Water, Water Everywhere

As spiritual beings, we have the responsibility to take care of all aspects of us: spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. Some individuals emphasize one area more than the rest, but keeping balance through awareness of what is good for us in all dimensions allows us to become and remain whole. So in this article, even though its emphasis is in the physical realm, know that it also is an important part for all of you since each is intrinsically connected to your whole being.

For some years now we’ve been hearing about the importance of drinking water, and multiple companies offering all kinds of ‘healthier” water have sprung up everywhere you turn with: distilled water, filtered water, alkaline water, mineral water, spring water, and so on. Yet amazingly, even with all the hype about drinking plenty of water every day, many, many people are dehydrated. And even if you drink plenty of water daily, you may be confused as to what types of water are truly good for you and what isn’t.

It seems we have the continuing growth in epidemic proportion of chronic dehydration, yet most people have no idea they are dehydrated and are not aware of the symptoms that indicate dehydration. So let’s examine some of the factors concerning water and dehydration, and why it is important to know.

The first sign that you are dehydrated is dark colored urine, besides the mere fact of thirst. But here are some often overlooked or unknown symptoms of dehydration:
* Constipation
* Fatigue, even chronic fatigue
* Digestive issues
* Premature aging – dry skin and hair
* Excessive hunger
* Difficulty in concentrating
* Irritability
* Weight gain
* Autoimmune diseases like MS
* Kidney and bladder infections
* Toxic build-up

Many individuals believe that if they drink liquids all day it counts, things like: coffee, tea, fruit juice, sports drinks, beer, and soda, but your body needs water. Remember that your body is composed of over 70% water and your brain is over 95% water, not coffee or soda. Besides, all those drinks have non-beneficial ingredients: caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, ephedra or other stimulants, all of which can deplete your body of nutrients, add toxins, and create other issues not beneficial to vibrant health. A person can live for several weeks without food, but only a few days without water – it’s that vital to all functions in your body.

How much water should you drink daily? Some say to drink at least 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight, others say whenever you’re thirsty, some say 6-8 glasses per day, yet others state to drink enough each day so that your urine is a light colored yellow, like the color of a peeled banana.

So what kind of water should you drink? This has been a very controversial question asked over and over again. I remember my mom and dad touting their tap water as “best around” in Memphis, Tennessee. But one swallow sent me reeling with the awful chemical taste since I was used to filtered water. However, many people erroneously believe their local public water supply is fine.

Tap water is danger in every glass. How so you might ask? Would suppliers actually provide dangerous water to the public? The answer is Yes! Here are some of the contaminants found coming out of your shower or kitchen sink.

Arsenic is a poisonous component of many local water supplies and has been found to be incredibly high in many places. Yet arsenic is a carcinogenic element linked to an increased risk of cancer. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, it estimates that as many as 56 million Americans living in 25 states drink water laced with unsafe levels of arsenic. The USGS website shows maps of where across the United States.

Aluminum is found in many municipal water supplies yet it has been linked repeatedly to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. But it also can create a large variety of other health problems such as: skin problems, learning disabilities in children, hyperactivity, liver disease, gastrointestinal problems, and many more.

Fluoride is supposed to be included in your water supply because it prevents cavities and helps build strong teeth, right? Wrong! This is a cleverly advertised deceptive bit of information that actually has been proven that by using fluoride you increase the risk of cavities as well as cause a whole range of other health issues, like weakening of the immune system and the acceleration of again due to cellular damage. A dentist I visited recently was all over my case when I refused a fluoride treatment, telling me my gums would recede and other gum issues would develop if I didn’t get the treatment. So I knew not to return to this dentist.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) are the result of disinfecting water with chlorine. While chlorine isn’t healthy to consume, the DBPs are 10,000 times more dangerous! Not only are these carcinogenic (cancer-causing), they have been linked to liver, kidney and nervous system problems.

So again I ask, what kind of water do you drink? You probably are thinking bottled water. However, independent studies have proven that at least 40% of all bottled water is simply tap water with a higher price tag. The EWG group found arsenic, DPBs and about 36 other harmful pollutants in bottled water, not to mention the BPA found in many plastic bottles that is a synthetic hormone disruptor linked to many serious health issues. Then of course, is the issue of the plastic used in constructing the bottle and the fact that most of these leech out harmful chemicals.

Distilled water should be used with caution since it has been boiled so that the minerals have completely evaporated. The water then becomes acidic so takes the needed minerals right from your body. Alkaline water again presents concerns. Most alkaline water companies are an MLM (multi-level marketing), often with questionable ethics, regardless of what they tell you. While the alkaline water tends to detox you for a few weeks, once that is complete it can interfere with your digestive process by reducing the acid needed to break down your food and then absorb it. And don’t be fooled by vitamin waters! They contain dangerous high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, additives, and caffeine – all detrimental to good health.

The best water to consume is fresh, living spring water, full of minerals and other healthy benefits. You can check on the website FindaSpring.com to see if any are in your area, but of course, even though this is usually free, it means transporting that water to your home for use. There are however, convenient filter systems that can be purchased and placed in your kitchen, shower or whole house. These include the Reverse Osmosis Filter, Ion Exchange Filter, Carbon and Carbon Block Filters. Many health advocates believe the latter system using the granular carbon filter is the best available for contaminant removal. These can be over or under the countertop in your kitchen, for the entire house and a shower filter for showering. Recently I learned that your body absorbs more toxins in a 7-minute shower than when you drink a gallon of tap water. I ordered a shower filter that day!

So why is water so important? Not only does it restore the amount you’ve sweated or urinated throughout the day, but it helps detoxify your body naturally, aids in digesting food, helps provide radiating, soft skin, decreases inflammation and joint pain, provides better circulation, and invigorates you as it reduces fatigue. I believe we are meant to care for our physical body with as much due diligence as we do our spiritual, mental or emotional body, and those who ignore taking care of their earthly “house,” will pay the price.

Right now, as you’ve finished reading this article, why not get up and pour yourself a big glass of healthy water, and as you swallow it, feel it slide slowly into your body, feeling blessed and grateful that you are taking care of you!

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