Water really is the elixir of life. An interesting perspective that another friend (a backpacking buddy) who is a well trained outdoorsman told me one summer the rule of three:
A human can survive for:
– 3 minutes without air
– 3 hours without a regulated body temperature (shelter)
– 3 days without water
– 3 weeks without food
Blue Lake – Indian peaks Wilderness, Colorado
These of course are considerations in the worst case scenarios, but specific to water, we’re generally all not hydrated enough. If you feel even mildly thirsty, you’re already slightly dehydrated, and you need to drink water to catch up. Even the slightest level of dehydration negatively affects the body’s physical and mental performance. When you have a dry mouth, chapped lips or decreased urine output, your body is telling you very clearly that you need to hydrate, fast. In the above rule of three, 3 days with no water is a pretty scary place to be…after 48 hours or so, assume fever, low blood pressure, cracked skin with no elasticity, no tears or sweat and in the most extreme cases, delirium or unconsciousness. It doesn’t take much for the body to naturally start to take precautionary steps to accommodate when it is not getting ample water.
Dr John Douillard, an Ayurvedic practitioner in Boulder CO states that dehydration is one of the most common reasons that one’s Lymph system could be stagnant. He suggests sipping hot water every 10-15 minutes throughout the day, totaling at least ½ your ideal body weight in ounces per day. This means for a 150 lb person, drinking at least 75 oz, or (almost 10 cups of water) per day is necessary. He just released anther excellent article on the Lymph here, as well.
Water is the key word here…not just any liquid. Juice, soda, coffee etc do indeed contain some water, but it’s clearly not the same thing as drinking clean water. At home, we have filtered our water with Reverse Osmosis (RO) for more than 10 years, and feel it is the best set up for us. It’s convenient, inexpensive and does a great job in my opinion. The filtered water clearly tastes superior to the tap water.
Also, despite the average American’s infatuation with ice cold drinks, room temp water (or even better yet, warm) is so much better for you. Consider that we are about 98.6 degrees; what happens when you dump ice water in? Your insides immediately constrict, and it douses your digestive “fire”, making it considerably weaker. Drinking iced beverages with your meal can result in overall poor digestion, cramps, nausea, gas or constipation.
Finally, it’s ok to NOT have a beverage with your meal. Doing so dilutes the acids needed for proper digestion. If you would like, drink a glass 20-30 minutes before your meal if you want to help curb your appetite, as it will help you feel fuller, faster.
Water quality and its general availability are becoming more and more of a concern and many today feel that it is or will be one of the most important political and environmental concerns of the 21st century. The excellent documentary ‘FLOW” discusses these concerns thoroughly, exposing many of the historical and current concerns as well as some of the most thought provoking solutions.
Why we filter our water comes down to doing whatever we can to mitigate the negative environmental impacts on what we put into our body. No one would willingly drink a cup of straight chlorine bleach, and yet every time we drink tap water we’re drinking it in small quantities each and every day. I totally get and respect the advances we have made as a society with clean drinking water. I know how fortunate as a whole we are in America and yet it has come at a price, and there are better ways today.
So, for now I’ll take my drinking water filtered, thank you. On another blog post, I will discuss more of the specifics as to what’s in the water (hint: its much more than just chlorine!) at the kitchen sink that we’re so interested in removing before it flows into my glass.
Ever wonder about those people who spend $2 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backward. – George Carlin