Water and Optimal Health

Water is often ignored as an important factor in achieving optimal health. Even many health conscious people give little thought to the actual quality of the water they are drinking, assuming that if the water is free of harmful microbes, then it is beneficial to the body. Water is commonly referred to as the ‘universal solvent’, which indicates its ability to dissolve an incomparable number of substances. This fact, along with the essential use of water in every metabolic process in the body, highlights the importance of consuming pure, clean, quality, health building water. water-90781_640

The elemental designation for water is H2O, which indicates that it contains two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. In nature, water is never found as one single molecule, but exists as a group of H2O molecules clustered together. In nature, the minimum number of H2O molecules clustered together is normally five or six, which is found with some spring water and deep artesian well water. Most tap water is composed of water that contains ’20-H2O’ to ’30-H2O’ clustering, which is related to the presence of contaminants, with their ability to give the water a ‘stickier’ quality.

The human body is composed of approximately 55 to 60% water, with the brain being composed of roughly 70 to 80%. Our blood is made up of 93% water. The brain and spinal cord of every mammal is surrounded by water.

A small percentage of the body’s water can be produced through metabolic processes, while the remaining water requirements must be satisfied through the diet.

Research has shown that micro-structured water, which reduces clustering of water molecules into smaller, ‘5-H2O’ or ‘6-H2O’ clusters, more easily penetrates cell membranes, increasing hydration and thereby improving cell metabolic functions. Dissolved substances in water increase the size of the clusters of water molecules, making the water less hydrating.

Its important to be aware that even drinking juices or teas is far less hydrating than drinking pure clean water, while the drinking of sweetened liquids of any kind may increase the retention of water, further decreasing the re-hydration of the cells. For this reason its always best to drink pure clean water in order to optimally satisfy the body’s metabolic needs.

An increasing amount of recent research on the role of water in cell biology, has shown the vital importance of water in cellular communication, with water being more like a liquid crystal semiconductor, with information-storage capacity, and also functioning like a battery, rather than water just functioning as a simple solvent. This discovery heightens the importance of adequate cellular hydration for optimal communication between cells and optimal brain function.

Additional recent research has also served to strengthen the case that water has the ability to store impressions it receives from substances and energies that it is subjected to. Water retains the memory of all the impressions it receives, both the good and the bad. Even filtered water can retain the memory of pesticides, pharmaceuticals as well as other poisons that are released into the air or spread on lawns or agricultural fields. Studies have shown that some influences on water last only a few minutes while others seem to persist for several days or months.

The atomic and subatomic memory of water is clearly evidenced by the action of highly diluted homeopathic medications. While high-powered microscopes are unable to detect the slightest trace of the initial substance in the dilutions, the resulting diluted homeopathic water has demonstrable affects when ingested into the body. Paradoxically, the more diluted the substance, the stronger its homeopathic affect. Although no device exists capable of detecting this micro-information on the bio-physical plane, its existence is clearly demonstrated. Further research in this area would undoubtedly shed a great deal more light on the storage of influencing substances and energies in water and their affects on human health.

A more easily, well researched aspect of water, relates to the many physical and emotional issues that can result from chronic dehydration. The body exhibits the sensation of thirst when it is suffering from a reduction in water reserves and by that point it may be deficient by as much as 2%. Reducing the body’s water content by as little as 2%, through diuresis or dehydration, can result in noticeable fatigue, along with confused thinking and disorientation. As a result, many doctors and naturopaths recommend drinking water before you become thirsty.  A reduction of 10% can cause problems ranging from musculoskeletal issues (joint pain, back pain, cramps) to digestive issues (heartburn, constipation), immune problems or allergies, and cardiovascular symptoms or anginal pain.

Symptoms that can be associated with chronic dehydration include:

depression                                           stress

dyspeptic pain                                     colitis pain

false appendicitis pain                        hiatal hernia

rheumatoid arthritis pain                    low-back pain

neck pain                                            anginal pain

anxiety                                                headaches

high blood pressure                            high blood cholesterol

excess body weight                            excess hunger

asthma and allergies                           chronic fatigue

irritability                                            constipation

cognitive impairment                          attention deficit disorder

asthma

Remaining adequately hydrated is dependent on ingesting enough water to replace water that is eliminated through the various metabolic activities occurring in the body. A commonly held rule of thumb for daily water intake is to take your body weight, divide it by two and drink that amount in ounces of water per day. For example: Body weight 130 lbs divided by 2, equals 65 ounces per day. For any dehydrating medications or beverages, such as coffee, tea, alcohol, some herbal teas, all juices and sodas, add another 12 to 16 ounces of pure water to your daily intake for every 8 ounces of diuretic beverage consumed. This is one reason why coffee is served with a glass of water in some parts of the world.

Strenuous physical activity may also require the ingestion of additional water to keep up with metabolic needs. Drinking more than a gallon a day should be avoided, however, since too much water can also adversely affect the body’s metabolism.

Along with the essential need to stay hydrated is the need to be sure that the water ingested is free of harmful substances. Testing of water sources is discovering an increasing number of hazardous substances, including prescription and illegal drugs, birth control pills, pesticides, herbicides, fracing chemicals, heavy metals and many other of the one hundred thousand toxic chemicals utilized around the world. The ingestion of these harmful substances can cause severe health problems and will block any chance at achieving optimal health.

An overview of the different categories of water gives various options, which also differ in their ability to aid in the achievement and maintenance of optimal health. Please note that the water from all of these sources should ideally be tested to determine if it is free of harmful substances and filtered, if necessary, to insure purity:

Spring Water– The best choice, if available and affordable, is natural mountain spring or artesian spring water, since it is often micro-structured and highly energized, and frequently uncontaminated with harmful organisms and substances. The water at Lourdes in France, as well as other highly popular artesian waters, are of this health building quality.

Well Water– The next best choice would be well water that is free of harmful chemicals and harmful biological organisms. The problem with this water, however, is that its source is a water vein or aquifer, which, particularly on the plains, can be polluted with a long list of poisons due to factory farming and high-yield agriculture.

Rainwater– Ground water evaporates and rises in a purified form into the atmosphere, where it accumulates and eventually returns to earth as rain or other forms of precipitation. Since rain results from the evaporation of water, the resulting collected rainwater is lacking in mineral salts.

There has been an ongoing discussion about the effect on the body of mineral ‘deficient’ water, with claims that minerals already in the body are leached out of the bones, teeth and other tissues of the body, and excreted, leaving the body deficient in critical minerals necessary for health. There are also contrary claims that since the body obtains the overwhelming majority of minerals from ingested food, that any lack of minerals in the water is insignificant in its affect on health. Along with this claim is the idea that organically bound minerals in food are much better absorbed and utilized by the body anyway, minimizing the problem of a lack of inorganic minerals in water. And related to this, it is also claimed that some inorganic minerals in the water are deposited in joints and other areas in the body as a way of preventing them from adversely interfering with metabolic activities. Additional studies of these claims would go a long way in establishing how vital mineralized water actually is to the overall health of the body. Rainwater also may contain various types of industrial wastes and evaporated pollutants that were suspended in the atmosphere. Acid rain is a common result of these pollutants, with its deposition being a health threat to all living things.

Surface Water– Water collected on the earth’s surface in streams, lakes, pools or ponds is also subject to the dissolution of the various pollutants that have been deposited on the land. Water on the surface of these various sources is affected to some extent by daylight and sunlight. Heating will result in the water losing oxygen and too much exposure to sun can result in the growth of bacteria and algae.

Tap Water– Along with the need to filter out any number of the thousands of toxic chemicals and heavy metals in tap water, is the additional fact that in the United States, tap water typically contains chlorine and/or chloramines as well as added fluoride. Since all of these chemicals are highly toxic, it is essential that they are filtered out if your intention is to drink purified tap water. Since most tap water is pressurized, it is also important to consider the effect of pressurization on the water. The molecule clusters of water that have been compressed have a lessened ability to dissolve and eliminate impurities, which may result in the deposition of these harmful substances in joints and on the walls of the blood vessels. Water that has been pressurized is also less capable of supplying the body’s cells with the essential nutrients needed for optimal health.

Boiled Water– The boiling of water has been used for thousand of years as a way to make it so that it can be ingested with a lessened ability to make one sick. It is a single step process which eliminates most microbes responsible for causing intestine related diseases. In places having a proper water purification system, it is only advocated as an emergency treatment method or for obtaining potable water in the wilderness or in rural areas, but it cannot remove all chemical toxins or impurities. The traditional advice of boiling water for ten minutes is mainly for additional safety, since microbes start getting eliminated at temperatures greater than 60 °C (140 °F). Boiling water is reputed to be an effective method to eliminate the micro-information contained in water molecules. Brief boiling for just a few seconds will allow it to lose its memory only briefly, with the water reconstructing itself after a few minutes. According to Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine it is necessary to boil the water for seven minutes in order to eliminate the micro-information completely.

Distilled Water– Distillation consists of bringing water to a boil until it begins to vaporize, leaving mineral sediment behind. The vapor is collected in a container and once cooled, it turns back into liquid. Back when our atmosphere wasn’t contaminated, rain was pure and clean, much like distilled water. With the current widespread contamination of water with hundreds of thousands of potential chemicals, an important consideration is that any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will evaporate before the water does.

In a properly made distillation unit, the tap water is preheated to just below the boiling point to drive off the compounds that are lighter than water. Once those compounds have evaporated, the water is heated just to the boiling point and is sent to the condensation chamber to return to its liquid state as pure water. A unit that doesn’t include the preheating phase will evaporate the VOCs along with the water, so they’ll condense with the steam and remain in the finished product. While this won’t concentrate the harmful compounds, it will leave the purifying job half done. With the proper unit you will end up with pure distilled water. There are those that claim that distillation is the only way to insure that the water is free of harmful substances. As was the case with rainwater, there are various claims about the effect on the body of water lacking minerals.

Filtered WaterCarbon Filters– Most carbon filters utilize a special form of carbon called activated carbon. Water easily passes through an activated carbon filter, which provides an almost unbelievably large surface area (125 acres per pound). Activated carbon is used in both the solid block and granular forms. It takes water longer to pass through block carbon, which makes this form more effective at absorbing contaminants. Activated carbon filters are best suited for removing organic pollutants like insecticides, herbicides and PCB’s. They can also remove many industrial chemicals and chlorine. Activated carbon will not remove most inorganic chemicals, dissolved heavy metals (like lead) or biological contaminants. Carbon filters provide a fertile breeding ground for bacteria. If water hasn’t been treated with chlorine, ozone or some other bactericidal method before undergoing carbon filtration, any bacteria in the water will become trapped inside the filter and further contaminate the water that runs through it.

Carbon filters also begin to lose their effectiveness over time. As the filter reaches its absorption capacity, more and more impurities will be left in the water. And since the water will continue to flow easily through the filter, there is no true way of knowing if the filter is still functioning properly without running a water quality test. This makes it essential that the filter be changed at regular intervals or when its water filtration capacity has been reached, whichever comes first.

Filtered Water-Ceramic Filters– Rust, dirt, parasites like Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia, and other impurities can be easily removed from drinking water by forcing the water through the very fine pores in ceramic material. They’re also ideal for travel or backpacking, since they can be repeatedly cleaned by simply scrubbing the outside of the ceramic material. Ceramic filters, however, are not effective at removing organic pollutants or pesticides.

Reverse Osmosis– Reverse osmosis (RO) is a process whereby water is forced through a semipermeable synthetic membrane. RO systems can remove anywhere from 90% to 98% of heavy metals, viruses, bacteria and other organisms, organic and inorganic chemicals. Reverse osmosis filtration will remove chlorine and chloramine but may not filter out all of the fluoride from the water. RO systems require a minimum water pressure of 40 psi to work properly, and steps must be taken to insure the integrity of the membrane, which has to be replaced every few years, since the membrane will degrade in the presence of chlorine and turbid water. This makes a carbon prefilter essential.

The best overall solution for clean pure water is multi-stage filtered reverse osmosis water from a local vendor, either delivered or by filling your own bottles. If you are drinking RO water and want to insure that you are getting water with extremely low fluoride levels then filter RO water through fluoride filters. Otherwise the best solutions are distilled water from your own quality distiller or spring/artesian water, with the best sources being Aqua Panna, Gerolsteiner and Pellegrino.

Cites:

The Healing Power of Energized Water
Ulrich Holst 2010

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