“Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads..” Genesis 2:10
Next to oxygen, water is the most important need of our bodies. For even though we look like we are made up of solid matter, our bodies are about 70% water. Amazing though it seems, our brains are about 85% water and our digestive juices, about 99% water.
Water is involved in every body process - circulation, digestion, absorption and elimination.
Water transports nutrients to the cells and carries wastes and poisons out of the body.
Water regulates all body processes, lubricates all moving parts, distributes body heat and keeps the blood free-flowing.
Obviously then, we need to drink plenty of water to keep our brain and all parts of our body functioning well.
Next time you are having trouble concentrating, sip at a large glass of water - not too cold, not too hot. You will soon feel refreshed and revitalised, just as a withered pot plant begins to revive again once watered.
When students have been encouraged to drink water frequently, teachers have found behaviour improves and learning and work levels increase.
Patients in geriatric and psychiatric hospitals have also improved dramatically when encouraged to frequently drink water. The patients’ memories improved and they were calmer and more co-operative.
People who drink too little water can suffer from ailments as serious as kidney disease and circulatory diseases, and as annoying as constipation, headaches, fatigue, arthritis, colds, and nausea.
How much water do we need?
We need to drink enough pure water to keep our urine pale or clear. If your urine is a definite yellow or brown colour, and the colour is not due to medication, try increasing your water intake.
Some people say we need to drink 10 glasses (250ml capacity) of water daily for optimal body functioning. This figure is based on the number of glasses of water excreted from the body during the day, as listed below:
Lungs 2 glasses
Urine 5½ glasses
Skin 2 glasses
Bowel ½ glasses
Total 10 glasses
(Of course, during hot weather and exercise, more water can be lost from our bodies.)
We do get some water from our food, about 3 glasses a day, and 1½ glasses of water are produced through the processes in our bodies.
So using this theory, the bare minimum number of glasses to drink each day is 5½. But this isn’t the best. If you want Total Health and the best benefits from water, drink enough water to keep your urine pale or clear.
Other people base water needs on body weight. They suggest drinking about 1 glass (250ml capacity) for every 6.3 kilograms (approximately one stone) of body weight. So if you weigh 60 kg, you need to drink about 10 glasses of water per day.
If you only drink water when you are thirsty - you are already dehydrated. We need to train ourselves to drink water throughout the day, even if we are not thirsty. Yes, it is a matter of developing self-discipline.
Water is not supposed to taste like juice, or coffee or tea. Water is water, and is usually refreshing and rejuvenating (assuming it is clean). Water is the liquid our bodies need to function. Once again - the choice is yours.
A word of advice about drinking around mealtimes: Avoid drinking half an hour before meals and wait until one hour after meals so stomach digestive juices aren’t diluted.
If you are constipated or your bowel movements do not happen at a regular time each day, try this for about two weeks: Drink 2 glasses of warm water first thing in the morning. You will soon be regular!
You might be interested to know how much water New Zealanders are drinking. In the 1997 National Nutrition Survey 80% of people surveyed consumed water at least 3 times per week. (NZ Food : NZ People p 134).
Would it be safe to assume most people are not drinking enough water to supply the needs of their cells? So what are New Zealanders drinking instead? The same survey reports:
“Males were more frequent regular consumers than females of coffee (64 percent compared to 58 percent), carbonated drinks (30 percent, 18 percent), coridal (7 percent, 4 percent), powdered drinks (23 percent, 18 percent), and sports drinks (5 percent, 2 percent); whereas for females it was diet carbonated drinks (10 percent, 7 percent) water (85 percent, 74 percent), herbal tea (11 percent, 4 percent) and tea (65 percent, 58 percent).” NZ Food: NZ People p 134
Perhaps you think tea or coffee can do the same word as water in your cells? If so consider this:
Would you wash your dishes in tea or coffee? Would you take a shower or bath in tea of coffee?
Talking about bathing, did you know almost a third of our body wastes can be eliminated through our skin? As we learned in the 7 Exits, skin is one of the major elimination organs.
That’s why using water on the outside of our bodies is important. A daily shower or bath does the trick very nicely - and all the toxins and poisons go down the drain instead of sitting on your skin.
Have you ever heard of body brushing? Well, if you brush your body with a dry natural bristle brush or a folded towel before your bath or shower, dead skin cells and wastes are brushed off and your circulation receives a wonderful boost. Your lymphatic system is stimulated by body brushing too.
Brush in upward strokes till your skin is rosy (don’t brush the delicate skin on your face) and then shower as usual. As well as being healthful, body brushing is also very invigorating.
You can stimulate your blood circulation by switching the shower control from warm to cool water once you’ve finished washing. Your immune system will be strengthened too because more white blood cells are produced by the temperature changes.
Another healthy way to use water is the Epsom salt bath. About a cup or two of Epsom salts (also known as magnesium sulphate) dissolved in your bath water will draw poisons out of your skin.
People have been able to halt minor illnesses (such as colds) by having an Epsom salt bath as soon as they start to feel miserable, and still others have been able to rid themselves of chronic skin conditions by regularly taking Epsom salt baths. This method of helping your body cleanse is gentle, effective and pleasant - no side effects!
Water is so helpful in many other ways. Take basic household chores, for example. Water can be used to clean almost anything and is the key to basic household cleanliness. Wiping benches down to remove food scraps, washing floors to remove grime and germs, cleaning the bathroom and toilet to remove germs and dead skin cells. These basics are as important as drinking water.
And washing our clothes in water is essential to good health - especially in our world today, when viruses and other bacteria can survive on unwashed clothes.
Today’s cleaning chemicals can be damaging to health. You can try using vinegar or baking soda in water to wipe down all surfaces, although you may need something a little stronger if you are still cooking animal products around your house.
(People who switch to a plant based diet notice how easily the dishes are washed. No fatty droplets on the stove, no fatty rings on plates, no greasy hands while you’re doing the dishes.)
Perhaps you’re concerned about the chlorine or fluoride some local authorities add to the water supply, or wonder about the purity of your tank water? Some people advise drinking distilled water to avoid chemicals - but distillers are expensive and beyond the means of many people.
Other people advise a water filter. If you choose this way, please take special note to change the filters regularly - they can become a source of contamination.
But most of all - we can rely on God. If we put our trust in Him and choose to follow Him then we can claim this promise from the Bible:
“’So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you.’” Exodus 23:25
How appropriate this promise is for living the STRENGTH lifestyle!
If we follow God’s laws for health, then He can bless us in ways we have not even thought of yet!