By Valerie Early
There are only a handful of consistent recommendations I suggest everyone adhere to in order to be healthy. The rest I tailor to the individual's health history and personal goals. One of those recommendations I believe everyone should follow is to drink chlorine-free, filtered water.
According to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body's Many Cries for Water, "THE SIMPLE TRUTH IS THAT DEHYDRATION CAN CAUSE DISEASE." Getting a water filter will save you lots of money and help preserve your health. I have seen too many cases of iron toxicity and other toxins in people's hair and bloodwork - don't let this be you!
- Water removes heat. If water intake is below desired levels, blood volume decreases, the heart works harder, and power and endurance during exercise decrease. Water will enable higher levels of exercise, therefore allowing you to burn more calories.
- Muscle is 70 percent water. Sixty percent of body weight is water. Every cell contains water. The more muscle, the more glycogen stored; therefore, the more water that is needed for usage and storage.
- Water aids in digestion and metabolic processes. Water transports nutrients to cells and takes wastes away from the cells.
- Water curbs the appetite.
- Dehydration may mimic hunger. Proper water intake prevents this response.
- Water aids in healthy kidney function. During dehydration or insufficient water intake, the kidneys must compensate and kidney stones may form.
- More than one-third of older adults (age 60 or older) have inadequate water consumption.
- Pharmaceuticals are the most common chemicals found in U.S. waterways.
- Chlorine, feces, bacteria, iron and lead are definitely not needed through your water intake. Chlorine adversely affects enzymes in food and whole food supplements. We need enzymes for superior digestion.
- Bottled water may not be cleaner than tap water. Water in typical plastic Nalgene bottles and all polycarbonate plastics can leak Bisphenol A (BPA), potentially causing birth defects, tumors, breast tissue disturbances and changes in chromosomes.
- There isn't any specific research that supports drinking eight glasses of water per day. If you are over 100 pounds, the simplest method is to take half of your body weight in pounds and drink that number of ounces. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you would need at least 60 oz of water (7 ½ cups).
- Another method is to monitor your activity levels: 8-10 cups/day for the normal, less active person; 10-12 cups/day for more active people; and 4-8 oz of water every 15-20 minutes during exercise.
- A third way of deciding how much water to drink: Consume 1 milliliter of water/kcal of expenditure.
Valerie Early, RD, LD, CES, R. PHT, is a a registered and licensed dietitian, registered pharmacy technician and clinical exercise specialist in Schaumburg, Ill. She is passionate about nutrition, exercise, and alternative forms of healing and relaxation.
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