Optimal Hydration

Did you know that water is THE most common nutritional deficiency among Americans today?

Water is the most important nutrient in the human body.  Our bodies can go as long as 8 weeks or more without food, but only days without water.  Water makes up 55 – 60% of our total body mass!  In an average adult, that equates to 10 – 13 gallons of water.  Most of the volume of cells and body fluids is also comprised of water.  If the body’s water content drops by as little as 2%, it will certainly cause fatigue.  A drop of 10% will cause significant health problems such as digestive, cardiovascular, immune, and musculoskeletal issues, and a loss of water greater than 10% may even cause death.

So, what are the physical signs and symptoms of dehydration? 

EARLY signs of dehydration include:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Cramps
  • Headaches

MATURE signs of dehydration include:

  • Heartburn
  • Joint Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Migraines
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Constipation
  • Colitis

Why is water so important for our overall health?

The body can produce about 8% of its daily water needs through metabolic processes.  The remaining 92% must be ingested through the foods we eat and the beverages we drink!  Even though the amount and distribution of water are regulated within the body, water cannot be stored.  This makes daily consumption of water essential for a healthy body.

Below is a list of the important roles water plays in the optimal functioning of the human body:

  • Improves oxygen delivery to cells
  • Transports nutrients
  • Enables cellular hydration
  • Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
  • Cushions bones and joints
  • Absorbs shocks to joints and organs
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Removes wastes
  • Flushes toxins
  • Prevents tissues from sticking
  • Lubricates joints
  • Improves cell-to-cell communications
  • Maintains normal electrical properties of cells
  • Empowers the body’s natural healing process

Keep in mind, that in order for our bodies to absorb and process water properly, electrolytes must be naturally present in the water we consume.  Water is dependant upon electrolytes for proper absorption! 

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals that become capable of conducting electricity when dissolved in water.

Electrolytes have four general functions: to control the osmosis of water between fluid compartments; to help to maintain pH balance; carry electrical current; and serve as cofactors needed for optimal activity of enzymes within our bodies.  An easy and inexpensive way to add electrolytes to your drinking water is to add a pinch of natural sea salt (Celtic sea salt or Himalayan Crystal salt).  This gives water the charge it needs to properly hydrate you at a cellular level.  Adding in a squeeze of organic lemon juice gives the water added flavor and also helps to alkalinize your body, as well.

The importance of WATER QUALITY!

Finding pure, clean, living water is difficult these days.  Our water resources are contaminated with a myriad of industrial chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, pathogenic organisms, fluoride, and so many other dangerous substances, too numerous to mention here.  The good news is that you can still find healthy water, so do your research to find a more healthful source of water.  Mountain Valley Spring Water and Fiji Brand waters are two commercially available water products with excellent quality.  If you wish to drink your tap water, have it tested to see what you are ingesting and invest in and research a good filtration system for both your drinking water and your shower.  We use a Berkey filter for our drinking and cooking water and have filters on our shower, washing machine and outside hose.

A VERY important note about distilled water…

Distilled water has lost its mineral content; therefore it no longer has electrolyte activity.  To process this “dead” water, your body will donate its own minerals (electrolytes) to be able to absorb and utilize the distilled water.  Therefore, drinking distilled water STEALS minerals from your body’s own mineral reserves to process the distilled water, brining about multiple mineral deficiencies.  Distilled water is not the best choice for your drinking water and should be used VERY sparingly, if at all!

How many ounces of water should you be drinking on a daily basis?  

To determine your bio-individual daily water intake, experts at the Mayo Clinic suggest dividing body weight in half and using this number as the minimum in ounces you should drink each day.  Do not exceed 100 ounces though.  It’s tough for anyone’s kidneys to handle that amount of fluid intake.  For example, a man weighing 180 lbs. should consume 90 ounces of clean, filtered water per day and a woman weighing 125 lbs. should consume at least 62.5 ounces of clean, filtered water per day.  This equation also applies to young children.

If you are drinking diuretic and/or caffeinated beverages, you must REPLACE the water your body loses when consuming them.  For example, if you drink an 8-ounce diuretic beverage, you must add another 12 – 16 ounces of pure, clean water on top of your daily intake in ounces. 

Below is a list of common diuretic/caffeinated beverages and more:

  • Coffee
  • Caffeinated Teas
  • Soda
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Packaged Fruit Juices
  • Prescription Drugs

Water expert, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., author of “Your Body’s Man Cries for Water” states that “Chronic cellular dehydration of the body is the primary etiology (cause) of painful degenerative disease.”  By properly calculating your daily intake of water in ounces, adequately replenishing the water lost from diuretic/caffeinated beverages, adding a pinch of sea salt for optimal absorption and assimilation of water, along with a squeeze of lemon to alkalinize your systemic pH, you will successfully hydrate yourself each and every day to age gracefully, feel younger and more energetic, and maintain overall vibrant health!

Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc. ® – Module 8 of the Nutritional Therapist Training Program – Hydration

Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., author of “Your Body’s Man Cries for Water”


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