How to drink water consciously and stay hydrated
When thinking about your health, water plays an essential role. It is vital that you drink water consciously and stay hydrated – for the rest of your life.
Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, in his book The bodies many cries for water talks about the role that dehydration plays in promoting dis-ease in the body. His message is that water is essential to good health.
Our bodies need water to bring in the good stuff and to flush the nasties out. When stressed and toxic the body doesn’t hydrate properly, things start to go wrong, and the cells which are the building blocks of a human essentially start to malfunction. You may already be suffering the side effects of not drinking water properly and are dehydrated.
The good news is that lots of us are drinking at least 2-3 litres of water a day. The bad news is that we might be not drinking it in the right way. Before you shoot me, as have many when I make this humble suggestion, let’s meet one of your trillion cells.
Meet Clarissa Cell
Meet Clarissa Cell. She’s a rather demanding woman. Clarissa loves to be hydrated as it gives her energy to do the stuff that she enjoys. One of her best friends is Walter Water. He transports her friends, among them Harry Hydrogen and Ollie Oxygen over to supply her with energy and nutrients. Walter also helps her to keep her shape, well hydrated and her temperature balanced. Then when the waste needs taking away Walter is on hand to perform that task too.
When Clarissa gets dehydrated, that is, she is starved for example of Ollie oxygen, she gets a bit naffed off and demonstrates some pretty toxic behaviour. Go on try holding your breath for a few minutes if you can, how ill does that make you feel? Now think about how poor Clarissa feels when she is being throttled.
Clarissa’s external environment needs to be alkaline, and her internal environment needs to be acid, and Walter also knows how to support Clarissa so that this balance is maintained.
One of Clarissa best leadership functions is to form tight friendships with her other cell mates. Together they make up the tissues and organs of the body. When they collaborate to form these unions, Walter is never far away and being the great guy that he is; he can be found in various quantities hanging around with Clarissa’s communities making sure they are functioning well.
Because Clarissa is a bit of a dominatrix, she likes to keep Walter manacled and bound to her communities. Her reasoning is that when her communities are wet, juicy and full of energy, her human is happy.
Her most demanding community head is Bertie Brain. When Bertie is dehydrated, he screams like a baby, demanding to be fed. Unfortunately, Bertie’s cries get mistaken for hunger and Clarissa’s human often reaches for food and overloads her system. All that Bertie wants is Walter water and Gaby glucose, and he’d be a contented brain.
When Clarissa is on her best form and keeping Walter bound to her communities, she demands that other free water is found to keep the wheels of the rest of her human turning.
It’s no wonder that Walter is such a special guy, he makes up about 60% to 70% of the average human body. She being the girl that she is she rather likes her human to have a more muscular body. Simply because it means there is more of Walter around, whereas a fat body contains less water and that does not make Walter or Clarissa happy.
In a nutshell:-
- All of our cells need water
- Water acts as a solvent, a transport system, a temperature regulator and a waste disposal system
- Our body is made up of approx.. 60% – 70% water of which large volumes of it are bound in our organs
- The brain, for example, is approx.75% water, blood 82%, intestines 75% and kidneys 83%
- Water is balanced in the body to ensure homoeostasis (Homeostasis is the ability to maintain a constant internal environment in response to environmental changes)
- Water is lost via sweat, breathing, urine and stools
- We need to drink water to ensure that we replace water lost through normal body functions and to maintain hydration
- Water needs to be drunk in the right way so that it does not interfere with digestion while keeping us hydrated
- Water helps our bodies to function properly
The human sponge and the dried river bed
The cells of the body are like sponges, which have to be wet to hold water. When a sponge is dry, the water falls off it. Another way to look at how water acts on dehydrated parts is to consider a dry river bed. Where I live, it is very dry, and there’s not a lot of rainfall. When it does rain, it comes down in a torrent. Because the river beds aka ramblas are hard and dry, the water cannot be absorbed and just sits on top of the hard crust. Had the river bed been hydrated when the rains came then the water would be absorbed.
It’s, therefore, important to not just pour water in and hope that it will hydrate your cells. You have to take your time and introduce your new drinking regime so that the water does not flow straight out of you. What you notice is that when you are dehydrated and start drinking water, you will need to wee more often. As you become hydrated this need to rush to the toilet will diminish.
Clarissa’s rules for drinking water in the right way
- Start slowly and build up
- Get 2 containers of 500ml and use these as your water bottles
- At bedtime take one to bed
- When you wake up, drink your first 500ml. This will help to flush your body and kick-start your day. Don’t gulp it, drink it steadily as you come aware and awake
- Drink your next one 30 minutes before breakfast; this will hydrate your digestive system (1 litre)
- Fill your bottles again
- Wait at least 60 minutes after eating breakfast before drinking again. Between breakfast and lunch drink one bottle of water, ensuring it is drunk at least 30 minutes before lunch (1.5 litres)
- Fill your empty bottle again
- Wait at least 60 minutes after eating lunch before drinking again. Between lunch and dinner drink one bottle of water, ensuring it is drunk at least 30 minutes before dinner (2 litres)
- Fill your empty bottle again
- Between dinner and bedtime drink one bottle – stop drinking 30 minutes before bed (2.5 litres)
- Fill one bottle and take one to bed for the morning
- No more that 3 litres a day unless it’s hot and/or you are exercising
- Never drink cold water – room temperature is better
- Always have a bottle of water with you
- Don’t drink with meals
- Drink your water evenly through the day, don’t gulp it all down
- Reduce dehydrating drinks – tea, coffee and hot chocolate
- Have warm water and lemon/cider vinegar in the morning (alkalizes the body – remember Clarissa likes an alkalizing external environment)
- Have linseed tea as your daily tea. (Linseed tea is great because it is a bit gloopy – be careful how you make it otherwise it’s too gloopy– which soothes and relaxes the colon which allows it to absorb more water)
- Be mindful when you drink and enjoy it
- Find water that you like the taste of
- Don’t drink out of plastic bottles and never leave a plastic bottle of water in a hot environment and drink the contents later
- Get a water filter and put your water in environmentally friendly containers
- If you feel thirsty – drink – slowly
- 15-30 minutes before exercising drink one bottle of water
- During exercise sip water – wash it around your mouth and swallow
- After exercise drink one bottle of water
When it’s hot
- Ensure that you drink more in hot weather while following the rules above.
Calculating how much water to drink daily
- Take your weight in pounds
- Half it
- Drink that in ounces per day
- My weight 62 kilos = 136.687 pounds
- 136.687 / 2 = 68 ounces of water
- 68 ounces of water = 2 litres
Use online calculators to do the hard work of converting it all for you.
How to tell if you are dehydrated
Before you read any further, consider if you have noticed any of the following:-
- Scant urine, or urine that is darker than usual (it is more yellow and gold when you are dehydrated)
- Dry mouth and thirst
- Sleepiness or fatigue
- Headaches or lightheaded feelings
- Impaired thinking, confusion, forgetful and foggy
Focus on your mouth, how does it feel? Take a drink of water, hold it in your mouth and tell me how that feels. When you swallow it, notice how the water flows around your body, how does your body feel? Chances are your body is crying out for more water.
How to tell if you are hydrated
Getting hydrated takes time. What I notice is that:-
- My lips and hands are not as dry. I.e. I do not need to use so much lip salve and hand cream
- I am no longer thirsty and the only time I am thirsty is if I have eaten or drunk something drying
- I do not have very much hunger and eat smaller amounts of better quality foods (this could mean weight loss for you)
- My skin looks clearer
- Better digestion and colon health
- I feel less tired, have more energy and my mood is more positive
- My urine is clearer and I need to wee less often
Note: If you have long standing illnesses / dis-ease check with your doctor before filling yourself up with water. Just because water is essential it doesn’t mean you can overload. Please proceed with caution. If in doubt check with your doctor at all times.