Water is a vital ingredient in our body. After losing only 2% of our internal water volume we should normally feel uncomfortable and thirsty. Our body’s simple signal to drink water and hydrate our tissues.
But if you’re anything like me – you may get absorbed in what you’re doing and not notice the signs of thirst (stop to drink that glass of water right now ; ). Many people mistake thirst for hunger signs and ‘feel hungry’ mistakenly.
We were born from a watery environment (in the womb), and as a little baby our bodies contain 90% water. Then by the age of 80 the water content drops often to below 50%. This happens gradually as we age, and is connected to many uncomfortable symptoms.
Some signs of dehydration include:
- constipation (not moving bowels after each meal)
- dry lips
- dry skin. Test: pinch the skin on top of your hand & notice how quickly it flattens out again. The slower – the more you need water.
- loss of appetite
- joint and muscle pain
- low endurance
- high blood pressure
- tissue toxicity and acidity
- burden on liver
- incomplete digestion
- Sluggish lymph
Could all this be solved by drinking water?
Yes. and no. First it’s important to remember that we can’t solve it in one big top-up. We need water to enter us gradually and regularly. Too much too quickly will just flood our internal environment, deplete and imbalance our electrolytes and overwhelm the kidneys.
The best method is prevention. Create a new habit of remaining hydrated.
When people come to me with issues of constipation, they often have used a few laxatives that have stopped working and mostly have gotten used to moving bowels very irregularly. Once in a few days is not un-common. If you compare that to going after every meal, or even snack…. you can count how many backed up meals are inside…. MANY!
Why laxatives and fibre are only a partial solution
This type of constipation breeds future dis-ease as the body is not eliminating it’s waste, but storing it inside. Laxatives and fibre will often not solve the problem as they will draw and hold more water in the large intestines, perhaps providing relief from hard stools, however at the same time depriving other areas of the body of crucial water supply. As the body knows which organs are more vital than other it recycles the water removed from the colon (large intestines) and sends it to vital organs (blood, brain, heart).
If you haven’t increased your water intake… how do you think your vital organs are getting on?
1. Drink Water . Drink at least 8 glasses of quality water gradually over your day. Listen to your thirst and respond to it. Get a filter and refill a glass or metal bottle that you can carry with you. Buying water in bottles in unnecessary, expensive and often low quality.
2. Eat fresh fruit and veg. Do not limit your fresh fruit and veg, carry snacks of cut up carrots, cucumber and celery and carry apples, tangerines and other juice fruit with you. Half a melon for tea. These fruit are naturally hydrating, full of fibre and enzymes. They also have natural sugars needed for our brain and muscles. If you are skimping on natural fruit then sneaking a few biscuits, cake or sweets because you need the sugar, you probably aren’t feeling great.
2. Get your bowel movements going. Aim for bowel movements after each time you eat (around 20 min. after is ideal, anywhere up to 40 min is more the norm). This is a natural result of food entering your stomach and your stomach signalling the colon to release something to make space. Movements should not be painful, strained or hard. More like a cottage cheese texture, crumbly and formed but not hard. Smell? No, it should be a non-offensive odour. If it’s offensive thats a clear sign of imbalanced gut bacteria that can lead to a variety of dis-ease symptoms. Start taking probiotics daily to redress this asap.
3. Flush your bowels periodically. As the colon removes water and routes it to other parts of the body, this organ is highly susceptible to dehydration. Flushing your bowels periodically with colonic irrigation helps not only remove toxins and constipated left-overs, but also hydrates the body through this unique pathway. In addition there are a whole lot of emotional-mental benefits that need to be experienced first hand. The sparkly eyes and clear thinking of a clean-colon!