Updated: May 21, 2019
Water is one of the major essential macronutrients. Though it does not provide calories, but still we cannot survive very long without it. It is a universal solvent, that is necessary for every bodily function. This means that though most people can survive for a few weeks without food, but most people can survive only for a few days without water.
At a young age, that is in infants, 75% of the body is made up of water, while in adults water content of the body is about 55%. Therefore, it would be right to say that aging also means drying up. Aging happens due to a combination of reasons, and adequate hydration can help slow down the aging processes.
Adequate water intake is necessary to maintain fluid balance in the body. Water is essential for the absorption of nutrients, digestion, working of heart, transportation of nutrients, maintaining body temperature, and much more. Regretfully, water remains one of the neglected nutrients too.
What kind of water is good?
When we talk about water, we mean pure water, a combination of two molecules of hydrogen with a molecule of oxygen and nothing more. It is recommended that most of your water intake should come in the form of pure drinking water, and only a small amount should come from food items and beverages.
How much water should one drink in a day?
Well, there is no straightforward reply to this, the need for water is not constant, it is higher in a hot climate and lower in the cold. Need for water also depends on physical activity, health conditions, and so on.
NHS Choices’ page on water and drinks says: Your body needs water or other fluids to work properly and to avoid dehydration. That’s why it's important to drink enough fluids. In climates such as the UK's, we should drink about 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. In hotter climates, the body needs more than this.
Salt/Sodium intake affects water retention, and a lot of people consume more salt than recommended. Potassium is another vital mineral affecting water metabolism, it helps keep blood pressure lower, reduces the risk of kidney stones and loss of minerals from bones, but most Americans are not consuming enough of potassium.
What kind of water to drink?
The most important thing to consider is the pH of water. The pH of pure water is 7, that is neutral. The pH of the blood is 7.4 (7.35 to 7.45) and is very tightly controlled. Therefore, ideally, drinking water should be as close to the pH of the blood as possible, meaning it should be slightly alkaline.
Natural drinking water has several organic and inorganic impurities, minerals, and even microbes. Needless to say, that drinking water should be free from heavy metals, pesticides, toxins, pathological microbes, toxic organic wastes, and so on.
Another critical thing to know about the water is ORP (oxidation-reduction potential measured in millivolts). In simple words, ORP indicates water’s ability to breakdown contamination, detoxify the body. Most drinking waters available have positive ORP value like tap water has ORP from +200mv to +600mv meaning that it is oxidizing. Bottled water has ORP value around +400mv. Negative ORP means reducing ability or antioxidant properties. Thus, fresh juices have negative ORP. Ideally, good drinking water should also have negative ORP of around -100, so that it does not disturb the ORP of body fluids.
Health risks of dehydration or drinking poor quality water
Acute dehydration is rare in healthy subjects but may occur in those living with disease conditions. Signs of acute dehydration are reduced urinary production, dark yellow color of the urine, dryness of lips, mouth, and skin. Feeling lack of energy, dizziness, headaches, and even loss of consciousness.
For most healthy people, worrisome is chronic dehydration, as many people do not drink enough water. Low consumption of water may not cause immediate signs, but in the long run, it may ruin the health. It causes a reduction in physical performance, feeling of chronic fatigue, reduced mental abilities, impaired learning, gastrointestinal dysfunction, poor working of the kidney, heart diseases, chronic headaches, or even migraines, lost complexion.
There is strong evidence that poor quality water or inadequate intake increases the risk of disease conditions like kidney stones, bronchopulmonary disorders, diabetic hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis, structural changes in the kidney, worsening of hypertension, higher risk of coronary artery diseases and stroke, venous thromboembolism risk. Bad water quality is also related to poor dental health, urinary tract infections, gallstones, bladder and colon cancer, and some diseases of eyes.
Is tap water or bottled water safe?
Tap water is poisoning your body, damaging your organs, and robbing you of energy. Tap water is processed by using several chemical compounds to remove heavy metals and kill pathogens, but in the end traces of these chemicals remain in it. Further, it may be contaminated with industrial chemicals, pesticides. Typical tap water contains chlorine, hormones, fluorine, pesticides, nitrates, and even traces of copper, aluminum, radium, and other heavy metals.
Bottled water is no better than tap water as they go through even less stringent tests. They are more likely to have pathogens, impurities, suboptimal pH, and ORP value. Water is bottled in plastic containers, which considerably increases the risk of microplastics in it.
Tap and bottled water contain inorganic minerals that cannot be utilized by our body cells, and they may deposit in our body cells, in veins, arteries, muscles, joints, leading to various chronic ailments. To understand the severity of the problem, you can check the amount of lime deposit in a kettle. Tap and bottled water are leading to the calcification of arteries. This unhealthy accumulation of minerals is a slow process, and that is why it goes unnoticed. It is entirely possible that many of the chronic disease conditions may be caused by poor quality water.
So, what is the way out? What kind of water to drink? When and how to drink it? If you want to know more about water and how this little tweak can improve your health, please book a session with me, where I will explain in details everything i know about healing powers of water and the ways of getting water that is perfect for your health.