Saturday, May 29, 2010

"How much water should I drink?"

Good question. Let's ask Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj. (And while we're at it, let's just call him Dr. Batman. A lot easier, right?) But why ask this guy?

Dr. Batman is the author of Your Body's Many Cries for Water, a highly-regarded book in naturopathic circles. He claims to have treated over 3,000 prisoners in Iran in the late 1970s suffering from stress-induced peptic ulcer disease with water alone. His research on the subject was published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in 1983. Since then, he has been a strong advocate for the use of water to treat the many symptoms of what he calls "chronic unintentional dehydration." The symptoms, he says, can include simple body pain, which he views as perhaps the first sign of dehydration (a dry mouth is about the last symptom). But he includes even debilitating chronic diseases like asthma, arthritis, hypertension, angina, type 2 diabetes, lupus and multiple sclerosis.

His motto? "You are not sick, you are thirsty. Don’t treat thirst with medication."

Of course, I love the concept of drinking water instead of relying on pharmaceutical drugs. It supports all the tissues of our body, all of which are composed of significant amounts of water. Here are a few examples:

Bones: 25%
Muscles: 75%
Brain: 76%
Blood: 82%
Lungs 90%
The human body in general: 60%

If water composes so much of our body, it only makes sense to ensure that we support it with water! But again, how much water should we drink?

According to Dr. Batman, we should aim to drink one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight. So let's assume that you weight 150 pounds. According to this rule, you should drink 75 ounces of water. This ends up being about 9 cups of water a day.

Maybe you're not terribly keen on drinking so much water, or have a hard time doing it at first. Or you're used to drinking flavored beverages like soda pop or coffee. If this is the case, why not make water flavored, too? Use fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs! Here are some great ideas.
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Apples
  • Melons of all sorts
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Cucumbers
  • Mint
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
Slice any combination of what you like in the morning, and throw it in a water bottle or two before you leave for the day. The fruits, veggies, and herbs will make a delicious infusion and you'll want to drink more water.

Raise a glass! Here's to your health! *clink*

Do you have health issues that aren't being adequately addressed by conventional medicine? Naturopathic care may be the answer you're looking for. Visit my website for more information about naturopathic medicine, and begin your journey toward optimal health!

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