In today’s environment, the human body experiences water starvation: for the most part, it is due to the peculiarities of the artificial environment in which we live, the dehydrating effect of air conditioning and the food we eat. We are used not just to quench our thirst but also to extract from drinking some additional product: the pleasant taste of soft drinks and the tonic properties of coffee or tea. We’ve forgotten how to drink water.
Drinking is mine
One of three cups of coffee or tea during the day, at best – another small mineral water bottle – often it is all the liquid we spoil our body. And what about juices, which advertising is almost a guarantee of health, or milk, which was considered as such ten years ago? “Fruit juices do not contain enough water to maintain the body’s water balance,” said Valery Sergeev, PhD, a gastroenterologist and nutritionist. “Water, meanwhile, is necessary to absorb and break down sugars and proteins. When we drink milk or juices, some of the Water contained in them is used to digest the sugars and proteins from the drink itself.” Besides, most juices from the packets add sugar, which causes thirst and creates an additional “sugar” load on the pancreas, as well as acids – lemon, ascorbic – and synthesized vitamins.
DRINK ROOM TEMPERATURE WATER OFTEN AND LITTLE BY LITTLE, WITHOUT WAITING FOR A FEELING OF STRONG THIRST
Sodas often include corn syrup containing large amounts of fructose, which is transformed directly into triglycerides (a building material for fat) rather than glucose, fuel for brain function. Now about milk: its protein is digested for a long time, and to break down lactose (milk sugar) requires enzyme lactase, which is not produced in all people. Freshly squeezed juices are more practical, but it is also a kind of super-concentrated artificial drink – it would be much more beneficial to eat the whole fruit, along with the fibre contained in it, ballast substances. In short, no other liquids – even those that we used to consider practical and natural – will replace us with regular drinking water.
Lessons of chemistry in many left in memory, only the formula of water H2O, as well as the belief that without Water, life would not have arisen on our planet at all. This is true: with its direct participation, there are almost all biochemical reactions. After all, Water is a universal solvent. The building material for the constant renewal of the body (i.e. for the synthesis of proteins) and energy sources (carbohydrates), oxygen, hormones and enzymes circulate in the intercellular space and enter the cells, dissolved in Water. And metabolic products are excreted from cells and the body also in the solution.
Water “enters and exits” through special water channels located in the plasma membrane of cells and is called “aquaporins” (for their discovery, two American scientists – Peter Agree and Roderic McKinnon – was awarded the Nobel Prize in new Chemistry in 2003. If other substances join the water molecule – because the dissolution process is accompanied by complex interactions with salts, sugars, acids, alcohol, chemicals that arose during the absorption of drugs or additives in food – then these cumbersome formations are not able to pass through a little water time. There is Water in the body (sometimes it is even too much, and we call it fluid retention, swelling), but the cells do not penetrate, as a result of which the exchange processes are inhibited, slags are not excreted. Naturally, a person feels an incomprehensible malaise, fatigue, the cause of which is dissolved in water.
Choose a good filter.
With all the variety of water filters, they perform the same task: clean Water from mechanical contaminants (sand, scale, rust), partly from chemical (chlorine, heavy metal salts, herbicides, pesticides, petroleum products), as well as from bacteria and viruses. The principle of action is also similar: Water passes through interchangeable cassettes with a filtering substance. Most of the “works” universal adsorbent – activated charcoal and ion exchange resins, various in each manufacturer. The slower the fresh Water passes through the filter, the cleaner it is. For those who want to be sure that the water will be cleaned by 97-99%, there are filters based on the reverse osmosis system. There, purification occurs when Water passes through a multi-layered membrane under the pressure of 3.5-4 atmospheres. The cells’ size in the membrane is so small that only H2O molecules and hydrogen and oxygen dissolved in Water can pass through them. The merit of such Water is that you can be sure of its purity. Disadvantages: it lacks taste; it can be considered close to distilled, from which the body has no benefit.
From the tap and from under the bottle
Tap water may not be practical (after all, it passes through miles of pipes), but at least it is safe – primarily due to chlorine ions used to decontaminate it. The effect of chlorine is harmful to any living cell – from bacteria to cells of our body, so before drinking tap water, it is better to filter. “In principle, there are two ways: to filter tap water or buy bottled Water, but I have not decided for myself that it will be more correct – admits Valery Sergeyev. – On the one hand, bottled water is a road, and there is not always confident in its quality: did not we slipped filtered Water from the tap instead of artesian Water? On the other hand, filtered Water becomes unbalanced, “single.” In the process of filtration, it is deprived of almost all salts, including the necessary, such as calcium salts (which can lead to bone fragility), as well as essential trace elements.”
According to the therapist Sergei Stebletsov, even spring water from the Alps’ foothills resulting from melting glaciers does not always bring guaranteed benefits: to drink better local Water, to the electrolyte composition of which a person has adopted. The most reasonable option seems to be: not to be afraid of filtered Water from the tap, but outside the house to take the rule to drink quality bottled Water.
Number of IFA city
When and how, and most importantly, how much water to drink, experts’ opinions on this matter differ. According to Ayurveda, you should drink two to three litres of water a day, and its temperature should be as high as possible – which can be tolerated. “If you drink a lot of water at once, the main goal is to cleanse the body,” explains Mohammed Ali, a doctor at the Kerala Ayurvedic Center. “That’s why you need to drink constantly, but little by little: two or three sips in 10-15 minutes.” Morning, he said, should start with a glass of room temperature water. It, as a medicine, should be taken on an empty stomach without getting out of bed. And Water should not stand in a glass at night – in this case, it becomes “dead” – and should not be tap. According to Muhammad Ali, the ancient teachers of Ayurveda advised to drink rainwater, but now it is not necessary to do it for obvious reasons – it is too polluted. Probably best in the morning to drink water from a newly opened bottle.
FEELING COMFORTABLE IS THE MAIN SIGN THAT WILL MAKE IT CLEAR HOW MUCH WATER THE BODY NEEDS
According to Ayurveda, when we drink in the Water during the day, it is worth taking into account: if we want to lose weight, it is better to drink it before eating, and if we strive to gain weight, then after. Accordingly, those who want to keep their kilos intact can drink Water during meals.
A representative of another Eastern school, Professor of Chinese Medicine Gao Yan, believes it is best to drink water at room temperature. “It’s a little cooler than body temperature and triggers cleansing processes,” he explains. European experts also believe that we need two to three litres of Water a day – especially in summer, in the heat. “It should be weakly mineralized, with a predominance of chlorine anions and calcium cations, magnesium, potassium,” explains Valery Sergeyev. “This makes up for the natural loss of salts in increased sweating.” So Water such as Slavyanovskaya, Smirnovskaya, Kashinskaya, Novoterskaya can be drunk without restrictions. But highly mineralized Water, such as Essentuki-17, is a treatment for gastrointestinal diseases that stimulates gastric juice and intestinal motor skills. “If you like carbonated mineral water, you also love health,” says Valery Sergeyev. “It better quenches thirst, stimulates the gastrointestinal tract. But if there are any disorders in the activity of the stomach, heartburn and discomfort, it is better to switch to non-carbonated Water.”
Trust the senses
So, drinking about two litres of Water a day is considered a physiological norm. But if we haven’t developed the habit of drinking water, should we consider the glasses drunk as if we were complying with a doctor’s prescription? “The body knows how much new water it needs,” says Sergei Stebletsov. “One and a half litres a day is enough, and the other is not enough and two and a half. It all depends on the mode in which the kidneys, lungs, skin and gastrointestinal tract, through which Water leaves the body. The main indicator to focus on is a feeling of comfort.”
As it is believed in yoga adherents, our water starvation is also because we have forgotten to listen to body signals and quench the beginning thirst with two or three water sips. We are used to three meals a day and hardly know what it is to feel hungry but do not have regular water consumption. Usually, we realize thirst when the body already feels a substantial lack of fluid and declares it in full force. Following the idea of yoga, you can try from time to time to take a break in your activities to concentrate on the body’s sensations and ask yourself: do you want Water? An even more straightforward recommendation will be handy for those who have fluid retention problems or feel signs of dehydration of the skin, hair, nails: feeling thirsty, giving up soft drinks and juices in favour of simple, clean Water.
Have a question?
IMMUNCULUS MEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER, MOSCOW, STREET. SHABOLOVKA, 18, P. 1, T. (495) 236 5101.
KERALA AYURVEDIC MEDICINE CENTER, MOSCOW, STREET. NOVO-CHEREMUSHKINSKAYA, 49, T. (495) 120 2368.
CENTER OF CHINESE MEDICINE MARINA-MEDICENTER, MOSCOW, 1ST RIGA, 3, T. (495) 683 8713.