Water...How It Effects Aging

By: Paula Willard

How many times have your heard – drink eight to ten glasses of water everyday? How often do we actually drink that much pure water?

Would you believe that as you are reading this page you are dehydrating? We were all born as grapes, but now we are turning into raisins. Your body was once more than 70% water and now, if you’re like most Americans past the age of 40, you are lucky to have a hydration level above 60%. The bodies of most hospitalized elderly are less than 50% water.

Today, Americans consume more coffee and soft drinks than water. These beverages, along with tea and alcohol, are diuretics and dehydrate the body. All the moisturizer in the world will not restore a youthful appearance. By dehydrating your body you are actually pulling a hundred times as much water out of your skin through the urinary tract. Much worse than the skin dehydrating, is the dehydration of the internal organs, connective tissue and the brain.

Inadequate fluid intake and excess water loss can disrupt critical cell function.

Most people experience this level of hydration all day, nearly everyday. Water is essential for all anabolic repair functions, and conversely, dehydration accelerates the aging process.

A study at Fred Hutchinson Research Center in Seattle found that women who drank two glasses of water a day had nearly twice the risk of colon cancer than women who drank four glasses a day. The few women who did drink eight or more glasses of water a day had less than half the risk of those who drank only four glasses. The association of increased water intake may also reduce the risk for other types of cancer. In one study, the women who drank the most water were 80% less likely to develop bladder cancer than women who drank the least. Other conditions that often respond to increased water intake include the reduction of headaches, muscle aches, hangovers, fatigue, constipation, and heartburn. Drinking enough water will also reduce fluid retention and edema. Sometimes it is difficult for people to understand that drinking lots of water actually decreases water retention. If you provide your body with ample amounts of pure water, it will not have to retain water in the tissues The body can become significantly dehydrated before we actually feel thirsty.

In the morning, you have a true need for water, but you may not feel it. For most people, the first liquid they consume is coffee, a beverage that sucks the water out of our cells.

Try this test: Before you eat or drink anything in the morning, sip about four ounces of water-no more. You will be surprised to see that in two to three minutes your mouth will feel parched. Drink another four ounces and in two to three minutes you will be thirsty again. You may have to repeat this six or more times before you are no longer thirsty. Add up all the four-ounce servings that you consumed, and you will discover your body’s true metabolic need for water.

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