All day I face
the barren waste
without the taste of water, cool water
Old Dan and I
with throats burned dry
and souls that cry
for water, cool, clear, water ~Marty Robbins
I think this song was old when I sang it in choir, way back in junior high, so not many people may now know it. But, after singing the chorus over and over during the course of several weeks practicing this song, not one of us in class didn’t feel a pang of thirst at it’s first note. (I feel compelled to clarify here that choir was a required class, and I can only hit about 3 notes of this song… or any song, actually, so I lip-synced most of it, creating even more dire thirst.)
We know we need water.
If our natural thirst didn’t teach us this fact, the numerous reminders on every nutrition page certainly would, especially the ubiquitous decree that we need to drink “8 glasses of water a day”. Yet, do we understand the vital role proper hydration plays in achieving optimal health?
Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every cell and every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.
Actual clinical dehydration is rare, more common is low-grade dehydration, that can present as digestive problems, fatigue, and headaches. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
- Muscle consists of 75% water
- Brain consists of 90% of water
- Bone consists of 22% of water
- Blood consists of 85% water
So, of course you need to drink clean, filtered water, and the general daily guidelines from The Institute of Medicine are, 91 ounces for women, and 125 ounces for men. But, depending on your diet, about 20-25% of a person’s water intake comes from food, especially from foods with a high water content, like watermelon and cucumbers.
What about other beverages? Well, not all beverages are hydrating or beneficial. Chemically laden, sugary, “sports” drinks, sodas and energy drinks add to the body’s toxic burden. Sugar and coffee also create an acidic environment in the body, impeding enzyme function and taxing the kidneys, which must rid the body of excess acid.
True hydration requires a proper balance of fluid on a cellular level, and that requires minerals
It’s important that the water that ends up on your blood is able to both go into and out of your cells. Minerals, trace minerals and electrolytes are vital for this function. So here we go again… eat fresh fruit and vegetables, essential fatty acids like flaxseeds, (see previous post on oils!) and a good quality sea salt, like pink Himalayan salt, that has all of the 84 elements found in your body, in a holistic, naturally balanced state. (do NOT use regular table salt that has been heated to alter the chemical structure, and has additional chemicals. More on this in a different post…)
It has more potassium than sports drinks, and a more natural source of sodium. I love it super-cold after a run, or mixed with splash of juice and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt for a healthier version of a “sports” drink. I also use it in my famous Green Smoothie Recipe:
One large handful of greens (baby spinach and baby kale are my favorite)
1/2 green apple
1/2 frozen banana
enough coconut water to blend
It blends into a beautiful green color, and tastes so refreshing! If you drink this each morning, you’ll get some super hydration, and lovely, live enzymes to start your day right!
At the end of the day, how much water you drink a day is extremely personal: whatever quenches your thirst, but unlike the advice given by the “most interesting man in the world”, do NOT stay thirsty my friends!
May you prosper and be in good health,
3 John 1:2