Water is one of the most mysterious and intriguing elements of life. It is a central ingredient for our health. We are now learning more through the sciences about water - and that it has more than just a physical effect on our bodies.
About 80% of our bodies are water, and I find it is one of the main keys to achieving better health for all of my clients.
If you want connection within your body, you must have water, as it is the medium through which your body’s inner communication is carried. A healthy body relies on feedback systems and without enough water, they cannot run properly.
As mentioned previously, I deal holistically with the 5 elements for health, and I find with my clients, that water is most often neglected. If we chronically ignore our body’s need for water, the signals our body gives us become easier to ignore, and a new “status quo” is established. The body always finds ways to compromise, and will deal with a less than ideal water supply by rearranging its functions.
Sensing our Need for Water
Often our body can start to give us mixed signals when we don’t consume enough water. As our hormonal balancing system further adjusts, the internal communication between our nervous system and kidneys will adjust. After a while the functioning of our kidneys becomes compromised and our body has more difficulty balancing things like blood pressure, mineral balances, the excretion of wastes and the feedback systems.
We can start to sense our body’s requests for water as hunger, which in itself can lead to further imbalance.
You would know if you’re a gardener, that you can’t give a month’s supply of water to a garden all at once. Timing is crucial, and relates to other factors in the weather and context for your garden. Just as you can sense from a distance if a plant needs watering, it is also possible to sense this for your body, and the more in tune you are, the better you’re able to adjust.
Improving our intake of water is all about finding a new balance or homeostasis.
Each of us has different water requirements, and that will depend on your activities and the foods you have eaten that day, as well as the weather. A good average is 8 glasses a day.
You may be able to relate to what a lot of my clients say. Many count drinking tea and coffee with caffeine as part of their water intake, unfortunately caffeine and other drugs can cause you to discharge more water through the kidneys, so our need for water can go up with these beverages.
The Function of Water in the Body
As water is required to cleanse the body, and helps you excrete wastes and other toxins, it is vital for improving our health after years of toxic build up. Think about it, would you wash your car when there is a shortage of water? Your body can be the same, and will prioritise other needs. Instead of excreting, your body will store wastes and toxins, which can also lead to weight gain.
Symptoms such as headaches, back pain, constipation, diarrhea, stiff shoulders, and rhinitis can often be traced back to not consuming adequate amounts of water. Whether a lower level
Water is vital to carry nutrition and elements efficiently to all the cells in your body. Without enough water, your body cannot do this efficiently.
All of your emotions and thoughts carry hormonal communication to different parts of your body, and water is the carrier. Whether your nervous system or blood, your tissues need to be well hydrated to process all this information effectively.
How to Monitor and Balance your Intake of Water
I often suggest clients drink warm water in the mornings, first thing. This is especially true if you wake with a strong hunger in the mornings.
As you drink more water, you are likely to find that your appetite balances. Cold water shocks the system, so it is highly recommended to consume beverages closer to room temperature.
If you are feeling the need for cold or iced water, try to keep it in your mouth longer to warm it up. It is usually your mouth that is craving the iced water, which can happen when you’re low on iron for example.
If you must have cold water for your throat, you can let an ice cube melt in your mouth, to avoid a large quantity of cold water entering the stomach.
Lemon, apple cider vinegar, ginger and honey can all be added to water to assist with cleansing the body.
Foods and drinks such as healthy soups, freshly prepared vegetable and fruit juices, herbal teas (without caffeine) will improve your water intake. Drinks with preservatives, sugars, colours and additives are likely to add further strain on your system, and detract from your overall water intake.
I give clients a formula to help them calculate their consumption of fluids. If you count 8 glasses of water that is needed on average, you can add the requirement of one extra glass for every cup of coffee, tea, soft drink, cigarette, or alcoholic beverage. On hot days, or with a lot of exercise, you will need to increase your water intake further. This is a rough guide, and it is important to listen to your own body, and try to feel if you need more water.
It is also possible to consume too much water, and if you are feeling bloated after drinking, you may have taken too much. Too much water can affect your mineral and hormonal balances, and your general body system. This could be likened to flooding your garden with too much water all at once. Moderation is the key. Some with a weak bladder might need to avoid drinking water within 2 hours of bedtime.
Please ask your doctor for advice if you are unsure.