W A T E R I N F O
Besides drinking for survival, human beings must have known from the very earliest times the connection between water and health. There are a number of signs that indicate we are not drinking enough water. Skin is one very visible indicator and it can be affected in a number of ways. It may become flaky and dry and it is more likely to get lined and wrinkled.
If you are prone to skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, dehydration may make them worse. Another visible sign is urine, which becomes darker and thicker if you don't drink enough water. If you are drinking enough water, it should be almost colorless. Headaches can be caused by dehydration. Dehydration can make you unable to concentrate or think clearly and you may feel tired and rather disengaged from life too.
The earliest forms of healthcare have evolved over the course of years, based on observation and empirical treatments. And water played a pivotal role in all such early medicine. In different times and different places in the world - from Egypt to China, and from Rome to India - water has been seen as vital to health and the water 'cure' has taken on numerous forms. Water treatments have been used to both treat specific ailment such as, digestive and muscular disorders, and as a prophylactic - a general preventive against illness.
Many different types of water have been used for health. Water from hot and cold springs and salt water of the sea were both used to improve health. The high salt and mineral content of the Dead Sea meant that nothing could live in it but this gave it its celebrated therapeutic powers and made it a focus of the ancient world. Cleopatra, for instance, made use of both its water and its mud in her beauty routine. The Greek physician Hippocrates, too, prescribed spring water for internal and external treatment 400 years before the birth of Christ.
What's the Alternative to Water?
To prevent dehydration, the obvious solution is to drink more - but will any drink rehydrate? Unfortunately not. In fact, some of the most popular drinks actually dehydrate! It is recommended to limit or only drink certain beverage in moderation such as alcohol, coffee and most carbonated drinks. This may sound rather daunting, especially if your favorite drink is on the 'forbidden' list. However, nothing is ruled out completely - occasionally drinking certain beverages is OK if it is done responsibly and with caution. Rather than having several cups of coffee in the morning, limit yourself to one, and preferably not every day.
Alcohol - Alcohol dehydrates the body. Anyone who has ever suffered a hangover knows that one of its side-effects is a raging thirst. For the weight-conscious, alcohol is high in calories without offering any nutritional benefit. Alcohol also overworks the liver in detoxification and can to lead to liver damage.
Cola Drinks - Most cola drinks contain caffeine, sugar and other unhealthy additives. Some cola drinks have been tested to be 100,000 times more acidic than pH neutral water.
Coffee - Coffee is a very effective diuretic on the body. This means that urination increases and not only do you lose fluids but at the same time the coffee robs you of such precious minerals as magnesium, which pass out of the body in the urine. The caffeine in coffee has the effect of blocking vitamin absorption by the body. It also encourages the build-up with the system of one of the least desirable heavy metals, cadmium. Coffee is also linked to raised blood pressure, with all its accompanying dangers, and it now seems that caffeine may also interfere with the way in which the cells of our body repair themselves on the deepest level - thus, long term consumption can injure our immune system.
The Immune System
When any of the major organs dealing with detoxification or elimination are stressed and overloaded, it is the immune system that is likely to suffer. Our bodies are profoundly complex organisms which, on a cellular level, are in a state of constant growth and renewal. Every day they rid themselves of old, damaged or dead cells and replace them with new, healthy ones.
The body has its own set of priorities for its metabolism. So, should we fall ill, our bodies concentrate on repelling invading infections and on the healing process. The body even prioritizes its most important parts, like the organs - this is why, in extreme cold, the body will keep the vital organs working at the expense of the extremities (hence frostbite occurring first in the toes or fingers).
Fortunately, for most of us, illness and infection are only occasional problems, and once returned to a healthy state the body can go back to its normal work of cleansing and renewal. However, the body reacts to a dehydrated, toxic state of health in much the same way as it does to disease. Instead of its everyday processes of cellular renewal, it focuses its energy on ridding itself of the toxins. And when the body is dehydrated, many of its organs and systems (in particular the kidneys, the digestive system and the lymphatic system) become sluggish and work below par.
Drinking 2 litres or more of alkaline reduced, mineral enriched water every day is the simplest method of lightening the load on the body's immune, digestive and detoxification systems. Living an active and healthy lifestyle calls for drinking quality, healthy water.
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