Although the number of people carrying water bottles appears to have increased exponentially over the past few years, how many people are aware of the importance of water? Do you know much water you should drink every day? It’s likely more than you think
Why Is Water Important?
The body is composed of 25 percent solid matter and 75 percent water. Water regulates all functions in the body, including the activity of all the solutes (solids) dissolved in it.
First, you have to drink enough water to ensure that enough of the solids (nutrients, hormones, and chemical messengers) required by the cells are transported to the vital organs. Water is both the transport medium, and a substance required by the organs.
The organs themselves may produce substances that have to be transported to other organs, and they need a certain rate of water-flow to accomplish this. The amount of substances that need to be used by each organ are constantly changing to meet quotas set by the brain.
Generally, a dry mouth is regarded as a sign and sensation of the body’s water needs. It is assumed that if the mouth is not dry, the body has enough water, but damage to the organs can occur from dehydration when there is no dry mouth.
In his book, “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” Dr. Batmanghelidj, wrote that persisting dehydration has a damaging effect on the organs and will show up as symptoms, signals and complications that we call diseases. When symptoms are correctly seen as dehydration and water is taken, the disease will not manifest.
According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, when the body is dehydrated it has a rationing and distribution system for each organ – this is a form of drought management.
Will Other Drinks Do Instead of Water?
Other drinks such as tea, coffee and alcohol contain water, but also have a dehydrating affect. So plain water is essential.
Research shows that water has many properties, besides being a solvent and the means of transport. The body has water-dependent chemical reactions. For example, at the cell membrane hydrostatic energy is converted and stored as ATP and GTP. These are chemical sources of energy in the body.
Water also forms a particular structure, pattern and shape that is employed as the adhesive material in the bondage of cell architecture. Proteins and enzymes of the body function more efficiently in solutions of lower viscosity in the cell membranes. During dehydration, proteins and enzymes become less efficient.
What Are Other Signs of Thirst Besides Dry Mouth?
Substances called histamine and prostaglandins are responsible for rationing regulation of the available water in dehydration. These substances can cause pain when they come across pain-sensing nerves in the body. They can also become extremely active, to the point of causing allergies, asthma and chronic pains in different parts of the body. These symptoms should be treated as a thirst signal, and water intake should be increased before any medical procedures are tried.
Dr. Batmanghelidj writes that pain indicating dehydration includes pain from dyspepsia, rheumatoid arthritis, angina, low back pain, intermittent claudication (pain in the calf on walking), migraine, hangover headache, colitis, and constipation.
At least two and a half liters of water in 24 hours should be taken for a few days rather using regular analgesics. Those with adrenal or kidney disease may need to consult a physician before taking this much water.
How Much Water Should You Drink on a Regular Basis?
The amount of water you should drink a day depends on a number of factors, including your weight, the amount of alcohol and/or coffee you drink, the amount of exercise you take, the climate, the altitude, and the weather [very hot or very cold]. People who are sick with a fever or diarrhea, or women who are pregnant or breast-feeding will require more.
About.com has a daily hydration calculator on its site. http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm
Go and find how much water you should drink every day, and try treating pain with water before you try analgesics.