Monday, 17 January 2011

Do you drink enough water?



Grant Roberts
The Sports Specialist
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How much water do you consume? Do you drink more on workout days? Not sure? Read this interesting article below. 

If you do not drink sufficient fluids over the long term the body sets up a condition of "drought management". You no longer feel thirsty, because the body has given up. It puts in place mechanisms to conserve water and push it into areas where it is needed. Most notable are a tightening of the blood system leading sometimes to marked high blood pressure, retaining water (the body is desperate to), and the production of a chemical called histamine. Histamine induces inflammation in the body, and inflammation causes pain. Since the body requires water in energy production, a drop in fluids sends the physical energy plummeting. Mentally, the person suffers from an inability to think clearly. The commonest symptoms of dehydration are thus:

Inability to think clearly
Poor Physical Energy
Sugar Craving
Poor Circulation
High Blood Pressure
Allergies
Joint Pain
Stomach Pain
Irritable Bowel
Angina Pain
Headaches
Back Pain
Water Retention

NOT THIRST!

The most common dehydrating influences are caffeine, alcohol and stress. All are diuretics, that is they get you to lose more water than you are taking in, until the body clamps down and reaches an equilibrium. Unless you are drinking a lot of water already, you are almost bound to be chronically dehydrated.

To rehydrate is simple. Drink water. Nothing else. The body requires that enough water is present consistently to let go of its defensive mechanisms. If you are doing it right you get thirsty in your mouth and the symptoms you may have in the above list start to reduce. If you drink water and have the odd tea or coffee, likely as not, you cannot restimulate the thirst in the mouth as the body is not letting go.

Start with around 2 litres of water a day and look for the thirst.

WHEN YOU ARE DRINKING WATER AND YOU GET THIRSTY, DRINK MORE

Anything that is taken into the stomach that is not water will stimulate the production of digestive juice FROM WATER IN THE BODY. The immediate effect is registered as dehydration and the body will not let go. There are a couple of simple rules:

ONLY PLAIN WATER WILL REHYDRATE YOU

DRINK WATER A ½ HOUR BEFORE MEALS TO ENSURE A RESERVOIR FOR DIGESTIVE JUICES

The only cautions are not to be dumb! Don't force it in trying to rehydrate quickly. You can only go at the body's pace. There is a severe brain problem people can get into when they force water into the body and the body has a low level of sodium. Dr. Batmanghelidj advises people to put a pinch of salt into several of the glasses of water each day to offset this problem and attain optimal rehydration. Intense rehydration is not suitable for someone on a low sodium (salt) diet, though sodium can be obtained plentifully and in optimally useable form in RAW root vegetables and celery. Use ideally sun-dried salt if you are unsure about your sodium status, and back off the amount of water if there are any adverse symptoms.

IT WILL TAKE MONTHS TO REHYDRATE FULLY FOR MOST PEOPLE.

Also if you have reduced kidney function due to perhaps long term dehydration, you may need to increase water steadily so as not to retain water.

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