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By contactus
January 03, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Did you know that watermakes up about 65% of a person’s total body weight.  After oxygen, there’s nothing more important to our survivalthan water.   This articlewill discuss the medicinal value of water and how much you need to maintaingood health and wellness.

 

Dehydration:  The primary mechanism thatwe maintain our proper hydration is through thirst.  Thirst serves two functions: 1) to regulate the volume ofwater within our bodies and 2) to control the concentration of various saltslike sodium and potassium within the body.  Fluid is lost through urination, skin loss by sweating,respiration, and a small amount in the feces, unless someone has diarrhea andthen a significant water loss may occur. If there is a loss of water by any of the above routes or if theconcentration of the salts in the blood stream increases, then the thirstmechanism kicks in, which is a strong drive to consume more fluids. 

How much water to drinkevery day?  You have heard from earlychildhood that you need to drink eight, eight ounce glasses a day.  This is probably a myth that isperpetuated many years ago from the Food and Nutrition Board, which estimatedthat the average total fluid loss each day was 64-80 ounces.  The Board did not mention that 20% ofour intake of fluid comes from food. Therefore, you don’t have to consume all of your total intake aswater. 

In addition to thirst, thecolor of your urine will serve as an indicator of your state of hydration.  If you are dehydrated, your urine willbe dark and yellow.  This is a signto increase your water consumption and the urine will turn to white or lightyellow, which is sign of adequate hydration.  If you are in a hot environment or participating in sportsand are sweating, you will want to check the color of urine when you completethe workout or sports event.  Ifthe color of your urine is dark, you know you are dehydrated and you need toconsume more fluids.  Athletes canlose up to two quarts of fluid through sweat each hour.  So whenever you are in warm or hotenvironment and you are losing lots of fluids by sweating, you must make aneffort to consume more fluids.

What about sports drinks:  A sportsdrink beverageis designed to help athletesrehydrate when fluids are depleted after training or competition. Ideally the sports drinks are intended to replacethe electrolytes that is lost in sweat during exercise and sportingevents.  Sports drinks usuallycontain a lower electrolyte concentration than found in sweat and can actuallyworsen the dilution of electrolytes. It is far easier to drink water and a salty snack.

Caffeine-Culprit or Cure ?   There is a myth that drinkswith caffeine are dehydrating.  Thetruth is that caffeine serves as a weak diuretic and promotes an increase inurine output and the fluid intake will more than compensate for the diureticeffect of the caffeine.  Like mostthings in life, anything in moderation is acceptable and this includescaffeine. 

What about bottled water?  Millions of Americans aredrinking bottled water. $22 billion is spent each year throughout the world onbottled water.  Bottledwater, although up to 1,000 times the price of tap water, may be no safer, orhealthier than tap water.  A gallonof bottled water is $3.84gallon making it as expensive as gasoline.  In addition to the expense, 1.5 milliontons of plastic are used to bottle water and toxic chemicals can be releasedduring the manufacture and disposal of the bottles.  Studies have confirmed that microbes, pesticides, andsolvents have been detected throughout groundwater supplies, and havesubsequently found their way into bottles.

The Environmental ProtectionAgency checks the water that is consumed by the public.  In the United States the quality of thewater is very safe.  If you live inan area and drink well water, you will want to have the water checked forcontamination on a regular basis. A number of privatewater wells sampled in Louisiana showed potentially unsafe levels of arsenic,volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and pesticides, as well as secondarycontaminants in standard system tests for pH, hardness, alkalinity, dissolvedsolids and manganese. 

Bottom Line:  Water is truly the elixir of life.  Avoid dehydration by checking out thecolor of your pee.  For the most part,tap water tastes just as good as bottled water and is a whole lot cheaper.  Drink up!

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