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  • Writer's pictureTea Writes

Water | We All Need It

Striking a balance between not getting enough, getting too much, simple things to do to make water more appetizing, as well as tips and tricks to make you more apt to drink-up

“Up to 60% of the human adult body is water,” according to the U. S. Geological Survey. Without water, no lifeform would be able to exist on Earth.

Although our bodies are more than 50% comprised of this life-sustaining substance, we must maintain and keep our bodies hydrated with it.

For years, I substituted pop (as we say in the Midwest) for water, which, I learned in a life-threatening way that it is not the same.

Since I’ve been on both sides of the issue, I’ve experienced the difference in being hydrated, and needing something to quench my thirst.

During those years when sweet, carbonated drinks were my “water source,” I didn’t realize what was happening to my body.

I would drink a 2-liter of pop over the course of eight hours, and have a migraine headache for a couple of days, if not three. Oftentimes, my weekends would be completely shot, because I would be lying across the bed with debilitating pain, just throbbing inside my head, as I lay in the quiet and darkness of my bedroom.

My doctor began treating me for the migraines as he and I tag-teamed to get to the source. All the while, I had blurred vision. I was tired all of the time–my body just felt weighted-down, and my blood pressure continued to increase.

As my doctor closely monitored my blood pressure, and I faithfully maintained my blood pressure at home, during the day of my scheduled three-month follow-up blood pressure check-up, things were different.

I was at work, and throughout the day, I had no energy. Sweat was constantly pouring down my face, my heartbeat picked-up a few paces, and my body felt like a ton of lead–I just felt crappy.

Once I arrived at my appointment, the nurse took my blood pressure and left the room. Then she returned a few minutes later and took my blood pressure again. At that time she told me she was going to have the doctor take my blood pressure for a third time.

Just before the doctor entered the room, he and the nurse were whispering outside the door. I had been in the hospital several times before, and knew when whispering was going on between the medical staff, that meant something serious.

When the doctor came in, he took my blood pressure. Then he left the room and returned *not wearing his lab coat. Then, he took my blood pressure again.

*Some patients get "white-coat syndrome," which causes blood pressure to rise--I am one of those folks.

This time, the doctor asked me if I drove myself to his office, or if I had someone with me, which I did not. He then asked me where did I park, and then asked for my car keys.

He asked me if I had a headache or is I were experiencing any dizziness. He told me not to get up from my sitting position.

Them my doctor told me that my blood pressure was extremely high–actually, my blood pressure was as stroke level, like 200-something / 100-something. I broke down and cried.

He was trying to decide if he wanted to admit me into the hospital or send me home with nitroglycerin.

However, he decided to err on the side of caution and admitted me. I was wheeled out on a gurney into the hospital wing, and admitted (my doctor's office was in the hospital, which was a good thing).

When the cardiologist visited me, he stated that the carbonated drinks were raising my blood pressure, among other things, and recommended that I not go cold turkey due to the caffeine–but I went cold turkey anyway.

I began drinking more water–more than the sips I had been drinking in passing, from the water fountain at work.

The symptoms I had experienced while drinking pop as my water substitute were spot-on and in direct correlation with my excessive consumption of the toxic beverage–although this was my personal experience, it may not be the same as anyone else's experience.

The list below are symptoms I realized were happening to my body as I drank the carbonated substance, and what happened when I stopped:

  • Migraines - ceased

  • High Blood Pressure - dropped to a healthy level

  • Fatigue - regained energy

  • Depression - no more downers - they ceased

  • Bloating - ceased

  • Dark amber almost red urine - turned to clear “lemon yellow”

  • Urine lingering strong odor - dissipated

  • Blurred vision - eyesight clearer - no more blurred vision

  • Joint pain - throbbing pain in my joints lessened and eventually ceased

  • Inflammation - ceased

  • Dehydration - no longer thirsty - no more dry, cracked lips (caffeine was dehydrating me), and was depleting my bone density

TIP: I didn’t experience this when I was dehydrated, but when you pinch the skin and it doesn’t spring back (it stays in the pinched state), it is also a sign of dehydration. The thin skin on the back of the hand is a good place to test, as well as chest and abdomen.

What about dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when you deplete more water from your body than you consume, and has less water than what is necessary to sustain your body–in this case, your body is struggling to sustain itself with less than 60% water.

I’m not going to get deep, but you lose minerals, and electrolytes which create a balance within your body in order for it to function properly.

What about over-hydration?

Overhydration or too much water in the body, which is more than necessary, or an overabundance of water in the body, also known as “water intoxication.”

It can be just as dangerous as dehydration. When too much water is consumed–more than what the body requires, it can cause your body cells to swell. I remember a few years ago, when a girl died from drinking too much water.

In fact, there are several true accounts of deaths from water intoxication; here’s two of them:

Why is it recommended for individuals with hypertension to drink plenty of water?

It is highly-recommended and proven for individuals with hypertension to drink plenty of water, which lowers blood pressure, since “water makes up 73% of the human heart” in order for it to properly function.

In effect, dehydration causes the blood to become thicker, and challenges the heart to pump harder, which increases blood pressure.

When the heart is sufficiently hydrated, the heart doesn’t have to over-work to push the blood through the heart since the blood is thinner, which lowers blood pressure.

How much water should a person consume daily?

There have been several studies to suggest that drinking 64 ounces of water daily is sufficient to keep the body hydrated. For some, that may seem to be a difficult feat.

However, there’s hope in getting the life-sustaining fluid down with ease.

There are tips and recipes to make water more appetizing:

  • Add crushed ice to make a good cold glass of ice water

  • Add lemon or lime wedges to spice it up a bit

  • Squeeze the juice of fruit into a glass of water

  • Drink from a favorite glass, cup, mug, etc.

  • Add fruit, which may give flavor, and coloring to make it more appetizing

  • Instead of drinking milk with cookies, at least drink one cup of water to quench your thirst, even if chased afterward with milk

  • Make frozen ice cubes with fruit, and drop them into a glass of water

  • Add slices of veggies such as cucumbers to a glass of water

  • Add spices of mint, basil, and rosemary, and be creative

  • Experiment with other foods and spices to find ones that work for you

There are multiple benefits of drinking water; here’s my list:

  • Weight loss

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Better bladder control

  • No migraines

  • Clearer thinking

  • Better vision

  • No inflammation

  • No aching bones and joints

  • Feeling refreshed

  • No bloating

  • No cracked lips

  • No dry skin

What I’ve found that made it easy for me to make water as my drink of choice, although it took some time— was to set a goal to drink a more water each day, and find my favorite vessel from which to drink.

Also, I discovered that my water MUST have crushed ice in it for me to drink it. Yes, it has been a process---a trial-and-error process to begin drinking water, and not crave sweet drinks.

If I don't have crushed ice, I will squeeze juice from a fresh lemon into my drinking vessel, and place it in the freezer---it must at least be slushy if I don't have crushed ice.

I began to think of the life-threatening experience I had, and the potential outcome had I continued to consume carbonated drinks. At that point, and after going cold turkey, I knew I had no choice.

My choice to drink water became "a mental thing,"---I was intentional and determined to make it work for me.

My life depended on making the switch to drink water–because I knew I wanted to LIVE!

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