We have arrived in 2018! And during the festive season we will have enjoyed great food and great hot summer weather. We do tend to excel at loving our foods and making sure our tastebuds are satisfied on a constant basis, especially during that festive season.
This will have resulted in (I hate to ruin your day) an additional burden on your stomach, your pancreas, your liver, your kidneys, your brain and your other rather vital organs. And we are not so good at understanding the results of this consistent indulgence, and the warning signs our body gives us to say “whoah, can you just slow down the input a bit here?”
The good thing about this doom and gloom introduction, is that there is something incredibly simple you can do to help your body cope a little better with all the delicious foods and fluids that enter your mouth during the wonderful summer that we are experiencing right now.
It really is that simple.
And cheap too!
Im guessing you already know that your body is at least 60% water, and is the most important component of blood, lymph, tears, digestive juices, sweat and urine (Haas, 1992). This means that water is basically our ‘transport mechanism’ for all the good nutrition that goes in, and all the waste that needs to come out. Water is also used for intracellular processes that allow you to use your muscles, and your brain (which is 85% water by the way!). So, basically, water is yet another one of those oh so important nutrients we need, to keep our bodies functioning optimally, just as important as vitamins, and minerals and complex carbohydrates.
When your body is dehydrated, due to a low intake of water, and/or a high intake of dehydrating fluids such as the flat white, the green tea and that delicious chilled Chardonnay, many metabolic processes are impaired. Water is the main reason why your foods get digested. That barbequed steak you had last night, and those baked potatoes, simply cannot be digested without water. The foods you eat, simply cannot be turned into energy without the use of water.
And, as water is the bodies main carrier of nutrients and waste, with a low level of water in the body, many nutrients that have been digested, simply do not arrive at their destination in the cells in your body. Waste will concentrate and can develop into kidney stones for example, or acidic deposits in joints, which we call arthritis.
So, dehydration appears to be a double-edged sword, which can result in a lot of physical and mental complaints, we do not necessarily associate with dehydration.You will know that headaches, fatigue, sluggishness and constipation generally are associated with dehydration, but how about high blood pressure, asthma, depression, diabetes type 2, urinary tract infections, heartburn, pain (in general), and some auto-immune disease? Many of these diseases will improve with an adequate intake of water. It will get even better when you stop drinking the dehydrating fluids.
So OK, drinking more water is a simple change you can introduce to your life. But how much water should you drink? 8 cups a day? That is kind of a one-size-fits-all, and how big is your cup compared to mine?
The rule of thumb that you can use is as follows:
30ml of water per kg of body weight per day
So, say you are a 85kg male, you should be drinking 85kg x 30mls = 2550mls = 2.5ltr of water.
Are you rather committed to your coffee, then for each coffee you drink you must drink an equal amount of water, to help neutralise that coffee. As well as that 2.5 ltr of water, of course.
Drinking water during meal times (or any fluids for that matter) will dilute your stomach and digestive juices, which will impair your digestion. It can result in bloating, cramps and flatulence, as the body is trying to do its job with tools that have been ‘blunted’.
However, as discussed above, water is necessary for digestion, so you are best to drink a couple glasses of water 30 minutes before your meal, to help digestion along, and then again an hour after meals, to allow your food to be well mixed with the digestive juices before adding more water.
Drink a glass of water upon rising, add the juice of a lemon, a tiny amount of celtic sea salt (also called ‘sole’) or a spoonful of apple cider vinegar if that makes you feel even better (these ingredients are subject to more research as yet, hence they have not been included in this write-up, but you are very welcome to do your own search and trial them).
Are you totally committed to getting the transparent fluid into your cells by now, consider the following: Water from the tap contains a raft of ingredients you may not want to add to your body. If you can, filter it!
Water from plastic bottles from the store, will likely have less of those ingredients from the tap water, however, the plastic from the bottle will eventually leach into your water, especially when you leave the bottle in the sun and/or heat (in your car, for example). BPA free means that there is a different tpe of plastic used, which is just as harmful, so you are best to avoid plastic alltogether. Aluminium bottles have the same issue of leaching, so you are best to avoid that option too.
Water from glass bottles or stainless steel is best, and these bottles can be re used over and over again!
I raise my glass to you, let’s drink together:
Here’s to a watery 2018!
This article was written by Annemarie Wissema – Tutor, Level 7
Batmanghelidj, F. (2003). Your Body’s Many Cries For Water. [lecture article]
Haas, E.M. (1992). Staying Healthy with Nutrition. California. USA: Ten Speed Press.
Jensen, B. (1999). Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care. USA: Avery
Khakpour, D. (2015). Beyond the Hype: Apple Cider Vinegar as an Alternative Therapy. Retrieved from: https://www.washington.edu/wholeu/2015/07/07/beyond-the-hype-apple-cider-vinegar-as-an-alternative-therapy/
Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with Whole Foods. USA: North Atlantic Books
The Official Celtic Seasalt Blog. (n.d.). About Celtic Sea Salt. Retrieved from https://www.celticseasaltblog.com/
Wellnessmama. (2018). How To Make Sole. Retrieved from: https://wellnessmama.com/12158/make-sole/