We know that our bodies are over half water and when we fail to drink enough water, we become dehydrated; the results can be anything from fatigue and obesity to serious illness and even death.

“Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”  When Sam Taylor Coleridge wrote this line in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, he was referring to a ship surrounded by water but running out of drinking water, he knew nothing about the condition of drinking water in the U.S. in 2013.  However, many people are seriously concerned about our water supply, that it is becoming so polluted and treated with chemicals that it is no longer fit to drink.  

            We know that our bodies are over half water and when we fail to drink enough water, we become dehydrated; the results can be anything from fatigue and obesity to serious illness and even death.  If most of our diet consists of fresh juicy fruits and vegetables, we are getting a good amount of water from what we eat.  However, we still need to make water our beverage of choice.   It contains no calories and is the liquid that is meant for human consumption.

            We tend to take water for granted.  It has been plentiful and we think nothing of wasting it by letting it run freely.  My first concern about our water supply came when our children’s favorite TV character, Mr. Rogers showed them how letting the water run constantly when brushing your teeth could deprive the little fish of the water they need.  He showed them (and us) how we need to conserve our most important natural resource, water.

            You can hear anything, even to the point that we don’t need to drink much water.  It is time to apply some not-so-common common sense.   Dr. Batmanghelidj, who wrote the book, The Body’s Many Cries for Water, is called a quack by some because he says we are medicating dehydration.  I have read the criticism and it is more like character assassination than disproving what he advocates.  The fact that you can read his entire book online free tells me that his heart was in what he said about the importance of water. 

            Without water, nothing lives.  Water is so crucial to the health of cells that if you don’t drink enough, edema can result as the cells make a desperate effort to hold onto whatever water they can.  Many of us who suffer from fatigue are actually suffering from a water deficiency.   Look at how plants droop when deprived of water—so do you!

Your body weight divided by two tells you the amount of water you need each day.  If you weigh 150 pounds, you need 75 ounces of water daily.  If when you drink an adequate amount of water, you are running to the bathroom all the time that is a symptom of dehydration.  Pour water over a dry sponge and what happens?  It runs off.  You have to hydrate it gradually so it will soak in.  So it is with your body.  Instead of downing a large glass of water and waiting a couple hours or longer before drinking another one, try drinking a half glass every 30 minutes.  After a while, your body will “soak it up” and you will no longer spend as much time running to the bathroom. 

A few years ago there was “research” which said we did not need to drink all that water.  Keeping in mind that research is often funded by someone with a special interest.  In this case maybe someone who makes money if you gulp down other liquids.  To tell the “average person” who most likely consumes diuretics (soft drinks and coffee) throughout the day, to drink less water is ludicrous.  Most folks nowadays are so out of touch with their bodies that “thirst” is not an adequate trigger.  They don’t hear when it cries for more water.  Your taste buds may have strayed so far from nature that you don’t like the taste of water.  We like what we are used to drinking.  Once you start drinking it on a regular basis, you develop a taste for water.  A big benefit is, as people drink more water, they spontaneously drink less, or no, soft drinks!

Unfortunately, since most people believe what they hear on television, they may be finding their way to the doctor’s office with illnesses that several glasses of water each day might fix.  We have seen how the world of science can be when it comes to money.  Scientific or not, you will likely feel much better if you start drinking your required amount of pure water.  We need to take everything we hear on television “medical news” with a huge grain of salt, followed by a large glass of water.

Even water has become a controversial subject as we have to be concerned about heavy metals and chemicals in our water supply.  You will have an opportunity to learn more about your water on Thursday, Oct. 10 at the community center in Heber Springs.  A presentation will educate you as to what is in our water and what you can do to assure yourself of clean water.  Water without chemicals is not only healthier, it also tastes much better.  Information will be available on the Kangen water purifier—with no obligation to purchase.  The meeting starts at 6:00 and it’s free.

(Janice Norris lives in Heber Springs, has a B.S. in home economics from Murray State University, owned and operated health food stores in Illinois and Heber Springs, and wrote a weekly column in Illinois for 15 years. She can be reached at janicenorris34@yahoo.com)