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10 Tips on Staying Healthy with Water

© Elson M. Haas MD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Staying Healthy Tips by Elson M. Haas MD. View all columns in series

4. Good, clean water is not a given. Most city waters, and even wells, are suspect for contamination with microbes and chemicals. I believe it is wise to invest in an appropriate filtration system since water is such an important component of our body. The best is a Reverse Osmosis unit or a Solid Carbon block type filter; what’s most effective for your home use depends on what your water concerns are and how much water you need. (See references in the Safe Water Tips at the end of this newsletter.) Many people also buy bottled water from natural springs, or water bottled after filtration. If you use a consistent brand, check it out by calling the company and asking for a report. You may also want to look into an alkaline water unit. There is interesting research on drinking water that is more alkaline or that contains added bicarbonates (and may include calcium and magnesium salts), and on this water’s balancing, healing effects.

5. Dehydration is a very common problem that nearly every one of us experiences at some time. Every cell in our body requires water to function—to bring in nourishment and carry away toxins. When these functions aren't performed fully due to dehydration, a range of symptoms can occur. At even 1% dehydration, most people get thirsty, which is the body's warning sign. Dehydration can cause dry mouth, flushed skin, fatigue, lightheadedness, headache, or impaired physical performance, as well as lapses in concentration. Headache may be a sign of increased toxicity. Other problems from more chronic dehydration include constipation and poor digestive function, dry and itchy skin, a reduction in urine output, and even an increased incidence of painful kidney stones. Remember my favorite slogan, "Dilution is the solution to pollution." So, drink your water!

6. Add some nutrients to your water and it may make it healthier and more palatable for you. Some folks do not like to drink plain water; they just have distaste for it. If so, try various bottled waters to see if there is one you like. Add some lemon, lime, or a tea bag to give it some flavoring. Water can also be flavored with some orange or apple juice, or some nutrient powders like Emergen-C or another vitamin/mineral combination available at your store. My family starts each day with nutrient-rich water and juice. Warming drinks include herbal and green teas, lemon water, chai, and vegetable broth. Starting the day with a cup of hot water can awaken you and your digestion. Hot water sipped through the day is a popular therapy for illness in Asia.

7. The best time to drink water is first thing in the morning--ideally two or three glasses. I also encourage people to drink between meals rather than too much while eating, as increased fluids dilute the strength of our digestive juices and lower the efficiency of digestion and assimilation. For those working to lose weight, drinking a couple glasses of H2O about 30 minutes before meals will hydrate the tissues, calm the appetite and likely lower the amount of food consumed. Water is also so important to healthy skin and good circulation, to staying young and healthy. To summarize, the ideal times to drink water are:

  • First thing in the morning, when you wake up
  • Mid-morning
  • Mid-afternoon

8. Water and weight loss is an important topic, so here’s a bit more. Focus mainly on vegetables and other wholesome foods and away from processed and sweetened high-calorie foods and snacks. Definitely switch from the caloric, sugary sodas and other drinks to pure Water. And drink several glasses when arising and 30 minutes before planned meals. Make this a priority, and make it fun and tasty. Review Tips number 6 and 7 above for further ideas, plus number 3 for your exercise motivation. Carry water with you so you have it available. Have a couple fruits daily, plus make and consume homemade vegetable soups.

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About The Author
Elson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more
 
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Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.