trouble focusing because they aren’t drinking enough good, plain water?
#4 – How do I know if I’m dehydrated?
Do you have dry skin? Dry mouth? Dry eyes? Are you constipated? Do you have high cholesterol? In addition to the symptoms I mentioned above, these are also signs that you may be dehydrated. After breathing, good water is the most important element of good health. You will be amazed after one week of staying hydrated. My skin is softer than it has ever been and my fatigue has been greatly reduced. (It also helps with cellulite!)
#5 – What if I hate the taste of water?
If plain water is just absolutely unacceptable to you, try adding some mint leaves, cucumbers, or cut up strawberries. You can add lemon if you are acidic (to be discussed in the near future). I love to add a drop or two of my favorite essential oil to enhance the flavor of my water. Not all essential oils are safe for consumption. I only consume this kind. Grapefruit and Citrus Fresh are my favorites!
I encourage you to take the one-week water challenge. If you combine hydration with the deep breathing we talked about last week, you will be on the road to better health.
We don’t always need medicine, supplements, oils and herbs. Sometimes we need to remember the basics – the things that God gave us in the beginning. Air, water, and food – the basic building blocks of good health.