Frequently, when I have mentioned to someone that perhaps they may be suffering certain issues due to hydration, they say to me,

“Oh, but I can’t possibly be dehydrated! I’m drinking all day long! I start my day with a big cup of coffee to get me pepped up, then I almost always stop on the way to work to pick up a mocha latte. By the time I arrive at my job, my bladder is ready to burst. While I sit at my desk, I like to drink green tea before lunch. With lunch, of course, I always enjoy a nice, cool milkshake or soda pop, or sometimes a tall glass of iced tea. Then at home, with dinner, I usually enjoy a glass of wine or two (because I heard on the radio that it was healthy). If it’s really hot out, a nice, cold beer is usually just what I need. Often before bed, I even have a glass of hot chocolate or, if it’s hot, a nice iced coffee. Basically, I’m drinking all day! If you think I’m dehydrated, you must be crazy!”

What they don’t realize, of course, is that alcohol and caffeine are actually extremely dehydrating, so even though they might be throwing down waterfalls of booze, soda, and caffeine down their gullets, and even though a glass of beer looks cool and refreshing after a hike in the desert, these beverages will result in a net water loss at the end of the day.

The reason most people are used to consuming copious amounts of such fluids is because of the incredible array of stimulating herbs, spices, oils, and salts in their daily meals. Therefore, sodas, coffees, teas, juices, and milkshakes are consumed frequently. What this harmful practice does, however, is put the body in a state of toxemia, where the byproducts of metabolism become backed up in the system, festering and aggregating in every organ in the body, just like a pond without a fresh supply of flowing water becomes brackish and muddy. The strain on the kidneys is enormous under such conditions. Imagine how difficult it would be to wash a load of dirty laundry using only a small cupful of water, and you will get some idea of the difficulty the body faces when trying to cleanse the blood of impurities without the regular intake of pure fluid. In fact, the human body is comprised of at least 70% water, so to neglect this important aspect of health is basically to neglect 70% of your entire physical existence. Water is the second most important nutrient after oxygen, and plays the primary role in almost every physiological process in the body. Without adequate hydration, nutrient transport becomes impossible, so the cells will starve even if the most nutritious food in the world is being eaten. Removal of waste and the careful cushioning of delicate organs and joints are completely dependent on water.

Those who neglect this aspect of health over the long term can expect to experience problems related to blood pressure, digestion, kidney functioning, and mental ability.

We lose just as much, if not more, water when we are sleeping then when we are awake, because the physical processes relating to rest and healing require a tremendous amount of water. Additionally, the body requires just as much water, if not more, in cold weather than it does in hot weather. For those trying to lose that last little bit of fat on their stomachs, it is important to understand that being dehydrated will slow down the metabolism, meaning that the fat will be more stubborn and persistent than in those who are well-hydrated.

Genetic susceptibilities to cancer also mean that extra attention should be paid to drinking water each and every day. It is absolutely astounding that very few people realize that simply remaining consistently hydrated cuts a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 79%. Likewise, colon and bladder cancers are highly dependent on dehydration. Every single aspect of life is enhanced when the system is fully hydrated. Athletic endeavors, reading comprehension, musical ability, intellectual thought, and creativity will all be negatively impacted by a state of dehydration.

Water is the lifeblood of the human body, and to ignore this element of health is to flirt with serious injury or even death. Start each day off with a liter of water, minimum, and then drink throughout the day as desired, preferably one glass of water prior to each meal.

Michelle Aslan


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11) Gardner EJ, Ruxton CH, Leeds AR. Black tea–helpful or harmful? A review of the evidence. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61(1):3-18.

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