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Thursday
Sep242009

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

With all the attention we’ve been giving to food, so far, it only seems fair to change things up for a moment and pay a little attention to water.  After all, with the sole exception of oxygen, nothing else is more important to human life.  

The common recommendation is to drink 8-10 glasses, daily.  Drinking at least that much water is certainly necessary for those eating cooked diets, but what can you expect, considering the dehydration factor of grains, meat and cheese?  These foods are loaded with salt and have had their moisture cooked out of them.  They create a water debt, meaning you have to drink extra water, just to offset the amount they steal from you. 

The situation changes a bit when your diet is fresh, raw fruits and vegetables.  Unlike cooked foods, they still possess all their moisture.  In fact, they have such a high water content that they even provide a good portion of your body’s overall water needs.  Because of this, when you eat a raw-vegan diet, you’ll find you don’t need to drink nearly as much water as you used to — possibly only needing a couple of glasses each day. 

But don’t get me wrong — by no means am I suggesting that you should be avoiding drinking water.  Perhaps the best way to start the morning is by drinking a large glass or two.  During the night, a lot of water gets used up in cleansing and repairing your body, so a large drink is great for refilling your tank.  It also does a great job of helping to flush out all the wastes that were tracked down during the night’s detox efforts.  Think of it as your morning internal-shower

They are situations where you’ll want to make sure you increase your water intake beyond your usual amount.  For example, if you’re detoxing, you’ll want to drink a lot of water because your body will be continuously flushing itself out at a much higher rate than usual and using up a lot of extra water.  Also, if you’re working out, or simply are in a hot environment, you’ll obviously need to drink extra to account for all the moisture lost by sweating.

What I’m saying is that there’s not any standard “right” answer for how much water to drink.  There can’t be one magic number because there are so many variables to consider.  Instead, what you should think about is being proactive about keeping yourself hydrated by simply paying attention to your body and drinking as much water as it asks for.  You don’t have to do any number crunching because your body does that on its own.  You just have to watch for the signs.

While we may not realize it, most of us spend a majority of our lives in some degree of dehydration.  Our body masses are between sixty and seventy percent water and it only takes a two-percent water loss to begin feeling the effects of dehydration.  When we’re eating salty, dry, cooked foods, a two-percent loss is only a mouthful away.

The early symptoms of mild dehydration can include fatigue, mild headaches, dizziness when standing up, dry skin, constipation, dark urine and thirst.  Many of us seem to have accepted some of these symptoms as a common part of daily life.  But chronic dehydration is very taxing on the body, and we don’t want it to be part of our lives.  Spotting and preventing dehydration is easy if you watch for it. 

This may seem silly, but if I asked you what feelings you associate with feeling thirsty, what would you say?  There’s a good chance that the images you bring to mind include a dry mouth and throat — and possibly even a slight faintness or even a mild headache, in stronger cases. 

While a dry mouth is certainly a valid sign that you need water, it’s not a feeling that you should normally be experiencing when thirsty.  These feelings are what should be called unnatural thirst.  They’re more than the natural call for water — they’re symptoms of the over-consumption of cooked foods that suck our body dry. 

On the other hand, a natural thirst doesn’t feel dry or unpleasant at all, but rather is just a slightly excited desire for water that comes from the back of the throat.  There shouldn’t be any feelings of discomfort.

I should point out that, even after removing cooked foods from the diet, you may continue to experience signs of unnatural thirst for some time.  This is usually the result of your body eliminating salt that has accumulated from years of a cooked diet.  This may take many weeks, and depends upon how you ate previously, but it will pass.

Another sign of dehydration is dark urine.  Ideally, urine should be quite light.  I don’t mean that it should always be totally clear, but it should be closer to the clear side of the spectrum than to the yellow side.

The important thing to remember is that keeping hydrated is very important to your health.  Virtually every bodily function relies upon water directly, and dehydration causes strain. 

Keeping yourself well hydrated becomes much easier the more raw-vegan your diet becomes.  Just pay attention to the signals your body gives you, drink water as needed, and cut out the cooked food.  You'll find your energy level greatly increases and you'll quite simply feel better overall.

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Real-World Raw Health and Nutrition:
The raw food diet made easy for your busy life!

Mike Dillman is a self-taught raw-vegan who began his journey nearly five years ago.   Having worked his way through all the challenges firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself.  You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle.

If you want to experience the amazing health that comes with living the one truly natural diet, Mike's new book, "Real-World Raw: The Busy Person's Guide to the Raw-Vegan Diet" is just what you're looking for.  See for yourself. 
To Download a FREE 20-Page Sneak Preview of the eBook click here!

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