Water is the best drink. It’s best taken when it’s naturally cold or warm. Naturally cold water promotes secretion of toxins through the skin and increases excretion of poison through the urine. Warm water, meanwhile, stimulates the inner lining of the stomach, contracts blood vessels, and lessens the secretion of acids from the glands. The best way to drink water is to take it sip by sip, making sure that saliva is mixed with it before swallowing.
Dehydration is the excessive loss of water. Dehydration causes imbalance of sodium, potassium and chloride, which are the minerals that help distribute water to the vital organs. Thirst, loss of skin elasticity, dry skin, decreased urine, irritability, confusion caused by excessive sweating, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting are just some of the signs of dehydration. It is important to note also that some conditions do not manifest dehydration just by thirst. For some, the body expresses thirst through stomach pains after eating, chest pain, joint pain, headache and even backaches.
Dehydration can also cause stress. Stress, in turn, causes further dehydration. Depression, the exaggerated feeling of sadness, worthlessness and rejection can also cause dehydration. It is important to note that staying hydrated is very important for the brain because water generates electrical energy. The body tends to secrete higher amounts of the following hormones during dehydration:
- Endorphins – These are produced by the pituitary glands. These hormones reduce pain but too much of it may affect normal pain reaction.
- Cortisone – This is a chemical compound produced by the liver. Prolonged action of this depletes body water reserves.
- Prolactin – This hormone is produced by the pituitary glands for milk production. Increased secretion due to chronic dehydration can cause breast tumor.
- Vasopressin- This is secreted by the pituitary glands. This is one of the hormones that distribute water to vital organs. When you are dehydrated, more cells dutifully produce vasopressin to be able to regulate water.
Drinks like alcohol, coffee, tea and carbonated drinks suppress secretion of these hormones. Thus, these fluids can cause dehydration in some organs of the body.
Some illnesses may be controlled if water is drank properly. Adequate water can delay the onset or severity of hypertension just by drinking enough water. For asthmatics, more histamine in the lungs can cause constriction of the air passages and coughing due to thick mucus secretions. This constriction can cause dehydration. Simply drinking 10 glasses of water or more reduces histamine production just in a few weeks because of adequate supply of water in all body cells.
Imagine, just by simply drinking slowly, there can be so much relief from many of our ailments! But when I read that water should be sipped little by little, I had to unlearn my drinking habits. It is still a continuous challenge.
When NOT to Drink Water
Dr. Ramaiah recommends not to drink water while eating. This can affect food digestion and secretion of saliva. Water leaves the stomach in 5 to 10 minutes of drinking it and brings some of the food with it. Too much water can cause indigestion. It is recommended to drink water with empty stomach 1 ½ hours before meals and 3 hours after meals. He also recommends not to drink water or any liquid with straw.
China Daily (www.chinadaily.com.cn) discussed the ‘Water Drinking Table’. It suggests drinking water 30 minutes before breakfast 8 oz. or 250 cc. of water to clean the liver and kidneys. Then, practically every two hours to moisturize the body, keep focus and decrease work-related stress. Drinking water 30 minutes to one hour before sleeping is also recommended to prevent blood clots.
There is no substitute for water. We should drink more water often to hydrate our bodies so it can function more effectively. Happy water drinking! Cheers for health and beauty!