Water is vital for good health and a long life. Although you can live for days without food, your survival depends on drinking water. Each and every cell needs water to perform its essential functions. Read on to learn how water factors into your health and longevity plans.
Benefits of a good “drinking habit”
* Stay hydrated. On these hot summer days, your body needs to replenish itself with water more than ever. When you become dehydrated, you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and give you a feeling of fatigue.
* Regulate body temperature. For work-out fans, drinking water reduces cardiovascular stress and improves performance. And water reduces body temperature, making the exercise process safer and more effective.
* Skin health. Water hydrates and irrigates impurities from the skin, keeping it healthy and glowing.
* Nutrient absorption. Water transports essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins, and sugars for assimilation.
* Aids in weight loss. If you haven’t been drinking enough water, your body has developed a pattern of storing water-which equals extra unwanted pounds. Drink more water to teach your body that it no longer needs to store water. Water is also a natural appetite suppressant.
* Flushes wastes and toxins. Water helps us flush our system of the chemicals and toxins that we encounter every day in our modern world: car exhaust, dyed clothing, synthetic, formaldehyde-packed carpets – when you add up the toxins, it becomes dizzying! Your body will process and eliminate some of these hordes of chemicals that enter it. The rest are stored in the liver, lungs, kidneys, fat cells, intestines, blood stream, and skin. Without enough fluids to flush out your system, these accumulated toxins in your body will slow down your organ function, causing premature aging and resulting in chronic illness.
You should be drinking at least 60 ounces of water – about 8 glasses – a day.
To develop a good water-drinking habit, get two large, rigid thermos bottles with a 20-ounce capacity and fill them with water. Take one along with you during the day to drink at work, and drink the other one at home.
Water: You Are What You Drink
Everything that goes down the drain from our lawns, our agricultural fields, or anywhere else in our environment inevitably ends up in our drinking water. The president of the Environmental Working Group, Ken Cook, states that “approximately 45 million Americans in thousands of communities drink water that is polluted with fecal matter, parasites, disease-causing microbes, and pesticides at levels that violate Safe Drinking Water Act standards.”
And a recent report showed that pharmaceutical drugs are showing up in tap water across the nation. People taking pharmaceutical drugs pass them through their bodies and into the sewage plants, which remove the usual pollutants – but not drug chemicals from waster water, and some ends up in your drinking water. Even a small amount of drug chemicals and pollutants taken in by your body continuously over a long period of time can trigger genetic changes, cause allergies, or even lead to cancer.
Of the many filtration processes that remove contaminants, the kinds that use activated charcoal are recognized by the EPA as the best available technology for filtering out volatile organic compound (VOCs) and other dangerous chemicals. The most convenient and affordable way to have safe, healthy water for you and your family is to use an in-home water filtration system. To learn about a high-performance filtration system that I recommend, click here.
Health in a Bottle?
Bottled water has gained tremendous popularity, as word about the hazards of tap water is getting out. However, many bottled waters were found to be simply processed water using distillation, reverse osmosis, de-ionization or filtration. So, is bottled water safer than tap water? Tests have discovered that some bottled waters contained more chlorine by-products than surface and ground waters. And the pesticides, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals that are found in household tap water are appearing in bottled water with alarming frequency.
The Natural Resources Defense Council report on the subject concluded that, “there is no assurance that bottled water is any safer than tap water.” Throw into that mix that plastic containers contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which leach into your water. Skip the plastic bottles for storing. Instead store in glass bottles, and for water-on-the-go, get a reusable thermos.
I hope you will take these tips and keep yourself well watered. I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
Dr. Maoshing Ni (Dr. Mao) is a bestselling author, professor, and Doctor of Chinese Medicine. He directs a wellness center with a team of associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica. For more information, go to TaoOfWellness.com or email at [email protected]