Friday, July 2, 2010

To Your Health: Water

We are in the middle of a wonderfully hot summer. When temperatures soar, you are more likely to experience thirst. The only beverage that your body really needs is water.

The human body is composed of about 75 percent water. The remaining 25 percent are solid matter. Water regulates body temperature, lubricates the skin and the joints. It delivers nutrients and oxygen to your cells, removes and transports the waste products out of your body.

We lose water through urination, respiration and transpiration. Also the consumption of alcohol as well as drinks containing caffeine, like sodas, coffee and black tea for instance, causes the loss of water. If you do not replenish the lost water, you will start to experience the first signs of dehydration that go beyond thirst like headache, pain in muscles and joints, lower back pain, exhaustion, and body odor. Your urine will turn dark and have a strong odor. 

The lack of water leads to a chronic dehydration which is a root cause of many degenerative diseases. You can, however, prevent and reverse dehydration simply by increasing your daily intake of water. The amount of water you need to drink depends on your lifestyle and the work you are performing. If you are more physically active and sweat more, you will need more water to replenish what you have lost.

To calculate the amount of water your body needs, take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That should give you the number of ounces of water that you need to drink daily. For example, your weight is 150 pounds. Divide 150 by 2. You will get 75 or slightly more than a gallon, which is approximately the number of ounces of water your body needs. Increase this amount if you are working out, jogging, or performing other physically demanding task. Replenish your water if you regularly drink coffee and sodas. 

The quality of water you drink is very important as well. Filtered, ionized water is most beneficial. A low sodium bottled mineral water with high mineral content is a good alternative if you do not own a water filter or a water ionizer, or are on the go.

Approximately 20 percent of the water your body needs comes from many foods that you eat. Fruit and vegetable have a very high water content. Make sure that you include enough of them in your diet as they also deliver the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly.

Dehydration can have devastating effects on your body. The damage can be reversed. You can eliminate pain, hypertension, digestive disorders. You can lose weight and rejuvenate your skin and joints. Hydrate! Drink more water. Help yourself to a better health. Today!

By Dominique Allmon

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To Your Health: Water by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.