A Critical Element -- Part I

It’s vegan. It’s Paleo. It’s vegetarian. It’s Primal. It’s the measure of whether something is an acid or not. Plants can’t live without it. Mammals can’t live without it. Protoplasm can’t live without it. What are we talking about?

You guessed it.

Water.

Good ‘ole H2O. The foundation of all life anywhere. Without water there is no life. In the wild -- all mammals never drink anything OTHER than water after they’re weaned from their mother’s milk. Well, except for human mammals. More on that in Part II.

Let’s take a look at what water is and why we need it.

Water -- as we all know -- is two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. It can be a liquid, a gas or a solid. It’s boiling point depends on barometric pressure -- like on top of Everest water boils 58 degrees cooler than at sea level and water stays in liquid form deep in the ocean even at temperatures in the 300+ degree range. Pretty interesting.

Your metabolism is highly dependant on water.

Metabolism = catoblism + anabolism.

Catabolism is a breaking down of molecules -- like when your body breaks down fat for energy (aka if you don’t have enough water you won’t lose weight). Water is used in this process to break molecular bonds so they can become smaller.

Anabolism is a growing of molecules -- think anabolic steroids. Water is removed from molecules in order to make them bigger. Water also helps transport molecules throughout the body.

Roughly 60% of a human body is made up of water.

Water is what regulates our internal temperature through sweating and respiration. And if your internal temperature falls or rises just a FEW degrees higher or lower than normal -- you get very sick and sometimes you die. Think about the fluctuation in external temperature every day. Where I live right now, it’s usually around 55 in the morning and gets up to 75 or 80 in the day. That’s a 30 degree swing. If our bodies even have a 10 degree swing in either direction -- you will probably be dead. Interal temperature regulation is extremely important.

Water also assists in flushing waste out of the body via urination. Things like uric acid, urea and lactic acid must be dissolved in water before the kidneys can remove them from our bodies. Without water, all that stuff stays put.

Water acts as a shock absorber for the brain, spinal cord, & fetuses, forms saliva which is necessary for eating and digesting, and lubricates joints.

We also know that a 5% drop in body fluids will cause a loss of energy up to 30%. A 15% drop in body fluids (kind of like internal temperature) and you’re dead.

Water is necessary for mammals to breathe. Our lungs are moistened by water as our body changes O2 to CO2 -- that’s why our breath steams in cold weather and why we lose about 2 pints of water every day just by breathing.

Brain tissue is mostly fat and water -- 85% water. And although the brain is only 1/50th a typical person’s body weight, it uses 1/20th of the blood supply. Depression and fatigue are sometimes results of dehydration.

Dehydration can also be a cause for migraines. Dehydration causes stress on the body. Stress on the body causes further dehydration -- so you can see the vicious cycle that ensues there.

Have I made my point? Water is VERY IMPORTANT. And that seems to be a very well-known fact -- so then why do billions of gallons of liquids other than water get poured down human gullets every year? And what happens to your body your body when you drink non-water?

It seems crazy to me that something so important and vital to all life on Earth can be ignored so that people can say ... "mmmmm".  

Because it’s not just the absence of water that has negative effects -- it’s also the addition of things in the non-water that have catastrophic effects. More on that in Part II … stay tuned.

 Subscribe to the Simply Human Podcast on iTunes

or Stitcher