Water And Your Health

Substantial Health Benefits,
Clean water is essential.

The quality of your tissues, their performance, and their resistance to disease and injury are absolutely linked to the quality and quantity of water you drink. Water is the most abundant substance on the earth and in the body. It makes up 60-75% of body weight and is important in numerous bodily processes and functions.

Used in the blood to transport nutrients, oxygen and glucose to all parts of the body, water also carries wastes to the kidneys for elimination from the body. It aids in digestion and relieves constipation. Water is a joint lubricant and cushion for organs. It lowers body temperature through perspiration. Water improves skin texture and is useful in preventing urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

Because of its importance in the body, experts recommend that the average adult consume at least 64 ounces (eight 8-oz. glasses) of water every day. Depending on body size and physical activity, men and women may need to drink even more than that to meet their bodies' needs. Every person loses at least 2 ½ quarts of water per day through urination, perspiration, respiration and bowel movements. Very few people replenish this loss.

One of the reasons for this is that many people may equate fluid intake as an equivalent to water intake. It is not. The body processes water differently than beverages. Fluid intake is not the same as intake of water, in fact, in some cases just the opposite. Caffeinated beverages for instance cannot be included in a person's daily fluid content due to their diuretic effect, actually depleting the body of water and fluids.

Tips for monitoring water intake include: take water breaks instead of coffee breaks; drink two cups of water 2-2 ½ hours before scheduled physical activity and again 15 minutes before the activity, ½ cup of water every 15 minutes during activity and then 2 cups per pound of water weight lost during the exercise session; keep a water bottle or cup with you at your desk throughout the day; try fruit juice and seltzer water or a slice of lime to add flavor.

Most health & wellness experts now acknowledge just how important ample pure water is to creating and maintaining health. Let's look at what some of them are saying…

According to the scientists from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), it has been estimated that between 60 to 80 percent of all cancer is caused by the chemicals in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. Cancer will afflict one out of every four people. The NCI expressed concern over 20 years ago that increase in carcinogens in water and our inattention to removing them at the treatment plants could result in serious exposure of the general population.

"Do I need to tell you why drinking plenty of good quality water is as essential to health as eating properly? In a nutshell: one of the main activities of the body's self-healing system is filtration of the blood, a job performed mostly by the kidneys with a little help from the mechanism of perspiration. Kidneys are such efficient, compact and miraculous filters that they put to shame the dialysis machines used to maintain the patients with renal failure. The heart, blood, and kidneys are a single functional unit the constantly cleanses and purifies itself, removing all the toxic wastes of metabolism and the breakdown products of harmful substances that get onto our bodies one way or another. This purification system can operate efficiently only if the volume of water flowing through it is sufficient to carry away the waste. Further, as clean water enters the body, it has the ability to pick-up mineral deposits accumulated in cells, joints, artery walls, or wherever such deposits occur and begin to carry them out. Gallstones and kidney stores then decrease, and it also lessens arthritic pain as joints become more supple and movable." Dr. Andrew Weil, Natural Health, Natural Medicine.

Most people get their water from the household tap. This water originates from lakes, rivers, streams, and underground sources. The majority of water goes through a system of cleaning at the local water treatment plant. However, because of a lack of funds to provide the necessary technology, many harmful pollutants and water borne diseases are present in the finished treated water.

"In most cases our tap water is treated only to minimum standards, by sedimentation, filtration, chemical conditioning and disinfections with chlorine. The toxic metals, pesticides, industrial chemical,... the 50 or so chemicals used in the water treatment are present in the already treated water, along with the dead bacteria killed by the chlorine, as are the carcinogenic Trihalomethanes from the chlorine itself, that are known to cause liver and colorectal cancers." Dr. Michael Colgan, Optimum Sports Nutrition.

"Bacteria, viruses, synthetic compounds, metals, and radionuclides are the contaminants that become incorporated into our drinking water, and have the potential to cause health effects ranging from low grade sub-clinical illnesses such as colds and flu to death from cancer". Canadian Nutrition Guide.

"There are more than 60,000 chemical contaminants in water. Any municipal water supply is likely to have at least a thousand of these. Water authorities do what they can, but it is too great an expense to ensure our tap water is healthy enough for us to drink. Fifty percent of the US population uses water that in part is made up of recently discharged wastewater. And like the treatments for drinking water, wastewater treatments do not remove many of the toxic substances." Prevention Magazine.

"It has become apparent that pollution and contamination exist within our drinking water. With the amount of sewage dumped into drinking water sources, many water borne diseases are present in the so-called "treated" drinking water. This leaves our bodies wide open to diseases. The viruses of major concern in relation to drinking water are those of intestinal origin, excreted by infected animals or humans, which reach water resources by way of the soil's unlimited potential for serious disease and contamination of the human body." Canadian Nutrition Guide.

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