The Importance of Water

Why Do We Need Water?

Elimination - Dissolving waste products of cells; transport of waste out of the body through kidneys, intestines, skin and lungs

Absorption - Transport of nutrients into cells for utilization

Digestion - Component of gastric juices, pancreatic fluids and saliva; transport of nutrients through digestive tract; dissolving nutrients

Circulation - Transport of nutrients and waste products in the blood and lymphatic fluides

Lubrication - Joints and colon lubricated by fluid

Temperature - Component of sweat to help the body maintain a constant temperature

The human body is 75% water. Brain tissue is said to consist of 85% water. It's important to have clean water flowing through your body to carry off waste and toxins. You wouldn't wash several loads of clothing in the same load of water. Toxins accumulate and store within the body when they can't be eliminated. Water is the universal solvent. It is necessary for life and good health.

Signals of dehydration in the body:

Headache
Heartburn
Irritability and depression
Low back pain
Recurring or chronic pain
Stomach ache
water retention

Waiting for the signal of "dry mouth" to determine your body's need for water is not going to be an accurate indicator. The dry mouth is the last outward sign of extreme dehydration. Damage is occurring to the body before this symptom appears. Because of a gradually failing thirst sensation, the body becomes chronically and increasingly dehydrated.

How much water do you need?

This is a good place to start. People are different, so consider what is best for you. On the average you should drink 50-75% of your body weight in ounces daily. Sedentary people need 50%. Active people need 75%. Add 8-16 oz. more for dry climates or heavy exercise.

Examples:
150 lb. sedentary person would need 75 oz. of water (150 X 50%)
200 lb. active person would need 150 oz. of water (200 X 75%)

Poor Substitutes for Water:

Further injury is done when the sensation of thirst urges an intake of water, but sodas, tea, coffee, or alcohol-containing beverages are taken instead.. These beverages contain water, but also dehydrating agents. Not only do they eliminate the water contained in them, but they also eliminate water from the body's reserves!

Read more on beverage choices:
Sodas:"How Soft Drinks are Harming Americans' Health"
Caffeine:"The Inside Scoop"

Juices are not how God designed for us to have our fruit. The missing fiber is essential to help maintain blood sugar balance. Most of what people call juice is actually sugar and water with a small amount of juice. Read your labels to see what you and your family have been drinking.

Comments from a CNN report entitled,
"Parents Should Put The Squeeze on Juice."


When you hear the phrase "All good things in moderation," fruit juice probably doesn't come to mind. But most pediatricians would agree that allowing kids to drink excessive amounts of juice is a recipe for poor health.

"Some parents believe that juices are a healthy thing to give their kids, but juices are essentially sugar and water," says Carlos Lifschitz, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics at the Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Although juices have vitamins and some have minerals, the problems associated with drinking too much fruit juice far outweigh the benefits, he says.

Studies have shown a host of potential problems with fruit juice consumption in children, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Nutrition even issued a policy statement in 1991 telling doctors to caution parents about the dangers.

You Are What You Drink:

Cohesion-Flexibility
Water creates internal cohesion for your body, giving your cells and organs the flexibility to be stretched and even strained within certain limits without rupturing or tearing. Every time you move, reach for something or stand up, water is helping to protect your organs from being torn in the process.

Temperature-Comfort
Water helps your body stabilize temperature and acclimate to temperature changes. Without sufficient water, the human body can undergo fatal overheating or cooling very quickly.

Solvency-Nutrition & Detoxification
Water also provides natural solvent properties, supporting the body in the great task of breaking down substances for use or disposal. Think of all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients flowing through your organs and into your extremities that allow you to function normally, as well as the detoxification your body carries out through the release of sweat, urine and other means. Without water, these processes would cease to function.

Contaminants in the Water:

Water is the universal solvent. The work of breaking down and recycling elements in our world of largely due to the action of water - metals harder than rock can be broken down by this natural "miracle-worker."

When elements are broken down naturally, they present no harm to organic life. In fact, many metals and minerals are essential to life and are naturally available in our food and water. However, when metals and other contaminants are released into the environment through human influence, they can find their way into our drinking water.

Source of the Contaminants:

Origin - gets in the water as it falls from the sky or when it seeps through the ground (dissolved solids): heavy metals or radiioactive substances.

Coarse - pick up in streams or rivers: THM's, industrial waste, pesticides and fertilizers

Additives - purposely added at a Water Treatment facility. Chlorine and fluoride - flouride is a waste product of the aluminum industry. Organic and inorganic molecules are opposites. They are toxic at low levels and they slow the cerebral process in the brain. Also, it can cause aluminum residue to get into the brain and possibly leading to Alzheimer's disease.

Destination - applied after it leaves the water treatment facility. Lead is an example. Pipe dope had lead in it which is a factor even if your pipes aren't lead.

The National Water Quality Inventory, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official survey, has identified sources of water contamination. Many programs have been implemented to monitor drinking water in the United States such as EPA's regulations on maxium contaminant levels (MCLs). This means that, by law, small amounts of these regulated pollutants are allowed in your drinking water and can still be considered safe.

Common Water Pollutants

ContaminantsSourceConcerns
AluminumWater treatmentAlzheimer's, nervous system damage
LeadWater pipesNerve or brain damage
CopperPipe corrosion, Acid mine drainageAnemia, digestive disturbance
ArsenicNaturally occurring, Mine tailingsEven 50 parts per billion can cause cancer
MTBEGasoline additiveSuspected carcinogen
PesticidesCrop runoffVariety of serious health effects, incl. cancer, nervous system and liver damage
NitratesFertilizers, pesticidesBlue baby syndrome, causes the blood not to retain oxygen, gastric conditions, cancer
Chlorine byproducts (THM's)DisinfectantBladder and rectal cancer, hardens arteries
Coliform bacteriaSoil or vegetationVariety of illnesses, including gastrointestinal distress
Giardia lambiaSewage dischargeGiardiasis, a disease accompanied by symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and weight loss
CryptosporidiumSewage or animal wasteDiarrhea, headaches, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and low fever

25 million people got water that had 'significant' violations posing serious threats to public health. USA Today says "The Safe Drinking Water Act" is failing. In fact, the worst violations have a 1 in 10 chance of drawing legal action. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority doesn't filter its water, even though the Federal government for five years has said it must. "The residents of Boston are the least well-protected drinking water consumers of any major metropolitan area in the country," says John DeVillars, the EPA regional administrator who oversees Boston. (USA Today - October 21, 1998) You can find out violation and enforcement information for your water system here.

Taking Water for Granted

Most of us look at water as a means to satisfy our thirsts. However there is a book called, “Your Body's Many Cries for Water,” by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. He documents that water can do much more than quench your thirst. Each of the following examples are acutal case histories of the author's patients. There is a lot of good information in this book, however, we are not necessarily endorsing it in its entirety.

Ulcers:
The author had a patient that was in such pain that they were almost semiconscious. He was in the fetal position in the floor, groaning steadily and completely unaware of the environment around him. After eating lunch the pain began and got progressively worse. He had taken 3 tablets of cimetidine and one whole bottle of antacid tablets. Dr. F gave the man two full glasses of water. In about 15 minutes his pain became less severe and he stopped groaning. Another full glass was given to him, his pain disappeared completely and he began to notice the people in the room around him. For 10 hours this individual had suffered from pain and had taken the most potent and advanced medicines for the treatment of peptic ulcer disease without any help at all.

Collitis:
One of the main jobs of the intestinal system is to take water out of your waste. This is done so that too much of your water is not lost in the waste after food digestion. If a person is already dehydrated, then the waste will be squeezed even further to remove all moisture. The waste will then contribute to constipation. Eating additional food can cause pain in the intestinal system because it is already full of waste matter.

Constipation:
Drinking water often causes the hormone “motillin” to be secreted. The presence of this hormone causes rhythmic contractions in the intestinal system. This action helps to push the fecal matter out of the body and thereby reducing the opportunity for constipation.

Common Excuses for Not Drinking Water

1. Don't like the taste
Suggestion: Purchase a water treatment system

2. Retain fluids
Suggestion: Often when someone is retaining fluids, it is because their body has been lacking enough clean water to do its job. When you begin to send the message that you are regularly adding clean water, the body will begin to release its stores.

3. It's so plain and boring
Suggestion: Squeeze a slice of lemon into the glass, which will not only give it a bit of flavor, but will also be a tonic for the liver
58 Million people got water last year that violated testing and purity standards

What About Well Water?

1. Ground water contamination is prevalent
2. Airborne pollutants can get in the water if not capped
3. Greater chance of bacterial contamination

What About Bottled Water?

Bottled water consumption has greatly increased in recent years. A study by the International Bottled Water Association showed that the average annual consumption of bottled water in the U.S. rose from 5.7 gallons to 8 gallons per person over a four-year period. But is bottled water actually better than tap water?

Bottled water is not necessarily pure. Contaminants are allowed at levels within the FDA's limits, which basically allow for bottled water to match the quality of common tap water. Also, varying degrees of quality exist in different brands of bottled water, because they use different processing techniques and water sources.

In addition, bottled water is very expensive. The average cost is $1 per gallon, compared to pennies a gallon for tap water.

Point-of-Use Purification Is the Only Answer!

The only way for you, the consumer, to be absolutely sure about the purity of your drinking water is to purify it yourself at the point of use.

Sources:
Coronaries, Cholesterol and Chlorine by Joseph Price M.D.
Your Bodies Many Cries for Water by F. Batmanghelidj M.D.
Special Reprint of USA Today - October 21, 1998
Your Drinking Water at Risk - Nature's Sunshine Products