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Friday, December 30, 2011

A Most Sensible Resolution for 2012


Yes, you've heard this cry many times I am sure.  But even in today's world it is extremely important to your health.  Its also not the truth, as so many in mainstream medicine tell you, that those 8 glasses a days aren't necessary. 

Well, I certainly agree that the 8 glasses are needed, and I have my surgeon father to thank for that.  When he was in med school in the 1920s this was the rule.

The "Cool Morning Draught" was also a very popular and health promoting traditional naturopathic therapy, and my mother always started her day this way. One of her favorite songs was "Cool Water" as sung by the Sons of the Pioneers.  She was lucky enough to have come from the place that supplies artesian wells drinking water to New Orleans.

Seems too that forward thinking and health supporting doctors agree - one who I think offers trustworthy and practical advice about all aspects of healthy living.

DEHYDRATION CHECK:  If your tongue feels at all raspy 
or like sandpaper then you too aren't getting enough water.

from Dr. John Briffa -
I sat down two days ago with some ambition to write a blog post (or two). In the end I did not write a word. Why? As I explained to my girlfriend, ‘my brain wasn’t working’. Try as I might, I found the whole idea of writing anything cogent too much. I did a quick scan of things that might have caused this state. I was not short on sleep. Neither had I eaten any wheat (I’ve found from experience this tends to turn my brain off).
Then I wondered if I might be dehydrated. It was about 4.00 in the afternoon, and I could only remember passing water twice all day – not a good sign. Plus, there was no doubt in my mind that I had drunk only a small proportion of the water I would normally consume when, say, in my own home. I stepped up my water intake and felt quite quickly revived. It might have been a placebo response, but maybe not.
This morning I decided to see if there was any recent evidence on the impact of dehydration on mental functioning, and did indeed come across a relevant study [1]. In this research, 25 women were subjected to a variety of assessments of mood, mental functioning and wellbeing in a normally hydrated state, as well as a dehydrated state. On one occasion, dehydration was induced with intermittent exercise but not heat. On another occasion, dehydration was induced not just with exercise, but by administration of the diuretic drug frusemide (furosemide).
Overall, dehydration with or without frusemide led to an average of 1.36 per cent of body mass. Just to put this into perspective, for someone weighing 70 kg, this would equate to about 1 kg (or 1 litre) of dehydration. In other words, this extent of dehydration would be described as ‘mild’.
At this level of dehydration, basic cognitive (brain) function was not significantly affected. But other functions were, including the amount of perceived effort used by women to complete a task. My experience yesterday meant that I could totally relate to this.
In addition, the concentration and mood of the women were also adversely affected. The women were more fatigued too, and were more prone to headaches. All this, remember, was the result of relatively mild dehydration.
None of this actually proves my inertia yesterday was caused by something as simple and rectifiable as dehydration, but it is at least consistent with it. I’d say as far a New Year resolutions go, many of us could do a lot worse than just to ensure we’re decently hydrated. How much should we drink? I suggest enough to ensure our urine stays pale yellow in colour throughout the day.
References: 1. Armstrong LE, et al. Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women J Nutr January 1, 2012 jn.111.142000

Advanced Care Chiropractic offers this short report -

Just because it is winter and it is cold and rainy, doesn’t mean you can’t get dehydrated!  During these months we are inside more, with heaters going, and we don’t have that natural thirst mechanism.  So most of the patients I see ARE dehydrated.
Water is your body’s principal chemical component, comprising 60-70% of your weight. Every system in your body depends on water.  Even mild dehydration can sap your energy and make you tired. 
Lack of water increases fibrosis and cross-linking in collagen, resulting in advanced wrinkling,  stiff and easily injured joints, and degeneration of joints and discs.  
It also makes chiropractic adjustments more difficult, more painful, and less effective. 
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
1) How Much?  The US National Research Council recommends 1 mL of water for every Calorie you eat.  So if you eat 2000 Calories you should be drinking 2000 mL (2 liters or 2.1 quarts).  My guideline is ½ oz of water for every pound of weight.  So for a 150 lb man or woman, you need 75 oz of water (over 2 quarts).
You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the environment or weather you are in, your health status, and if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Exercise. The more you exercise, the more fluid you’ll need to keep your body hydrated. An extra 1 or 2 cups of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires additional fluid. During long bouts of intense exercise, it’s best to use a sports drink that contains sodium and electrolytes to help replace sodium lost in sweat. Fluid also should be replaced after exercise.
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, high altitudes may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.
  • Illnesses or health conditions. Fever, vomiting and diarrhea cause your body to lose additional fluids. In these cases you should drink more water and may even need oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade.  Certain conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are lost especially when nursing.  It is recommended that pregnant women drink 2.4 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed 3.0 liters (about 12.5 cups).
2) Don’t wait until you are thirsty!   It’s generally not a good idea to use thirst alone as a guide for when to drink. By the time you becomes thirsty, it is possible to be already dehydrated.  Be aware that as you get older your body is less able to sense dehydration and send your brain signals of thirst. 
3) Avoid drinking at night! Don’t try to catch up for not drinking during the day by drinking too much in the evening.  Avoid drinking 2 hours before bedtime.  Unless you LIKE waking up in the middle of the night!
4) Water filters, spring water, bottled waterIf you drink water from a bottle, thoroughly clean or replace the bottle often. Refill only bottles that are designed for reuse.  In general spring water from a tested source is best, then filtered water.  Don’t drink distilled water. 
5) Drink Warm or Room Temperature Water  You wouldn’t put ice water in a baby’s water bottle, a pet dish or a house plant would you?  Then avoid it for yourself too.  Traditional Chinese Medicine declares that cold drinks “shock” the body and blocks the normal flow of energy. 
6) Can You Drink Too Much?  Though rare, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte content of the blood is diluted, resulting in a condition called hyponatremia.   Endurance athletes such as marathon runners who drink large amounts of water are at higher risk of hyponatremia.  In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who consume an average American diet. 

Selections from Natural Health News

Dec 26, 2007
Lose weight with water. Water is essential for everybody - it is also the key to losing weight. If you haven't been drinking enough water, your body has developed a pattern of storing water. This water retention equals extra ...

Apr 03, 2008
The hot topic in current news seems to be water, and how much you don't need. This topic has made the news several times in the past few years, sometimes to the chagrin of health advocates who believe water is life giving. 

Aug 24, 2010
Drinking water with meals has always been a point of discussion in natural health care. We have learned, and educate others about water and how important it is for health. We also always have suggested to drink water ...

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