Water... The Essence of Life
Water... The essence of life
The Universal Remedy
As a home-school mom for many years, I am well versed in a number of home remedies for a variety of ailments. Having a large family, and limited income meant finding inexpensive, easy, and readily available solutions for the many sicknesses, pains and injuries that plagued my children.
There is one remedy that seemed to recur most often. Water. Our planet is composed mostly of water. And our bodies are made up of over half water. It turns out that drinking adequate amounts of water will alleviate a number health issues. I will list many of them, but studies are still being done on all the things water can do for us. Hopefully, you will find that drinking a glass of water can help with different symptoms you are experiencing.
The Importance of Water
Why Drink More Water?
Drinking adequate amounts of water allows the body to purify, cleanse and balance itself. Water is important to detoxify and remove wastes. It is also essential in the production and release of hormones and red blood cells. Water ensures the smooth functioning of the body systems, including the digestive, reproductive and immune system. The body's systems function best when properly hydrated.
How much water to drink each day depends on many factors: your age, the climate, the weather, and your activity level, just to name a few. Many different things effect your need for hydration, but a good rule of thumb is eight glasses per day. An easy way to monitor your water intake, is to notice the color of your urine. It should be pale or light yellow. If your urine is dark yellow, or has a very strong odor, this could indicate highly concentrated urine, and a need for more water.
With so many variables, it is hard to say exactly how much water each person needs each day. And drinks like soda, coffee and juice not only add extra calories, if the drinks are caffeinated, then they will dehydrate you. It is important, after you drink caffeinated drinks, to drink at least the same volume of water, in order to replenish your body.
Symptoms of Dehydration
When you don't drink enough water during the day, you might experience dehydration.
Some of the symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depression, cravings, cramps and headache. If you notice any of these, try drinking a glass of water before medicating your body. You might just be thirsty.
Often, when one of my children complains of being tired or hungry, I will first suggest they get a drink of water, especially if they have been playing outside in the hot sun. If they have a headache or their bodies ache, then I suggest a big glass of water before we try a pain reliever.
Many times, we are so used to feeling tired or drained or sluggish, that we don't know we can feel any other way.
In the morning, begin your day with a big glass of water, before you put anything else into your system. The water will wake up your digestive system and get things moving properly. It will also help you wake up. Throughout the day, if you feel groggy at work, try drinking a glass of water and getting up to walk around. You might find that you don't need a mid-morning snack if you have a cold glass of water.
Water for Weight Loss
In addition to relieving symptoms such as fatigue, grogginess, and irritation, water can also help with weight loss. Often, we feel hungry, tired and cranky. Whether we are at work or at home, we look to food to solve our symptoms. We reach for a snack, eating mindlessly, only to feel the symptoms return within an hour.
The problem is this: Sometimes your perceptual wires get crossed, and when your body is asking for a drink of water, you offer food. The food is good, but the thirst remains. It you are feeling groggy in the afternoon, drink a glass of ice water before reaching for a snack. Chronic dehydration often presents itself in the body as hunger. As you begin to recognize what your body needs, and as you offer water before food, you will find that your hunger is often abated when you drink a glass of water.
Taken before meals, a large glass of water will fill the reservoir of your stomach. This decreases the amount of room left for food, so you fill full faster, thereby eating less. In addition, if you drink a glass of water before eating, you offset possible dehydration, which may mask as hunger. The water will help with digestion and will help you not feel so hungry when its finally time to eat.
Finally, water is helpful for weight loss because drinking ice cold water increases your metabolism. This is not a permanent increase, but it takes more calories to warm the water and ingest it, giving you a boost. A cold glass of water will add a brief boost, and the more little boosts you add to your body, the more calories you burn.
In addition to weight loss, water is a great remedy for hangovers. A lot of discomfort from hangovers comes from dehydration. To avoid the worst repercussions, alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water. Not only will you feel better in the morning, your wallet will thank you as well.
This doesn't have to be difficult. Just ask for a glass of water. Drink it slowly, before you order another drink. The water will serve two purposes. First, your alcohol consumption will be lower if you slow down and drink some water. Second, the water will help maintain hydration in your body as you consume alcohol.
Many of the discomforts associated with hangovers are a result of dehydration, including headaches, nausea, and dry mouth. Once you have finished drinking for the night, take a big glass of water. Adding a few tablets of vitamin C before you head to bed will also help mitigate those symptoms.
If you awaken during the night, drink more water. It may seem like more trouble than it's worth, but as you rebalance your body's systems, and dilute the amount of alcohol in your blood stream, then you will feel more like your normal self.
The Essence of LIfe
Water keeps you young. Hydrated skin looks smoother, is softer and more elastic than dried out skin. While applying an external moisturizer helps, it does not replace the importance of thorough hydration. Beauty begins on the inside, and the detoxification provided by water is more important to longevity than many other factors.
In addition to the outward appearance of your skin and hair, drinking enough water every day will help alleviate swelling and water retention. It will also keep your joints and tendons moving freely. It will help muscle tissue stay full and strong.
There are myriad benefits of drinking water and keeping your body hydrated. As you move toward a healthier body, consider adding water to your list of remedies.
Easy. Inexpensive. Refreshing. Water. It really is the universal remedy.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Deborah Reno