We all know about the benefits of fiber. Nutritionists (no matter which diet they are promoting) all agree that high-fiber foods help us to maintain normal gut functioning. However, it usually misses our attention that fiber without water doesn’t work! The more fiber you consume, the more water your body needs. Otherwise there will be no “magic” effect, that helps your bowel movement. Intake of fibers prevents constipation, but it happens because fibers soak up a lot of water in the gut, expanding and creating space between hard elements in the stool. So in case there is no sufficient amount of water in the body you can get quite the opposite effect than you expect from fiber intake.
We need water like we need air. I doubt that there is someone who questions the importance of hydration for the body. Though every nutrient has it’s lethal dose. But come on! I think the health problems and death are more likely to be related to the lack of water than to it’s overconsumption. I personally have hard relationships with water. Honestly speaking, I truly understood the feeling of thirst quite recently: I managed to cut down the amount of salt I was consuming, and only then I started to feel real thirst. I know it sounds strange, but really, sometimes we all confuse the feeling of hunger with a feeling of thirst. Maybe you are just not aware of that. Maybe I thought I was hungry, that’s why I often ignored my thirst. And I still forget sometimes to drink in the morning and I go for a run dry sometimes! That is so unhealthy… I can feel then in the middle of the run that I am dehydrated severely… Yeah… I need to figure out what is that shadow behind my relationships with water… It works for me now to keep a big bottle of water prepared in the morning, to make sure I drink enough throughout the day.
How much water do we need?
I think, if you trust your own feeling of thirst – you are drinking not less than 1 liter of water a day. I have to track my water intake, because I know that I can live all day with a single glass of liquid. It is definitely less than the human body needs. Doctor Gregor’s recommendation is 5 glasses (350 ml each) of water or other beverages a day, in addition to other liquids you are consuming with other foods. So around 2 liters a day. However, I think it is impossible to give proper recommendations that will suit everyone, because there are so many factors to take into account: your weight, your age, your level of activity, climat… So the best way to do so is: trust your intuition and be attentive to your own body needs.
Shall we drink before, after or while eating?
I know that it is highly important to hydrate your body right after sleep. And I heard, it is better for digestion not to drink while eating, because water makes stomach juices diluted. However, I think this is also very individual… It depends on your general diet: if you eat a lot of acid products – maybe this will only help to balance pH. Or if your food is too solid… Again, I believe it is better to listen to your inner voice, and if you want to drink while eating – better drink, don’t violate yourself. Just make sure that water is not too cold, especially if your food contains fats. If your diet is vegan, it is more likely that your food is low in acids. So strive to drink a glass of water with lemon juice right before a meal. And then, if your meal is “dry” and makes you feel thirsty – drink a little bit while eating as well. This strategy works for me and for my hubby right now.
Mental health and concept of oneness
One more feature of water – it symbolises catharsis in all of the aspects. We drink – and we clean our body from inside. We wash our body and clean it from outside. But in addition to physical catharsis, water helps to clean our mind as well. Isn’t it calming to hear the sound of running water in the river? Or watching waves? Isn’t it calming to relax your body in the swimming pool? To soar feet in warm water? So many ways to let the it heal you…. I was so amazed when I realized that the water that we have on the Planet is the very same water that existed here milliards years ago! Have you ever thought about it this way? Imagine, there is no external source of water on Earth. It just changes it’s form all the time. So, apparently, our ancestors drank the same water we drink today, even dinosaurs were made from same elements we are made of! If you will think about it this way, it becomes easier to understand the concept of oneness.
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