A generation or two ago people drank water because it was part of their diet. When they were thirsty they drank more, or had some tea. But somewhere after the 1980s the health experts and their imitators started to tell us how much healthier we would be if we only drank more water. As water was supposedly free from the tap many people took to this advice. But is there much evidence to back up the benefits of drinking more water, or was is just pre-preparation for the bottled water trend?
Actually, our ancestors probably drank a reasonable amount of water, largely because they couldn’t fill up on flavoured milk, latte and soft drinks. They probably ate a lot less sugar too. These day we are finding the need to return to this healthier option. But we might make the mistake of thinking that just adding water to our otherwise poor diet will help. In truth, we need to adjust our entire approach, not just add one healthy ingredient.
Individual Water requirements
Water needs change due to exercise, the environment and your height/weight. 2 litres a day isn’t a bad estimate, but you might need more depending on your lifestyle. If you are exercise it is good to keep a water bottle handy.
We have been told that water flushes toxins out of our body. This a half-truth; your kidneys flush out toxins, and require water to do this properly. Lack of water prevents out body’s from properly flushing out toxins.
Too Much and Too Pure
Strangely, perfectly pure water will wash out essential micro-nutrients from our body. Individuals drinking pure water from the Himalaya Mountains felt poorly after a few days as their bodies lacked essential salts and other elements.
A similar problem occurs when people drink great amounts of water and consume little food. Out body needs salt and other nutrients to survive. Too much water can cause our body’s salt level to plummet, which is life threatening. Worst of all, low salt levels can be misdiagnosed as dehydration, causing us to drink more water. Have some salt and lemon juice before you drink.
If you are doing aerobics, yoga, Pilates or going for a massage we suggest drinking water earlier in the day. All things that are beneficial for our health are best when combined with other healthy practices.