In the sweltering heat, I sought out Dr. Christine Gonzalez—an educator, author, researcher and doctor of naturopathic medicine with PhDs in Health and Human Services and in Environmental Sciences—to guide us in hydrating ourselves properly.
Gonzalez compares this, her 23rd summer in the Philippines, to a heat wave she once experienced.
Needless to say, the high temperatures can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke. We lose water routinely as we breathe, as humidified air leaves our body, when we sweat to cool our body and as we rid our body of waste products.
Without sufficient water, metabolic processes, nutrient transport, immune factor transport, waste removal and many more crucial cellular functions simply cannot occur.
When the amount of water leaving our body is greater than the amount of water we are taking in, then we are dehydrated. However, drinking water does not necessarily insure rehydration if the right type of water is not consumed or absorbed into the tissues.
We must be mindful of three factors: the amount of water our body needs to function efficiently; the kind and quality of water we take in; and the ability of our cells to absorb water.
Pure water is our best choice.
It is a myth to think that we can fulfill our water requirement with sodas, coffee, processed fruit juices, energy drinks and superficially “healthy” drinks.
Replacing these fluids with pure water is one of the most powerful lifestyle changes we can make to start improving our health.
With great emphasis, Gonzalez pointed out, “Drinking pure water regularly is so important that I put it at the top of my recommended choices to be healthy.” Simply put, water is an essential part of a healthy diet, to a much greater extent than most would imagine.
Give your body the benefit of hydration. Any type of blood detoxification and healing regimen cannot succeed unless the cells are fully hydrated. Dehydration is a common cause of an astounding number of diseases.We begin by knowing the amount of water our body needs to function efficiently. This is done by taking your body weight in pounds (e.g., 100 lbs), divide it by 2 (e.g., 50), and finally divide it by 8 (8 ounces per glass). Drink extra water when you exercise, after a sauna, after a massage and during summer season.
What type of water is best?
The quality of water that we consume will set the tone for a healthier body.
With tap water, there is danger in every glass. Plain old tap water is easy. It’s convenient and it comes right out of your kitchen faucet. However, we have heard that most tap water is contaminated with a host of pollutants such as chlorine, arsenic, aluminum, pesticides and herbicides that increase the risk of serious health problems.
Distilled water should be used with caution. The process of distillation leads to the evaporation of minerals. The water then becomes acidic and seeks to balance itself by drawing minerals right out of your body. It will also draw out contaminants from the container it’s stored in.
Toxic disinfection products
Worse, any contaminant in the water that vaporizes at a lower temperature than the water, such as volatile organic compounds like disinfection byproducts which are thousands of times more toxic than chlorine, will be condensed and actually concentrated in the finished distilled water. Gonzalez only recommends using distilled water for a short period of time and only for the purpose of detoxification, as this water can help pull toxins from your body. Drinking it long-term, however, will most likely invite health problems.
There are several potential problems with alkaline water. Detoxification is about the only benefit of alkaline water, and this benefit is limited to very short-term use, ideally not more than a week or two. Another concern is that many individuals have stomach dysfunctions like gastroesophageal reflux disease or ulcers that are largely related to having too little stomach acid. Long-term use of alkaline or ionized water can interfere with the body’s natural digestive process by reducing the acid needed to properly break down and absorb food. This could lead to an imbalance of the body’s good bacteria that can invite parasitic infection, ulcers and malabsorption.
“Vitamin” waters often contain dangerous high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, additives, preservatives and caffeine, and are often made using distilled water.The most economical and environmentally sound choice you can make is to purchase and install a water filter in your home.
In choosing the right type of water, you want to aim for pH balance. Distilled water is too acidic and alkaline water is too alkaline. The ideal pH of water should be between 6.5 and 7.5.
Mountain spring water is in this ideal range. It is some of the healthiest water on the planet because it is “living water.” Living water, like living food, “is in its raw, natural state the way nature intended.”
Gonzalez emphasizes that our choice of our source of drinking water is perhaps the most important decision we will make for our health. INQ
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