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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Hydration is the Key To Good Health

Jan 31, 2016 09:08PM
by Julianne O’Dwyer
While a political prisoner in Iran in 1979, Dr. Freydoon Batmanghelidj was approached by a fellow prisoner who was struggling with crippling peptic ulcer pain. With no medications at his disposal, Batmanghelidj gave the ill man two glasses of water. Within minutes, the pain started to disappear. After drinking two glasses of water every three hours for several days, the prisoner became absolutely pain-free for his four remaining months in prison. It was in this Iranian prison that Batmanghelidj discovered the healing power of water.

In his book, You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty, Batmanghelidj explains that dehydration can contribute to a whole list of health issues, including : angina, acid reflux, ADD/ADHD, allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, autism, colitis, constipation, dementia, depression, diabetes, dyslexia, fatigue, food cravings, fuzzy thinking, headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, joint stiffness, kidney stones, low energy, Lyme disease, menopause, migraines, obesity, pain Parkinson’s, sleep issues, sinusitis and skin disorders. Batmanghelidj consistently finds that when his patients drink more water every day, many of their health issues improve.

Much of the discussion about nutrition and improving health centers almost exclusively on food and supplements. There is far less attention paid to the impact of water on improving health. In fact, water is the single most important nutrient for our bodies. It is involved in every function of our bodies and is the main ingredient in all liquids in our bodies. Water carries oxygen and nutrients to our cells and carries waste and toxins away. Water makes up about 85 percent of our brain, about 90 percent of our blood and about 75 percent of lean muscle. So, if we don’t maintain a steady supply of water to our organs, tissues and cells, they cannot perform correctly and this can lead to illness and disease.

"Even if we drink lots of water every day, we can still be dehydrated"

Breathing, sweating and eliminating all contribute to a loss of water every day. Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving our bodies exceeds the amount of water being consumed. This is why it is necessary to drink about half your body weight in ounces every day to ensure sufficient hydration.

But what type of water is safe and healthy to drink? Tap water may contain harmful toxins, bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, chlorine and fluoride. Unfortunately, most bottled waters are acidic and toxins leach into the water from the plastic bottles. The main problem with acidic water is that it is composed of big, clustered molecules that do not easily penetrate cell walls, leaving them dehydrated. This is how we can drink lots of bottled or tap water and still be dehydrated.

Alkaline water, on the other hand, is made of restructured molecules that are small and linear, and thus more readily absorbed in our cells. Alkaline water hydrates more effectively and enables cells to perform at peak efficiency. To improve health and longevity, it is best to shift the internal environment to be more alkaline. In addition to eating a green, non-GMO, alkaline diet, drinking alkaline water is an easy and quick way to raise the body’s pH level to the desired 7.3 to 7.4 range, which is optimal for good health, well-being, mental focus and athletic performance. The pH is a measurement of acidity and alkalinity in the body.

Most tap and bottled waters are not rich with the minerals and nutrients necessary for humans to be sufficiently hydrated and healthy. It is possible, however, to create alkaline water through a home unit that connects to a faucet. However, as water is subjected to light and oxygen, it only maintains its alkalinity for approximately 36 hours before the pH level drops. Unfortunately, bottled alkaline water is treated with chemicals in order to maintain an alkaline pH level and the plastic leaches into the water, so it may not be safe to drink. Because of this many people find the best way to ensure access to alkaline water is to install a unit in the home.

Julianne O’Dwyer is a Health and Wellness Coach at National Integrated Health Associates (NIHA), where she offers lifestyle tips on healthy food, hydration, digestion, detoxification/cleansing, mitigating electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and computers, eliminating mold and chemicals in the home and cleansing/detoxifying the body of mold and other toxins in order to regain health. She also consults on providing home alkaline water units. For information, contact her at [email protected]

Julianne is a co-coordinator of Grow Your Health Gardening, Local Food & Wellness Festival, taking place March 5, in Fairfax. For more information, visit


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