I mentioned the importance of hydration in blog 3, the areas affecting good health. Water makes up about 60% of your body weight1. Your body needs water to function properly. Every cell, organ and tissue in your body needs water. You need water to flush out toxins, firstly through your liver and bowels to eliminate fat soluble toxins and through your kidneys and urine for water soluble toxins. Toxins are also eliminated through sweat.
How Much Water Should I Drink Daily?
There are a variety of views on this. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink 2.7 litres and men 3.7 litres of water daily1. One should definitely aim for at least 2 litres and more if it is hot or you are exercising. Don’t include caffeinated drinks in your water calculation as these dehydrate. Fizzy drinks such as Coca Cola or Fanta also do not hydrate. They are not water. Our body needs water.
Have you noticed you are more thirsty after drinking a Coke than you were before? Coca Cola and other fizzy drinks or sodas have a pH of around 2.8. This is significantly more acidic than your body and requires a massive alkaline (calcium) flush to restore normal body pH. An acidic environment is one in which pathological bacteria, viruses, fungi and consequently auto-immune diseases thrive. The sicker you are the lower your pH will be.
Soft drinks act as a diuretic and eliminate water from your body. See my next blog for information on what drinking a normal Coke versus a Diet Coke does to your body. Just remember they both lead to chronic dehydration4. A normal can of a high sugar fizzy drink contains at least 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is over the recommended daily allowance for adults and over double the recommended daily amount for children. We’ll look at this in a later blog.
Fruit juices also shouldn’t be used to hydrate and should be consumed in very small quantities because of the high amount of fructose they contain. Fruit contain fibre which slows down the absorption of fructose, whereas fruit juices are fibre-free. However, fruit should be limited to about three portions daily so as not to consume too much fructose. An 8oz glass of orange juice contains 5.5 teaspoons or 20 grams of sugar. This amounts to almost the daily recommended allowance for adult women (no more than 6 teaspoons daily) and exceeds the recommended amount for children (3 teaspoons or 12 grams daily)5. Our body needs water, not high sugar drinks or artificial fluids sweetened with artificial sweeteners.
You need to be selective with your source of water. In Switzerland you can drink the tap water since it is fresh mountain water. However, in cities such as London, tap water should be avoided. It contains numerous toxins, including chlorine and in some areas water is fluoridated2. You don’t want to be drinking chlorine or fluoride. These days water is also high in oestrogen, one of the reasons suspected behind the increase in male infertility. If you live in a city I advise a water purifying system attached to your water supply. The company I recommend Osmio Water. They have a wide range of filters in different price ranges.
With a water filter you can fill up your water bottle each day: you also know that the water use for cooking is safe and clean. A glass bottle is ideal as plastic bottles leach endocrine disruptors into the water. For information on plastics visit: io9.gizmodo.com/how-to-recognize-the-plastics-that-are-hazardous-to-you-461587850
If you need to purchase water because you don’t have a filter I recommend buying Volvic water which is high in silicon and helps to detoxify aluminium from your body.
Dehydration occurs when you lose water from your body and you don’t replace this.
Dehydration is behind numerous illnesses including dementia and Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, benign tremors, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Dehydration also leads to constipation, liver joint and muscle problems, kidney stones and increasing levels of toxicity in your body.
Dr Mercola has listed the symptoms of dehydration in the following chart3:
Fatigue and/or Dizziness
Foggy Thinking and Poor Concentration
Back of Joint Ache
Dull, dry skin and/or pronounced wrinkles
Infrequent urination; dark, concentrated urine
The Thirst Signal Can Get Confused
Our body signals its need for water through thirst. But if we ignore this constantly then we no longer become aware of when we are thirsty and we might no longer register this important signal. A lack of thirst is not a good indicator of good hydration.
I recommend having either a glass water bottle or a jug of water on your desk so you know how much you have consumed throughout the day. It’s so easy to lose track of how many glasses you drink during a busy day otherwise.