Sunday, October 2, 2016

Where ’ s Your Water?

Contrary to popular belief, you are not 75 to 80 percent water. You were once — long ago, when you were a babbling baby fresh from your mother’s watery womb. But now yo ’re closer to 50 percent water. What happened? Well, you’ve aged, and since those early years, internal and external factors have damaged your cells and weakened their ability to retain water. This explains the signs of aging that probably emerged in your late twenties or (if you were lucky) early thirties: your skin began to become drier, fine lines and wrinkles appeared, sleep patterns changed, your flexibility took a hit, digestion slowed, and your energy wavered. You complain about more aches and pains, need more caffeine to get through your day, and have a tougher time keeping excess weight off. This didn’t happen overnight, although it may have seemed that way one random day when you “ suddenly ”noted all these changes in the mirror, on a scale, or in your doctor’s office.

 What’s been going on has been a slow, inevitable decline in your capacity to stay hydrated, which, by the way, has nothing to do with how much water you drink (more on that later). Hydration has to do with the water your cells can hold on to for good use. If you drank a gallon of water a day and I called you dehydrated, would you believe me? Probably not. But it’s true: unless your cells can retain the water they require to support cellular functions, then all the water you drink in the world won't make much of a difference (and you’ll need to keep drinking to keep up with your body’s constant cellular water loss). Every part of the body, from your brain to the tendons and ligaments in your feet, needs water to function properly. Without enough water in their cells, organs cannot perform their normal operations or communicate with each other.

This brings me to another fact that goes against the grain of conventional wisdom: not all water is created equal. As you’ve probably figured out by now, there are two types of water in your body — wellness water inside your cells, and wastewater floating between your cells, the kind that will age you and make you feel fat and sluggish. Puffy eyes, swollen ankles, and a bloated stomach, for example, are all examples of extracellular waste fluid and signs that the body isn’t handling water efficiently. This damage can occur anywhere, including in the blood vessels, heart and other muscles, skin, and liver. Picture a blood vessel that’s as strong and sturdy as a brand - new hose. Now picture that same hose riddled with microscopic holes and leaking water. That water escaped and became waste.

Wellness water, on the other hand, sustains cellular activities and thus life; this is what allows you to remain healthy, trim, and beautiful. The caveat, of course, is keeping water where it’s supposed to be if those cells are somehow compromised and porous as an outcome of aging. First, you have to sew up those cracks, and then you have to ensure that you're consuming high-quality water,  which you won't necessarily find from a bottle or a faucet. You'll shortly come to understand what I mean as I take you through my Food Pitcher and train you to choose wisely foods and beverages that optimize your hydration.

No matter how much water you drink, it is never enough to keep you hydrated and feeling good unless it can reside inside your cells. 

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