Water is something we all take for granted in this country. After the summer we have just had, many would argue that we have far too much of it. Some countries in the world envy our seemingly endless supply of clean drinking water and their lack of it understandably leads to the serious and sometimes fatal problem of dehydration.
Less understandable is that even though we have plenty of water to drink, as much as 90% of the population in the UK is dehydrated. (We have highly sophisticated equipment at our clinic which can measure cellular health and hydration and our measurements are even worse, with less than 2% being properly hydrated) Most of us simply don’t realise we are dehydrated and would probably deny it if asked, because the usual understanding is that ‘I know if I need water because my mouth is dry’. For many of us, the excuse is that we don’t like water, for others it’s the incorrect assumption that drinking lots of coffee or tea is enough. Tea and coffee are diuretics, that is they act to expel water from the body by urination and the net effect is a loss of water. In the younger generation it is even worse as the tendency is to drink huge amounts of soft drinks, which carry other significant health risks.
The functioning of our bodies is breathtakingly sophisticated and is constantly working to keep everything in fine balance. This all goes on without our conscious knowledge which is both good and bad. It’s nice not to have to think about it, but the downside is we take good health for granted.
Our reliance on a constant supply of good quality water is one such area that we need to raise to our conscious awareness, if we are not to succumb to avoidable illnesses and disease. So why is water so important to us?
The average person is 75% water, which for the average male and female in the UK equates to 63 litres and 53 litres of water respectively. Just think how much water you drink on average and how long it takes you to replace your water. Our blood is 90% water. Everything in our bodies depends on a constant access to adequate water. Internal drought impacts our DNA and our ability to replicate healthy cells. Simply put, without a constant supply of good quality water supply, your health will be compromised, if not now, then later.
Our bodies have complex water management systems which constantly monitor water availability and work to a priority system when any form of shortage is perceived. The problem is that a lot of restrictions are in place and damage is being done long before you are aware of a dry mouth.
Now just think what that means. If over 90% of the population is dehydrated, that means that you have a 90% chance that your water management system is fired up and is actively rationing supplies to various parts of your body, slowly but surely causing damage. Damage that you won’t consciously recognise for many years, possibly after it’s too late to rectify. Long term dehydration will eventually lead to pain. Chronic degenerative diseases such as spinal disc degeneration, osteoarthritis and nerve malfunction can all be traced back to dehydration.
We supply energy to our bodies through the food and drinks we consume. This intake is eventually supplied to our cells where it is converted to energy, but there is some residual waste which is acidic. A constant supply of water is vital to help keep flushing this acidic waste out of the body.
Let’s just touch briefly on this topic of acidity. To sustain life our blood needs to have a tightly controlled level of between 7.35 and 7.45 on a scale called the pH scale. If the blood pH drifts too far away from these limits it will be fatal. You can see why that marvel of our bodies to keep everything in balance is so important.
The pH scale goes from 1, which is pure acid and 14, which is pure alkaline and a pH of 7 is neutral. Importantly each step of 1 means a change of 10. So a pH of 6 is 10 times more acid than a pH of 7. A pH of 5 is 100 times more acidic, and so on.
Common sense should tell us not to push things too far and not to overburden our bodies’ ability to cope. However common sense cannot prevail where knowledge does not exist. Parents should be aware, for example, that the younger generations’ addiction to soft drinks carries significant risk. The pH of these drinks can be as low as 2.5 which is around 100,000 times more acidic than your blood needs to be.
So in summary, don’t take water for granted and don’t ignore it just because other drinks taste better. The benefits to your long term health of being constantly hydrated with water are huge.
If you would like to know more about water and find out just how hydrated you really are, then call our clinic on 01889 881488 or visit our website www.painreliefclinic.co.uk