Last week, my husband and I vacationed in the sunny outskirts of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Every morning as I walked or jogged along the shoreline of the Atlantic coast, I watched people explore the recurrent waves that gracefully disappeared into the sand. All ages were fascinated by this vast expanse of oceanic beauty, from toddlers who could hardly walk, to old folks in wheelchairs. Families had traveled for a fun-filled vacation to this same location where many companies also held their annual business conventions. Our destination was a hot spot, not only because the weather was warm and sunny, but because nothing quite compares to the exhilaration of being close to the water. The ocean possesses a unique magnetism that can draw us toward serenity while at the same time, it coaxes us to leap into its erratic dances. Water alone, in any of its various forms is refreshing to our senses. It can revitalize on many levels, whether we drink it, get cleaned with it, soak in it, or swim in it. We each have our preferences: mineral water, tap water, distilled water, rain water, spring water, sea water, bath water and so on. This precious resource serves multiple purposes in our life and it’s absolutely critical to our survival. Many of us can survive weeks without food, but without clean drinking water, we would be lucky to stay alive for a few days.
Water is vital to every cell of life. The average adult body contains 50-65% water, although this amount can fluctuate depending on age, gender and fitness level. Infants hold a much higher quantity, typically around 75%, but this drops to 65% by age one. Since fatty tissue contains less water than lean tissue, men tend to have a higher percentage than women. Essentially, the more muscle a person has, the more water he or she can retain on a cellular level. In fact, endurance athletes who store a high degree of cellular water can gain an edge when competing. While others stop off at the water stations to hydrate, they’re tapped into their own cellular reserves. This advantage comes not just from having more muscle. Cellular water in our body can increase by eating water. We don’t have to drink all our water, we can eat it through foods such as, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, celery, tomatoes, green peppers, watermelon, spinach, and broccoli, etc. Most endurance athletes know about the benefits of carb loading before a major event, but only a few prepare for rigorous competition by eating foods with a high water content.
Whatever is our preferred source, we all need water to maintain good health. Water is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption and to help remove toxins from our digestive tract. It’s needed by our brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters. Water provides lubrication for our joints and regulates our internal body temperature through sweating and respiration. When it comes to changing our body composition and appearance, water has multi-faceted benefits. Not only does water help deliver oxygen throughout our body, the presence of oxygen is required to help us burn fat. As mentioned in my book, we can develop our fat-burning efficiency by increasing our Aerobic Base (AB). This cardiovascular measurement can improve over time with the right training program. (To learn more about this AB number, refer to pages 232-234.) Water can suppress our appetite which in turn, prevents us from overeating and gaining weight. Unfortunately, many people have lost this innate connection to their thirst mechanism. They have a hard time losing weight because they’re always turning to food when in fact, they should be drinking more water. Others struggle with weight loss, because they’re always drinking too much junk, such as carbonated beverages with a high sugar content, artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Most of us are aware that the basic daily water recommendation is 8 cups. However, the more accurate amount really depends on two factors. First, how much you weigh and second, how much water you may be losing through exercise. An easy way to determine your daily minimum water intake is to take half your body weight in pounds and modify this number to ounces. For instance, if you weigh 130, you need 65 ounces—the equivalent of a little more than 8 cups. But if you are exercising daily, then double this amount to your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 200 pounds, your minimum intake would be 100 ounces or the equivalent of 12 ½ cups; and if you’re losing water daily through a sweaty workout, then double this amount to 200 ounces—approximately 25 cups.
Many health ailments result from an insufficient consumption of water; this may include fatigue, headaches, lethargy, joint pain and dizziness. Without clean water, we cannot have clean health. Unfortunately, in several parts of the world, water is scarce. Contaminated water is a leading cause of disease and poverty. If you have access to good-quality drinking water, never take this refreshing resource for granted. Pour yourself a tall cold glass and reconnect with your intrinsic values by reading The Proactive Health Solution. This book will guide you to get healthy naturally, through practical self-healing principles.
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