The human body is 65%-80% water and only oxygen is more vital to our existence than water. Just as our life depends on oxygen to provide energy for healthy functioning of the brain and all our vital organs, so too does our body rely on water for a healthy internal environment. Water is the agent that ensures carriage of essential minerals and vitamins to all parts of the human organism. It is the fluid that can be found in every muscle, tissue, cell, vein and organ; without it the body could not perform its many and varied tasks.
Dehydration is the state in which the body does not have enough water to maintain healthy functioning and is therefore an enemy to our physical well-being. Although most of us need not be concerned with dehydration in its most pronounced state, it is the equally hazardous state of partial dehydration that is doing so much damage. The body loses about 5 pints of water a day. Up to 3 pints are lost through urine and faeces and a further 2 pints are lost through breathing and perspiration. Therefore if our intake of water does not match what we lose (which in most cases it does not) a state of water imbalance is created, which is an ideal breeding ground for so many health problems.
One of the tragedies of progress, modernisation and so called civilisation is that much of the ancient and valuable wisdom has been devalued and discarded, not because it is out-dated or is now redundant, but simply because we are so easily seduced by new horizons. Our intoxication for the new, which we nearly always seem to think is better, blinds us to that which was true and valid and continues to be true, even in the face of progress. Water is an excellent example of us neglecting and putting aside something valuable in the name of progress. The role and importance of water is only really cosmetically appreciated, its crucial role is only brought into view at times of shortage and drought, and even then its priceless function is not fully understood. Water really needs to be at the centre of our diets and lifestyle; however, the reality is that for many of us it is only on the periphery of our lives.
What water most of us do consume is by default rather than by design. It slips into our diets via the other things we consume rather than being central to our consumption of solids and fluids. Our poor intake which comes largely from secondary sources means that most of us live in a partial or even semi- dehydrated state. This means the body can and does survive, because of its amazing capacity to do so, but we do pay a price for our inadequate intake of water.
The price we pay is difficult to quantify, but there is substantial evidence that shows that the absence of an adequate volume of water in our lives (at least 3-4 pints a day) is one of the key contributors to ill health, disease, malfunctioning of vital organs and inefficiency generally in the body. To really grasp why water is so important to our health we need to first of all understand that the real secret to health is the removal of waste. If the waste products that contaminate the body are not removed then they become catalysts for ill health. It is the toxic compounds produced as a result of our breathing, digestive processes, cellular growth and decay, the activity of vital organs, circulation of blood, etc … that are primary hazards to our health. We increasingly have great concern for the external eco-system and rightly so because it is vital to our existence, but equally vital is our own internal ecology.
Without sufficient water flowing through us we become safe havens for viruses, unhealthy bacteria and diseases of all kinds. This is not to say water is a miracle cure and that it alone can solve all our ills, because it cannot, but it is certainly the leading agent in creating physical well-being. Why? …. Because water is responsible for the production of so many vital fluids and other substances and is responsible for the transportation of key elements to where they are needed in the body. Water is also imperative for the removal of toxic waste generated by internal activity as well as the pollution that descends on us from elsewhere. Therefore without a continuous flow of water running through our bodies we become like stagnant ponds; foul smelling, dirty and struggling to sustain life. Stop the stagnation by trying to drink 3 or 4 pints of water from today and every day, and experience the wonder of water!
Also see: The Wonder of Water (Part 2)