Peter is a specialist in quickly resolving both chronic and acute pain and empowering lifestyle change to improve performance levels both for sport and life in general. For information about his work, visit here
Following on from Elayne’s excellent post a couple of months ago, and my own last post on Breathing, I now also want to focus on the next most important mechanism for supporting life, that of Hydration.
Water is the most abundant compound in the body and is required by every living cell for it’s proper function.
It is necessary for digestion, transportation of nutrients, elimination of waste, blood circulation, lubrication of joints and internal organs and the regulation of body temperature.
According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, whose incredible story is told in the book, Your Body’s Many Cries For Water, “Chronic and persistently increasing dehydration is the root cause of almost all currently encountered major diseases of the human body”.
Dr Batmanghelidj was among the many innocent Iranians who were imprisoned and sentenced to death during the revolution of 1979 and, over a period of nearly three years in captivity he facilitated the return to health of over 3,000 prisoners, many of them with life-threatening illnesses, and solely with the prescription of pure water!
Hunger, fatigue, loss of mental clarity, pain and ultimately disease are all possible symptoms of chronic dehydration, and so how can we detect the early warning signs and prevent it from occuring in the first place?
In my clinical practice I often see clients who fail multiple muscle tests owing to dehydration. This can be easily tested by tugging a tuft of hair on the back of the head or pinching the skin whilst testing the strength of any muscle in the body.
Pinching the skin on the back of the hand for 5 seconds and then observing how long it takes to flatten is also an indication of hydration levels and the chart below shows the amount of time this should take depending on age:
For optimal body function we should divide our body weight in kilograms by 30 to determine the approximate number of litres we need to drink per day. Therefore a 60kg woman requires 2 litres whilst a 90kg man requires 3 litres daily.
Coffee, tea and alcohol contain dehydrating agents whilst fruit juices and fizzy drinks are high in sugar, which itself has many negative effects on the body, and so there is no substitute for pure water.
Add a pinch of sea salt to each litre of water and drink it at room temperature and between meals, rather than with food, to improve absorption and digestion.