- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
The Reasons We Need Water
Ways of drinking Water
Water is Really Food
Are you really hungry? Do you know what makes the stomach growl and what you need to put into it? Instead of satisfying your urge to get rid of that hunger pang, like turning into the nearest drive through fast food place to spend money that could be saved for something more important, try drinking some water. I tried this several times. And I was so surprised to see that I was really thirsty instead of hungry. Water actually curbs the appetite, and besides that, water is really necessary for proper digestion of food. It helps keep the kidneys and the liver healthy, helps lower cholesterol, and helps with digesting carbohydrates and all those sugary treats we consume.
Just because we drink a cup of coffee or a glass of tea or drink a carbonated beverage with our meal doesn't mean we are getting enough water for our bodies. Caffeine actually depletes the body of water because of its diuretic properties (as stated in Nutrition in Perspective,by Patricia A Kreutler and Donice M. Craijka-Narlins). A diuretic is a substance that pulls excess water and nutrients out of the body's cells and passes it out through the kidneys, and intestines through elimination.
Water from the tap, pure spring water, or even bottled water that is not de-ionized or has minerals added are good sources of water. People who drink water from wells, like out in the country, or in the mountains may have to be concerned with need for flouride treatments. So, drinking a serving of water before a meal can help with curbing the appetite and aid in digestion.
Dehydration is defined as lack of enough water in the body and there could be serious side effects from not enough water into the body. Young children, elderly and any one who is health compromised or physically active in extreme weather or work conditions have the potential of dehydration if not enough water is consumed. Checking with a health professional is the best thing to do in order to find out how much water is enough, especially for those who have specific health issues.
Overhydration with water can also have side effects to the body. It can lead to an electrolyte imbalance in the cells of the body as well. Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, to name a few, have a potential of being depleted as our elimination systems get rid of the excess water that our body cannot handle. Some individuals who do not eliminate excess water may even retain it (edema). Those conditions require medical attention.
Just as a balanced diet of nourishing food is essential for health, so is an adequate amount of water. So before you reach for that bottle of your favorite sweet beverage, or that extra cup of coffee, or tea, ask yourself if you have had enough water this day. And if you are a parent of a young child, or a caregiver of someone who can not ask for a drink of water,ask yourself has that person or child had enough water this day.
Also consider the weather. If an individual is exposed too much heat or even too much cold, and especially if one is extremely active or even dormant while outdoors, there will be a need to consume more water.
Those who live in areas of the world that don't have enough water or have poor conditions leading to no water or unhealthy supply should be supported with efforts to help get them the water they need through charities, health organizations, churches, or missionary groups. Not everyone in the world has enough resources to get the water, so it is essential for life to reach out to them. Locate the agencies that support water supply for the needy and contribute by donations or volunteerism.
There is such a satisfaction in the body to drink water. If the tissues in the body could say thank you for each glass of water, perhaps one would drink more.