Have you ever felt like you are dying of thirst; particularly in a hot yoga class? Well, you may be; literally.
Our bodies are, on average, made up of about 60 – 70% water with variable amounts in different tissues. The lungs, for example, are 90% water, blood is 85%, brain and muscle 75%, bones about 25%; and with fat containing the least amount at 15%. Our physiological processes of circulation, respiration, digestion, absorption, and excretion all rely on an adequate amount of clean water. Literally, water is life. Not surprisingly, a water well or spring is also defined as ‘the Source; the Origin.’
As we grow older, it is even more important to pay attention to our water consumption. By age 65, we lose about 10 – 15% of our capacity to hold water in the cells. Coupled with a loss of thirst sensitivity, elderly people are more prone to dehydration; and not unexpectedly, a host of other diseases.
Here are some signs that your body is under hydrated: Your fingertips are always wrinkled and you are not even 40 years old! You wake up with a headache and you didn’t even have any alcohol the night before. You get giddy and dizzy when you stand up; and, like ex-Pres. Clinton, you didn’t even inhale! Your urine is dark colored as ideally, unless you are on medications or vitamins that tint it, your urine should be of very light color, almost clear. And lastly, but not least, you are all stuck up; meaning constipated!
A constipated large intestine is literally hardened with excrement that the body wants to discharge but is unable to. It has been shown at autopsy that only about 5% of colons are normal without signs of constipation. This chronic constipation has been shown to lead to ballooning or pouching of the intestine; intestinal colonization of undesirable microbes; inflammation; and absorption of toxins. This in turn affects all our other organs.
To determine how much water you need each day, divide your weight in pounds in half and drink that amount in ounces of water. For example, a person weighing 150 lbs should drink at least 75 oz of water a day (9 – 10 cups of water a day). Take a cup of water when you first get up in the morning and before retiring at night; and half an hour before and after a meal. Take frequent water breaks during the day. Don’t rely on caffeinated or alcoholic beverages which may actually cause you to urinate more and lose fluid. Carry water with you at all times and note that feeling thirsty means you are already behind and dehydrated.
Today we have so many choices of water to select from in addition to regular tap water: spring, mineral, distilled, sparkling, and even desalinated ocean water. In addition to hydration, water provides Prana, the great universal life force (also called Chi or Qi), which we also extract from air and food. In general, water that comes from running sources are better than stagnant, still sources. And since most water is stored in bottles, one way to re-energize your water drink is to pour it from one glass (or vessel) to another a few times before drinking.
Water, fresh air, and sunshine are three of Nature’s best gifts to us; and we are Blessed to have an abundance of them in our beautiful Islands. So partake of them and remember: you may not be sick, you may just be thirsty…!