The MÖ Aesthetic Clinic

Water

Water and why you need it!

There is not a single chemical reaction or metabolic function in our bodies that can happen optimally without water. And I say optimally, because our bodies are very good at adapting. And we are very good at forcing them to adapt. Every day, we force our bodies to function at way below optimum levels by depriving them of essential nutrients and water. And then we expect them to function perfectly, and are horrified when they do not. Even worse, we sometimes live for so long in this suboptimal state that we forget what it feels like to be strong, healthy, energised, alert and alive.

75% of our brains are water, 22% of our bones are water, 75% of our muscles are water and 92% of our blood is made of water. 60-odd % of our bodies are water, and we hardly give it a thought.

Water’s function in our blood

Water keeps our blood liquid enough to flow through blood vessels. Blood flows throughout our body distributing nutrients, oxygen and antibodies on demand wherever needed. In order for our blood to carry out its many critical tasks our body must be sufficiently hydrated with water. An inadequate intake of water, or water laced with contaminants, causes the properties of our blood to change and negatively affects virtually every aspect of our health.

Water’s function in our brain

Water gives us electrical energy for all brain functions, most particularly, thinking. Our brain is approximately 75% water and controls each and every process that happens inside our bodies. This control is maintained by constantly sending and receiving electrical signals through our nervous system, which in essence is an intricate system of minute water ways. The fluid inside our nerves is made up almost completely of water and minerals. Tiny messengers called transporter proteins carry these life giving messages to every cell and organ in our body.

Like any communication network the purity of the carrier affects the speed and clarity of the signal. If the fluid inside our nerves contains traces of chemicals or heavy metals like lead, then the result is a delayed and distorted signal. Some experts now believe that the distortion of these signals may be the root cause of some nervous system disorders like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, anxiety and depression. It has been well documented that the clarity of these signals has a major effect on our ability to deal with stress and our degree of coordination.

Water’s function in our metabolism

Our energy level is impacted largely by our consumption of water. It has been medically proven that just a 5% drop in body fluids will cause a 25 to 30% loss of energy in most people, a 15% drop causes death! A large proportion of us are operating at only 70 to 75% of our capacity, or less. Unfortunately most people turn to stimulants like caffeine and sugar to boost their energy level rather than drinking more water, which is what our body needs to produce natural energy. In addition, caffeine, alcohol and sugar are all strong diuretics and actually cause our bodies to lose water, resulting in a further loss of natural energy production and eventually lead to a dependency on artificial energy.

I can almost hear the … “but, but, but” at this point….So how does water make energy? A large part of our body’s energy comes from a compound called ATP, Adenosine-Tri-Phosphate, which is produced during the osmotic flow of water through the cell membrane to generate hydroelectric energy. ATP is then stored in energy pools and used as chemical energy in our body. The mineral content of our body fluids and the absence of contaminants create the proper environment for this natural energy production. So, when functioning properly we are complex Hydro-generators, how amazing!

Water’s function in our immunity

Water normalizes the blood-manufacturing systems in the bone marrow. Your body’s immune system uses lymph to circulate white blood cells to all of the body’s tissues. Your body needs water in order to produce lymph. Without lymph, your white blood cells and other immune cells would not be able to travel throughout the body to fight disease. Water also ensures that your eyes and mouth will remain as moist as they need to be, allowing them to repel dirt, bacteria, dust and parasites that might cause infection.

Water’s function in regeneration

Water is the bonding adhesive in the cell structure. Water prevents DNA damage and makes its repair mechanisms more efficient so that less abnormal DNA is made.

Water’s function in digestion

Water is the main solvent for all foods, vitamins and minerals. It is used in the breakdown of food into smaller particles and their eventual metabolism and assimilation.Water energizes food, and food particles are then able to supply the body with this energy during digestion. This is why food without water has absolutely no energy value for the body. Water then increases the body’s rate of absorption of essential substances in food, and transports all these substances throughout the body. Water is the best lubricating laxative and prevents constipation.Water clears toxic waste from different parts of the body and takes it to the liver and kidneys for disposal. Our body’s detoxification system is probably the single most important component to optimum health, and the one process that relies most heavily on an adequate intake of clean water.

Water and our skin

We often forget that our skin is the largest organ in the body, and our first line of defence when it comes to protection. Our skin provides a barrier to harmful environmental aggressors like germs, chemicals and UV radiation. Our skin’s acid pH is very important in preventing bacteria from attacking our skin and causing infection. Even our skin’s ability to tan, by increasing melanin production, is a system designed to protect us from UV radiation. Complex chemical reactions are constantly going on in our skin to keep cells regenerating, repairing damage and even converting sunlight into Vitamin D.

Our skin regulates our body temperature. When we are hot, our skin can cool our entire bodies by sweating and also increasing blood flow, which allows heat to be lost through the skin. In contrast, when we are cold, the diameter of our blood vessels decreases, which reduces blood flow, retaining heat in the body. Lastly, our skin transfers information. Nerves in the skin respond to different stimuli, including touch, pain, pressure and temperature by passing along information to the central nervous system. All these functions rely heavily on a constant supply of enough clean water.

Water’s function in how we look and feel

Water is a better pick-me-up than any other beverage in the world and it has no side effects. Water helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression; it helps restore normal sleep rhythms and reduces fatigue. Water decreases premenstrual pains and hot flushes; it helps reverse addictive urges, including those for caffeine, alcohol and some drugs. Dehydration prevents sex hormone production – one of the primary causes of impotence and loss of libido. Drinking water regularly will result in the loss of some excess weight.

Hunger and thirst

There is a region of the brain called the hypothalamus which controls both hunger and thirst. It sends the same signal whether you are hungry or thirsty. To understand which signal your brain is sending, you must learn to understand your body better. Think about the last time you had a meal compared with the last time you had something to drink. It might be that the empty feeling in your stomach only needs some water for satiety. The next time you feel hungry, drink a glass of water. It might take up to 15 minutes for your hypothalamus to send a signal letting your nervous system know that the body was merely thirsty and that the thirst has been satisfied. Also, don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Your body needs a constant supply of water just as it needs a constant supply of oxygen. You don’t wait until you are suffocating to breathe!

So how much do we need?

We’ve all heard the 8 glasses of water a day rule. Drinking the minimum will help maintain a minimum level of health. Our body will use at least 8 glasses of water each day under normal, relatively passive activity to maintain the basic bodily functions such as digestion, temperature control, joint lubrication and skin hydration. Each time we exhale, blink or make any kind of movement at all we use up some of the available water in our system. Even the constant beating of our heart is a water consuming process. We’re continuously depleting the available water level inside our body. In order for our body to properly perform the essential task of filtering and flushing out toxins we must consume a level of water above the minimum.

The more of an excess that exists, the more our body is able to rid itself of the elements that promote disease and aging. Sensibly increase your intake, and do try to make it little and often throughout the day. Drinking nothing all day and then gulping down 2 litres at bedtime is never going to be a good idea! Remember, your amazing body works every second of the day and night, you can’t help it by throwing everything at it in one go. In just the last decade medical science has begun to focus on the tremendous healing ability our body has and how much that ability depends on water. Our body instinctively strives to be healthy, with each component working in amazing synchronicity to bond broken bones, regenerate and replace damaged tissue and attack and destroy hostile organisms. In each of these miraculous processes there is one common factor…water,

 

 


By Claire Butler

South African-born Claire Butler is the Clinical Nutritionalist at Scandinavian Skincare Systems and holds a BSc degree in Clinical Dietetics and a postgraduate diploma in Hospital Dietetics. She is also a Consultant at the MÖ Aesthetic Clinic in the Cotswolds working with private clients for weight management and well-being.

Claire has previously managed the Diabetic and Weight Management Outpatient Facility of a major South African hospital and has worked in the Pharmaceutical industry focusing mainly on nutritional education for Doctors, Nursing staff and Pharmacy staff.

claire@scandinavianskincaresystems.com

 

 

 

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