One would think that in a nation of tea lovers, a steady supply of water is not a concern. OK, we are mostly made up of water, with only 25% of our bodies being solid matter but is drinking water a yet another passing fad?
However, caffeine poses a slight problem. Unfortunately, when having that cup of tea or coffee, you end up loosing more than you gain. Alcohol and sugar, by the way, also act as dehydrators. Counterintuitive as it may seem, the more of tea, coffee, wine, beer and soft drinks you have, the more dehydrated you become. Caffeine is a well know diuretic and anything that raises blood sugar coerces the body to give up large quantities of water.
The Cost of a Caffeine Rush
Drinking a cup of coffee makes the body relinquish up to three cups of water just to get rid of the toxic caffeine. Caffeine is a nerve toxin and the boost of energy that it stimulates is nothing less than an immune response that rushes to flush this toxin out of the system. The adrenal hormone that stimulates the immune system, gives us a false impression that it is the caffeine that gives us energy. To remove caffeine, the body is forced to take water from the cells. This temporarily thins the blood, which is another reason why we feel good after that cuppa.
Is dehydration really that bad? Yes. It poses severe health risks. Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stomach ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, MS and Alzheimers to name just a few are preceded by years of “body drought”. When the cells in the body are not getting enough water, they are in danger of dying so they go into the dehydration alert. When the body thinks that the water supply is cut off, it will hold on to water in any way it can. This means building up cell walls with cholesterol making them rigid and hard. As cells become cut off, vital nutrients struggle to get inside. On top of that, metabolic waster products cannot be removed properly and the body becomes more and more toxic. The body also holds on to water by retaining it in the legs, arms and face causing swelling. Kidneys hold on to water by reducing urinary secretions causing retention of harmful toxins and waste products.
Caffeine and alcohol remove water from the body faster than the body can absorb it again. This means increasingly running out of water on the cellular level. This constant thirst, however, is mistaken for hunger and people begin to overeat. However, cravings do not get satisfied because what the body is really crying out for is water.
Brain and Water
Our brain cells are 85% water. Because of cellular dehydration, brain cells become damaged and die. As a result, people can become depressed, unable to cope with stress, succumb to fear, anxiety, anger and a host of other emotional problems. Alcohol’s diuretic effect is similar to that of caffeine, which is why hangover is a result of serious brain dehydration. Dehydration is one of the major reasons why alcohol abuse and psychological problems go hand in hand.
Aside from coke being dehydrating because of the high caffeine content, it is also hugely acidic not just because of caffeine but also because of sugar, sugar replacements and preservatives. It would take 32 glasses of water at an alkaline pH of 9 (very alkaline) to neutralise the acid from just one can of coke. This is why people soak rusty coins in coke to clean them down! In response to this acidity, the body will have to use its own stored alkaline buffers, mainly calcium from bones, teeth and DNA. If this mechanism were not in place we would simply die from the acidity after just drinking a can of coke! This is my side note rant about coke though to be fair, there was a time when I was happy as Larry cooking ham in coke. If only I knew the full story back then.
Ask your body what it needs to be healed
Drinking water is massively important. For those of you who have had Health Kinesiology sessions with me know that water is usually the first thing that comes up. Kinesiology works with feedback responses from the body. As soon as the body is asked what it needs to be healed, the answer is clear, “water!”
Problems people encounter
OK, so we need to drink water but sometimes it is easier said than done. After years of not drinking water at all, drinking two litres a day (which is recommended for an adult) sounds like too much to bear. Some people don’t even like the taste of water. The good news is, the more you drink water, the better it starts to taste and the more you start to crave it. Its called thirst, I think. You might laugh, but our bodies, stop telling us that we are thirsty if we perpetually ignore its needs for water. Ironic it may seem but people report that as they start drinking more water than ever, they actually become thirstier. That’s their body starting to speak to them again. People also complain that drinking more water makes them run to the toilet all the time. This gets better with time as the body gets used to the water intake and learns how to absorb it rather than it going right through you. A good product that helps with the absorption is Rehydration from Energetix.
- Have a cup of warm water upon rising and a cup 30 minutes before each meal.
- To warm the water boil it in a kettle for 10 seconds or so
- Try herbal tea instead of coffee or normal tea
- Have a couple of warm pints of water after “one too many” and do the same in the morning to avoid a huge hang over.
- Avoid drinking with meals as this dilutes digestive juices. Drink between meals instead
My discussion on water is not over yet. There’s still lots of fascinating material that I want to include in newsletters to come. If I’m not careful and stop writing now, this article will start turning into a book.
Still to come:
- How painkillers “short-circuit” the body’s emergency route to water supply
- The relationship between salt and water
- Why we get addicted to being dehydrated
- High blood pressure, gall stones and kidney damage.