While proper hydration is vital all year long, warm weather season is upon us, making it even more important to hydrate. If you drink water only when you are thirsty, you are probably in a constant state of dehydration. The importance of hydration cannot be overstated. Water makes up 2/3 of our body weight and  is responsible for a variety of functions including removing waste, digestion, blood flow, body temperature regulation, maintaining a healthy metabolism, and cellular health.

 

HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I DRINK?
The rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day.

Common symptoms of dehydration include:

  1. Dry mouth, light-headed, headaches.
  2. Lack of energy, tiredness, lethargy.
  3. Dark-colored strong-smelling urine.
  4. Passing urine less often than usual.
  5. Constipation.
  6. Weight gain.
  7. Brain fog.
  8. Contraction of colds and flu easily
  9. Dry skin (try a quick test – pinch your skin over the back of your hand. Mild dehydration will cause the skin to be slow in returning to normal)

Our blood is also affected by dehydration, it becomes thicker and more concentrated. Therefore, the heart must work harder to circulate the blood throughout the body. The body will compensate by increasing the heart rate to maintain proper blood pressure. This is added strain on the body and may lead to physical exhaustion. [1]

 

WHAT ABOUT ELECTROLYTES?
Electrolytes are chemicals that conduct electricity when mixed with water. They regulate nerve and muscle function, hydrate the body, balance blood acidity and pressure, and help rebuild damaged tissue.

Many people develop an electrolyte imbalance when the amount of water in their body changes. This can be caused from dehydration, or from drinking too much water and over-diluting the cells. Electrolytes may be lost through exercise, sweating, urinating, pharmaceutical drugs, and even a poor diet.

Signs of electrolyte imbalance:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Confusion, dizziness, irritability.
  3. Muscle spasms
  4. Digestive issues.
  5. Anxiety, difficulty sleeping.
  6. Vomiting
  7. Mood changes
  8. Loss of appetite
  9. Stomach pain
  10. Changes in heart rhythm.


THE MOST COMMON ELECTROLYTES & THEIR FUNCTIONS

Potassium: Keeps blood pressure levels stable, regulates heart contractions, helps with muscle function.
Sodium: Maintains fluid balance, needed for muscle contractions, helps with nerve signaling.
Magnesium: Needed for muscle contractions, proper heart rhythm, bone building and strength, nerve function, reduces anxiety, aids in digestion.
Calcium: Helps with muscle contractions, nerve signaling, blood clotting, cell division, and helps maintain strong bones and teeth.
Chloride: Helps maintain fluid balance, proper blood pH, and needed to make stomach acid

 

DR. JOHN CHRISTOPHER’S THOUGHTS ON WATER

The famous herbalist, Dr. John R. Christopher, explained that there are two types of minerals in the body:

1) Live organic minerals that can be assimilated into cell structure
2) Low-vibrating inorganic minerals that are only accepted into the body and cannot be assimilated.

The inorganic minerals cause kidney stones, gall stones, hardening of the arteries, poor eyesight, arthritis, and other aliments.

Often, Dr. Christopher would be asked, “Why not use tap, well, spring,or other types of hard water to provide minerals?”   His answer was that, these minerals can be accepted into the body, but not wholly assimilated because the hard inorganic minerals must go through plant life and by osmosis changed to live organic mineral which can then be assimilated into the human cell structure. His thought was that we get all of our minerals from the fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds that can all be readily assimilated. He also taught that by drinking distilled water, it will flush the inorganic minerals out of the body, but will not bother the live organic minerals from herb and plant life that the body has assimilated. [2]

There are many water choices these days and its a good idea to do your own research.  Distilled water is an excellent choice, but make sure you are getting your minerals through clean food sources.

We have had some trying days lately, and we hope you are all doing well, and that this will all pass quickly. In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful spring weather and make sure you are staying hydrated! It will help your body to work better!

 

We’re Here to Help YOU!
Sue Froschheuser

 

Sources:
[1] Axe, J. DC, DMN, CNS (6/20/2017). How to Stay Hydrated in 4 Steps. Retrieved on 4/18/2020 from draxe.com
[2] Christopher, J (2010). Dr. John R. Christopher Herbal Home Health Care. Christopher Publications. Springville, Utah.

 

About the Author

Sue Froschheuser M.H.

Sue Froschheuser M.H.

Master Herbalist
Sue received her certification as a Family Herbalist from the School of Natural Healing, and Master Herbalist certification from Trinity School of Natural Health. Sue is also continuing her Herbalism training in the areas of wound management, first-aid, and animal care.