Drinking water can prevent and treat diseases
MIND YOUR BODY - Dr. Willie T. Ong (The Philippine Star) - August 3, 2015 - 10:00am

Recently, more scientific evidence has come up to support the benefits of drinking water. Experts agree that water is an effective way to prevent and treat certain diseases.

For the average person, we recommend the 8 x 8 rule, which is eight glasses of eight ounces of water a day. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule.

First, let’s learn about the benefits and medical basis for drinking water.

• Water prevents kidney stones. The most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water. Since water dissolves the substances that form stones in the urine, drinking 12 glasses a day helps treat kidney stones.

• Water treats urinary tract infection. The more water you drink, the more you will urinate. Drinking lots of water will help flush out harmful bacteria from your bladder.

• Water helps patients with diarrhea by preventing dehydration. As a first-aid for diarrhea, you can make your own oral rehydration solution at home. Mix a glass of water with two teaspoons sugar and one-fourth teaspoon salt. Drink as much as you can tolerate since this is similar to the dextrose solution in the hospital.

• Water helps reduce fever. For symptoms of flu, drinking water can help lower fever by urinating the “heat” out of your body. If you’re sick, take in more water to recover faster.

• Water helps treat cough, colds, sore throat, and respiratory infections. Water helps loosen sticky phlegm. A respected lung specialist told me that drinking lots of water is just as beneficial as some mucolytics.

• Water reduces heartburn. Taking two to three gulps of water every 20 minutes or so can help flush the stomach acid away. Bananas and water are effective alternatives to taking antacids. Try it.

• Water prevents constipation and its complications. Too little water can harden the stools and lead to hemorrhoids and diverticulosis, a disease of the large bowel. Eat lots of vegetables and drink water to soften your stools.

• Water keeps you alert and energetic. If you’re dehydrated, your blood is literally thicker. This makes it harder for the blood to circulate. As a result, the brain can become less active and you can feel confused and fatigued. Some studies also show that water may help cure migraine headaches.

• Water helps reduce weight. By drinking a glass or two of water before a meal, you will lessen the amount of food you can eat in order to feel full. Water has zero calories and will not make you fat.

Water keeps your skin soft and radiant. Just as a dehydrated person will have deep-set eyes and wrinkled skin, so will a fully hydrated person exhibit a radiant and beautiful skintone.

10 Healthy ways to drink water

1. Drink water when you wake up. Your body loses water while you sleep, so drink a glass before you go to sleep, and another glass when you wake up. You are naturally thirsty or dehydrated in the morning. Drinking water in the morning helps flush out the toxins that have accumulated all night.

2. Drink 8 to 12 glasses a day. According to the Mayo Clinic, a 120-pound individual needs eight cups of water a day, while a 190-pound person requires 12 cups daily. We should monitor our urine color and keep it on the light side. However, drink only a maximum of 16 glasses a day, and not more.

3. Drink little by little throughout the day. It is preferable to sip water throughout the day rather than to drink two glasses all at once. This will lessen the stress on the heart (especially if you have heart disease) and give your body more time to absorb it.

4. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re probably already two glasses below your normal water needs. Elderly people are also less sensitive to the body’s need for water.

5. Drink water, not soft drinks, alcohol or coffee. Some experts believe that tea, sodas, and coffee can be potentially dehydrating. Moreover, the high phosphorus and sugar content in cola drinks can lead to conditions like osteoporosis and diabetes. One study showed that adults who drank six cups of coffee daily experienced mild dehydration. Drinking alcohol is much worse because it actually dehydrates you by making you urinate a lot.

6. Train children to drink water. Set a good example to your kids and drink water together. Make sure that children drink enough water when they’re active. Pack a big bottled water in their lunch box.

7. Drink more when it’s hot. People living in hot climates like the Philippines need to drink more water. They are more prone to develop kidney stones compared to those living in cooler regions.

8. Drink more as you exercise. When you exercise, you need to drink more water to compensate for fluid loss. Go for an extra 500ml of water for a 30-minute to one-hour exercise. Eating a banana also helps keep your potassium up.

9. Drink more when you’re sick. Even though you don’t feel like it, you really need to drink more water to help your body recover from various infections. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel much worse.

10. Drink more if you’re pregnant. Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 10 cups of fluids daily and women who breast-feed take in about 13 cups of fluids a day.

Drinking distilled water or mineral water is fine for most people. Let’s all drink a glass to our health!

 

ACIRC CENT DAY DRINK DRINKING HELPS INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE MAYO CLINIC STRONG WATER
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