Water ~ a Whole Food

Pure, filtered water is the greatest change agent available to my body on a daily basis. That’s because it’s

  • involved in all bodily functions
  • the solvent in which all actions and reactions take place
  • a component of all bodily fluids – blood, lymph, spinal fluid, mucous, urine
  • necessary for transporting electrolytes around the body
  • the body is between 60% and 70% water
  • with good hydration, the digestive system functions well; the urinary tract stays clear; the skin is luminous; eyes are bright; and sleep is better
  • and lots more.

Water is an essential ingredient in the process of creating energy in the human body, when large molecules that I have eaten in my diet are broken apart in a process called hydrolysis – a word that literally means breaking down through the use of water. In this process, energy is created.

If I want more energy, I drink more water, and my aim is to drink ½ an ounce of pure, filtered water for every pound of my body weight. A tall order! More of that soon.

Often, I open the fridge door, when really I should reach for another glass of water. That water would quench my thirst, discourage my appetite, clear my head, and give me energy. Wow, I must remember that!

I’ve read the goal numerous times: drink 8 glasses of water a day. Or ten or six or….

And I know there’s a correlation between how warm it is outside, my energy output, my diet, and my thirst. In other words, I am more likely to drink more when it’s hot outside and/or when I’ve been exercising.

Again, it’s recommended that I drink ½ an ounce of water per pound of body weight. Okay, so let’s say I weigh 130 pounds; I need to drink ½ x 130 = 65 ounces daily. There are 8 ounces of liquid in a cup. So, that’s a bit more than 8 cups OR 8 x 8 ounce glasses daily. For me.

What does it calculate out for you?

Also, the amount of water that’s recommended for my particular weight says nothing about my constitution, general health, exercise regime, the moisture content of my actual diet, etc. If I exercise vigorously, that .5 ounce per pound of body weight goes up to .6 and higher.

How can I swallow that much water in a day?

Now that I know the WHY and the HOW MUCH, I want to know the WHAT, HOW, and WHEN.


Drinking water needs to be clean and alkaline. How do I accomplish that? I begin by relying on my municipal authority, and it’s important to know that different authorities use different ways of purifying water, from filters and fluoride to chlorine and ozone.

Apparently, fluoridated water paralyses enzymes, rendering them ineffective. Chlorinated water combats microbial contamination, “but it can react with organic matter in the water and form dangerous, carcinogenic Trihalomethanes,” and “cause stillbirths … with exposure to chlorination byproducts through ingestion and showering and bathing.”

Here in Vancouver, we are lucky enough to have a very plentiful and clean supply of very good water. The disinfection process involves ozone primarily and chlorine secondarily. Metro Vancouver does not add fluoride to our drinking water. Thank Goodness! But then, how are the pipes in my building?

For several reasons, we recently bought a Santevia Enhanced Water System with pH control. One of the biggest incentives is the alkalizing effect it has on our water. It also looks attractive and it’s far more economical and environmentally conscious than most other systems (including under-the-counter filters and bottled water).

The Santevia uses a 6-filter system to purify and a holding tank with mineral stones to mineralize and alkalize our water to a pH of 8.58.


Here’s the best move of all: If, on rising, I drink between 1 and 2 litres of water (1 litre = 4 cups = 32 fluid oz), I’m a third of the way to completing my goal. The other great thing about drinking a lot of water at this time of day is that it gets things moving in the elimination department. Great! Better on two counts.

Okay. So, when else?

Well, here are some occasions when I shouldn’t drink more than a cup of water (or beer, or pop (actually, I’ve kicked the pop habit), or juice):

  • thirty minutes or less before a meal
  • during a meal
  • and I never, ever drink ice cold water with my meal! How did that ever get to be a habit in restaurants?

Why I don’t want to drink at these times is because a lot of liquid can “put out agni, the digestive fire,” “dilute the gastric acid,” “kill my appetite,” resulting in a meal that’s going nowhere anytime soon. It will leave me feeling bloated and uncomfortable for ages, particularly if it’s a high-protein or high-fat meal.

If gastric acid is diluted with water, the all-essential digestive acid cannot start the breakdown of proteins as it’s meant to do.

So, I figure out when it’s two hours after and one hour before lunch and dinner, and down another big glass (1.5 cups = 12 oz) at those times. That has the added advantage of killing my appetite (in my favour this time) and so I’ll be able to wait more comfortably until the designated meal time.

And the rest of my quota I can sip through the day, if I keep a glass of water or a cup of herbal tea handy as I work or study or cook or paint or sleep or….

Oh! And on that note, it’s a good idea to cut back on drinking water by early evening (by 8:00 p.m.) to avoid taking half a dozen trips to the biffy during the night.

Drinking the right amount of pure, filtered water is the best foundation for building good health.

Nina Shoroplova, Registered Holistic Nutritionist™

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