Post # 207 Water Water Everywhere . . . . pt 1

January 10, 2014 at 2:35 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 207 Water Water Everywhere . . . . pt 1

First, loads of things have happened over the past week or so to prevent me from getting back to this blog as I’d intended.  Most of it was medical.  Last Friday, I woke up at my normal time, 5:30am to take care of the dogs, etc. but a muscle in my back under my shoulder blade started spasming sending shooting pain throughout my chest, my back, my shoulder, and my arm.  My right arm.  The one I used for every task in the world.  We tried many treatments but finally hit the right one on Wednesday.  Things are not 100%, but getting better.  So!  On to the post!

The human body is about 70% water.  The planet Earth is about 70% water.  Although with climate change, that percentage will change over time.  Just as minor changes in water percentage on the planet changes conditions for life, minor changes in percentage of water in our bodies changes conditions for life.  Dehydration can cause the body to shut down and eventually die.  Hyperhydration (too much water) can cause the body to drown in its own fluids.  The body can survive for weeks without food, but only three days without water.

I grew up in the desert in a corner of Arizona next to the Colorado River about two miles from the border of Mexico.  My little town was a natural hot pocket and usually only Death Valley was hotter than us.  Once, when working at my dad’s gas station a guy passing through commented, “This is the closest I’ve been to Hell.”  So water was a major concern.  We had plenty of ground water, with the river and winter rains (not much).  So I grew up constantly drinking water or tea or fresh juice or soda.

Water

So, we’ve hear it all our lives.  We should be drinking plenty of water.  The health benefits are tremendous and the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.  But are we getting enough water?  Years ago, my mother-in-law was feeling very bad and was taken to the emergency room.  They found that she was severely dehydrated.  It surprised all of us since she always had a glass of water with her.  It turned out that she didn’t really have a glass of water, but a glass of ice cube which she crunched on all day long.  It helped control her appetite and helped her lose weight.  But it also put her into a water deficit because of one of water’s main properties.

Water does something that no other substance does.  When it freezes, it expands.  Everything else contracts.  Because it expands, it floats.  It’s this property that allows life to exist on our planet.  In the rivers, lakes, ponds, and oceans, if ice sank, life at the bottom would die out.  Ice would never melt since the cyclical nature of the seasons would simply add more ice to the top layers.  Because ice floats, the lower layers are still liquid and life can continue.  Ice also acts as an insulator so fish, animals, and plants can adapt to a constant temperature rather than a fluctuating one.  On land, when ice and snow on top of the ground or plants melts, it creates a liquid layer that hydrates the ground.  On land, when water infiltrates the ground, then freezes, it pushes the earth apart and helps aerate it, spread nutrients around, allow seeds to get under the surface, and allow shoots to reach the sun.  If ice didn’t float, we’d have just a giant ball of ice circling the sun, with a layer of water on top.

So when my mother-in-law, and other people who don’t realize what’s happening, eat ice thinking they’re getting all the water they need, they’re mistaken.  They’re getting a much smaller amount than they know.

When I was younger, and much more active, I wondered if I had to drink the amount of water They recommended, or if tea, soda, juice, etc. would work as well.  The long prevailing guidance has been 8×8, eight glasses of 8oz during the course of the day.  You should drink more when more active, or when weather conditions dictate.  That’s a half gallon every day to maintain good health.  Seems very easy, right?  But as I read more about it, those 64oz could be replaced by other fluids.  Tea, coffee, juice, soda, milk, etc.  The only thing you needed to watch for were the additives that could suck water out of your system, like alcohol and caffeine.  But then I learned that foods that are high in fluid content could also contribute.  Melons are excellent.  Watermelon is one of the best.  But plenty of other foods add to the daily fluid intake.  Fruits are very high, things like berries, apples, citrus, etc.  Tomatoes are great.  Oddly enough, leafy greens are high in water.  Celery is another good bet.

My arm is starting to bother me again, so I’m going to close for now.  I’ll pick this up on Monday for more water info.

Take care!

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