Words of Wellness – July 2014

Bring On the Water! Part 2 of 2

By Bera Dordoni, ND

Gallup Journey water

Okay, so this time, Lackawater’s twin, Fullawater, goes into the corner bar carrying a water bottle in his backpack.

“Not you, again, Lackawater,” groaned the bartender.

“Nah, I’m his brother, Fullawater,” replied the dog.  “I constantly have to remind him to drink his water, but he forgets, gets dehydrated, and then he gets really foggy-brained, poor guy.”

“So whaddaya want from me?  My job is to get you something from the bar – a coke, sprite, or if you’ve got i.d. and you’re over 21, I can get you a beer to quench your thirst.”

“But all those things just dehydrate you.”

“What is this bit about ‘dehydration’ you and your brother keep talking about?” asked the bartender.  “All the drinks I have to offer are there to quench your thirst.  Doesn’t that hydrate you?  And why am I talking to a dog?”

“Don’t you go online?  Everybody’s seen the info about coke and its properties,” responded Fullawater.  “Here, I brought a copy of it with me to give you today.”

The bartender took the paper and read:

Coca-Cola Properties

  1. The highway patrol in many states in the USA carries two gallons of coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.
  2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous Material place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.
  3. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days.
  4. The citric acid in coke removes stains from porcelain and china.  Pour a can of coke into your toilet bowl, let it sit for an hour, and flush clean.
  5. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers, rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of aluminum foil dipped in coke.
  6. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals, pour a can of coke over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.
  7. Loosen a rusted bold by applying a cloth soaked in coke to the rusted bolt for several minutes.
  8. To remove grease from clothes, empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The coke helps loosen grease stains.
  9. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid.  Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.
  10. Phosphoric acid leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis.
  11. The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years.

“Okay, I’ve read it, now get outta here before someone sees me talking to you and I lose business.”

With that, Fullawater took a swig of his water and pranced out of the bar.

Dogs use intuition.  How smart.  We humans, manipulated by advertising, ignore bodily requests and reach for something harmful like a soft drink or a juice that is high in simplified sugars.

Last month we talked a bit about hydrating with water, especially since summer is here and we’re experiencing such a severe drought.  We didn’t really go into depth as to all of the reasons water is so important for our bodies, and why it can make such a huge difference in the way we feel.

Water and Body Composition

The human body: more than two-thirds water.  Yup . . . keeping it hydrated is absolutely essential to create new blood and bone cells daily.  In order to keep them healthy and continually producing more healthy cells, good hydration is required, since the blood is more than eighty percent (80%) water and our bones are more than fifty percent (50%) water.

Then there’s the brain.  It’s 85% water.  Duh, no wonder we suffer from headaches, dullness, irritability, fatigue and lack of concentration when not essentially hydrated.

Without constantly ingesting enough water, our bodies quickly build up toxins.  By increasing water intake we can help flush out these toxins through our intestines, kidneys and lymphatic system.

Without enough water we can easily become constipated and develop digestive disorders.  Instead of running for an over-the-counter digestive aid or stool softener, drink more water.  It will add bulk to the stools and fluid to the colon, helping prevent constipation.

Skin elasticity comes from the inside out, and relies on water, not lotions and creams.

Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can help with painful joint conditions, but even more helpful and beneficial is lubricating the joints with water, since it can not only help keep the joints cushioned, but maintaining good water levels can help protect against wear and tear of the joints.

Humans can survive for months without food, but without water we can’t live more than a few days at most.  Now that we’ve hit the hottest months of the year, we’re losing more water each day through urine and sweat, so it’s imperative to replenish this vital fluid.

If your urine is a deep, dark yellow, drink more water.  If you are taking vitamin B2 (riboflavin), your urine will most likely be bright yellow; otherwise it ought to be light yellow, if you’re drinking enough water.

Although you might want to quench your thirst with something more flavorful than water, by drinking something with caffeine (coffee and sodas) you are actually consuming a diuretic, which drains fluid from the body and dehydrates you further.

Sports drinks aren’t much better because most contain about two-thirds as much high fructose corn syrup or sugar as sodas, as well as artificial flavors and food coloring, none of which is good for your health or hydration.  They also tend to contain high amounts of sodium chloride (processed salt), which is supposed to be replenishment of the electrolytes you lose when you sweat.  The concept is fine, but using processed salt without balanced minerals isn’t nearly as good as simply adding a pinch of natural, unprocessed sea salt to your water containing 84 different minerals and trace minerals required by the body for optimal functioning.

Too Much Water Can Be Dangerous!

If you decide to start a serious regimen to hydrate yourself, do it wisely.  Moderation is always the key.  Don’t drink gallons of water thinking you’re doing something beneficial.  At this point you might be dropping your sodium levels dangerously low; if they become too low you can cause hyponatremia, which is a condition where the cells start swelling with too much fluid.  Most of our body’s cells can handle this, but not the brain cells, which is where most symptoms occur.  The body does not hydrate quickly; it hydrates slowly over a period of time.  Read about rehydrating a dehydrated body at http://gallupjourney.com/2014/06/words-of-wellness-june-2014/.

Making it Palatable

Let’s face it, most of us like to drink something that tastes good to make it go down easily.  As I mentioned last month, there are many ways one can alter the flavor, simply with the addition of something you enjoy eating that can release its own flavor into the water.  I alter mine daily by adding raspberries, lemon, lime, ginger root, a mint leaf, cucumber slices, or whatever is available at the moment.

The closest thirst-quenching drink that compares to pure water is coconut water.  Considered so pure that it is used in many tropical regions for patients with severe diarrhea to replace fluid loss from the gastrointestinal tract, it has even been used in intravenous therapy due to its purity.  Rich in natural sugars and amino acids, but low in sodium and chlorides, it is a much better alternative that can hydrate the body as opposed to sodas that dehydrate our cells.   However, it isn’t recommended as a complete replacement for water.

I’m often asked what type of water I recommend drinking.  I don’t recommend tap water because of the contaminants contained therein.  I also don’t recommend water bottled in plastic, because too many chemicals and hormones are leached from the plastic into the water, and you drink ’em down.  Filtered water that removes impurities is your best bet.  Having a home filtration system at the kitchen sink is helpful.  When contaminants are removed, as long as minerals are left intact, the water usually tastes very good.

The Bottom Line . . . Are You Sick or Are You Thirsty?

A man goes to the doctor and tells him that he hasn’t been feeling well.  The doctor examines him, leaves the room and comes back with three different bottles of pills.  The doctor says, “Take the big pill with a big glass of water when you get up.  Take the little pink pill with a big glass of water after lunch.  Then just before going to bed, take the red pill with another big glass of water.”

Startled to be put on so much medication, the man stammers, “My goodness, Doc, exactly what is my problem?”

Doc says, “You’re not drinking enough water.”

Are you?  Make every day great.  Hydrate!

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