Drink To Your Health (4 of 7)

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Survey

3. The Beverage Trial

4. The Health Benefits

5. How Much To Drink

6. Discusion

7. References

Home => Product Reports => Drink To Your Health (4 of 7)

Drink To Your Health

The Health Benefits

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Water plays a fundamental role in health. Drunk on daily basis in sufficient quantity, it not only maintains the body in good working order, but can also prevent and heal many disorders and health problems.(4)

The findings of a six-year study of more than 20,000 healthy men and women aged 38-100 found that those who drink high daily intakes of water compared to those with low intakes reduce their risk of fatal heart attacks, as they have 46% (less than 1/2) (for men) and 59% (about 2/3) (for women) the risk compared to those who have low intakes of water. Those who drink high versus low intake of other fluids have increased risk – 247% (or 2 ½ times) (for women), and 146% (or 1 ½ times) (for men) of fatal heart attacks versus those who have the lower intake of 1 to 2 glasses a day.(10)

A pilot study explored the commonly accepted recommendation to consume at least 8 glasses of water per day. For 12 weeks 10 free living individuals, ages 21-28, under controlled diet and exercise conditions, were given to drink 4 to 12 glasses of water per day. Each person received 4, 8, and 12 glasses of water per day in random order for 4 days prior to measurements of hydration status. While 12 glasses per day gave little evidence of benefit over 8 glasses, individuals consuming only 4 glasses of water a day manifested significantly accentuated symptoms (overall feeling of discomfort, thirst, energy level, ability to concentrate, desire to exercise) associated with this level of water intake. Also, it was found that blood plasma volume, which is a measure of hydration, was five percent lower among the people who consumed 4 glasses of water compared to those who drank 8. Also, urine was more highly concentrated when only 4 glasses of water were consumed.(11)

In one study, overweight pre-menopausal women that were a subject to four popular weight loss diets that are publicly available, were followed for 12 months. Dietary intake and body composition were recorded at the beginning, 2, 6, and 12 months. The observed effects of drinking water in this study were robust. Weight loss attributable to drinking water was independent of socio-demographic variables, baseline status, changes in food composition, energy intake from food, and physical activity. The study found that an absolute increase in drinking water to 1 liter (34 ounces) per day or more was associated with approximately 2 kg or 5 lbs weight loss over 12 months.(12)

Another study has found that benefits from even drinking tap water outweigh the potential hazards. Many water treatment systems use chlorine to disinfect drinking water. However, chlorine reacts with dissolved organic matter in water to create trihalomethanes (THMs), which have been associated with excess risk of bladder cancer in people who drink chlorinated water. However, between June 1998 and June 2001, researchers conducted a hospital-based study of bladder cancer in multiple centers in Spain. They found that drinking more water, even from chlorinated sources with high THM levels, is beneficial in reducing risk of bladder cancer, perhaps because urinating more frequently allows more flushing of the bladder. The authors found a 53% lower risk of bladder cancer in people who drank 1,400 mL (47 ounces) or more water per day compared with those who drank less than 400 mL (13 ounces) per day.(13)

There is a growing body of study data and clinical trials that increasingly supports the significance of the role that water and adequate hydration play as an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Water UK, an organization representing all UK water and wastewater service suppliers at national and European level, located in London, has documented a great number of studies, research, and medical trials showing the health benefits from drinking adequate amounts of water. Medical facts, supplied by none other than the British Medical Association (BMA), are presenting evidence for the links between hydration and good health.

They have records of the following:

•  Headache is often one of the earliest signs of dehydration, together with light-headedness, dizziness and tiredness. The participants in 2 studies who experienced water-deprivation headaches gained total relief by drinking 200ml to 1500ml (7-51 ounces) of water.(14)

•  Research suggests that drinking enough water every day, could reduce the risk of developing cancer of the large bowel, breast and prostate. The reason why good hydration protects against cancer is thought to be due to the way in which cells respond to dehydration. Dehydration causes cells to shrink and this, in turn, stimulates catabolic processes, whereby complex molecules in the cell, such as proteins, are broken down. Water UK has documented a great number of studies where participants showed reduced risk of developing Breast cancer, Colon cancer and Colorectal cancer, Prostate and Urinary tract cancer with drinking adequate amounts of water.(15)

•  3 studies showed that dehydration can produce a two-fold increase in the risk of pressure ulcers or bedsores.(16)

•  Several studies showed that good levels of hydration are important for healthy heart function and can protect against heart disease (cardiovascular disease).(17)

•  A number of studies have found that dehydration adversely affects mental performance. In adults, symptoms of mild dehydration include light-headedness, dizziness, tiredness, irritability, and headache, as well as reduced alertness and ability to concentrate.(18)

•  Several studies showed that those who are better hydrated are less likely to experience constipation for both, man and women, children and older people.(19)

•  Dehydration has been linked to obesity and studies have shown that water is a vital component of any healthy diet, including weight loss regimens.20)

•  Dehydration has also been implicated in a number of conditions affecting the kidneys.(21, 22)

As a matter of fact, the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (KNUDIC), a Service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, states that we need to try to drink 12 full glasses of water a day. Drinking lots of water helps to flush away the substances that form stones in the kidneys. In their "Points to Remember," they have a clear statement saying: "Drink lots of water to prevent more kidney stones from forming."(23)

In addition, the American Urological Association Foundation, for the question "How can I prevent kidney stones?" answered: "A good first step for prevention is to drink more liquids - water is the best."(24)

Furthermore, the National Kidney Foundation, for the question: "My doctor told me to drink a lot of fluids. How much is 'a lot?' Does it matter what kind of fluid I drink?" provided the following answer: "To lessen your risk of forming a new stone, it is important that you drink at least three to four quarts of fluid (6 - 8 16-ounce-bottles) throughout the day. In hotter weather, you may need to drink more to make up for fluid loss from sweating. This will help keep your urine less concentrated. Less concentrated urine reduces the risk of stone formation. Most of the fluid you drink should be water."(25)

The late F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., a renowned physician researcher, and author of Your Body's Many Cries for Water, discovered the profound benefits water has on the physiological functions of the body. He wrote: "From the new perspective of my 22 years of clinical and scientific research into molecular physiology of dehydration … I can safely say the 60 million Americans with hypertension, the 110 million with chronic pains, the 15 millions with diabetes, the 17 million with asthma, and the 50 million with allergies … all waited to get thirsty. Had they realized water was a natural antihistamine and a more effective diuretic, these people would have been saved the agony of their health problems."(7)

Lose 2% of water, and your body becomes too acidic and goes into preservation fat-storing mode. A 3% drop in water causes a 10% drop in muscle strength and an 8% drop in speed, as well as lower muscular endurance. By the time you get to 4% drop in body water, you'll experience dizziness and a fall of as much as 30% in your capability for physical labor. Drop to 5% and you'll have problems with concentration, drowsiness, impatience, and headaches (one of the most common signs of dehydration, along with dry skin). Losing 6% of body water can cause your heart to race and your body's temperature regulation to go out of whack. Hit 7% and you could collapse. Even in the earliest stages, dehydration can also lead to muddled thinking, short-term memory problems, trouble with basic math and expressing yourself verbally, and difficulty focusing on a computer screen or printed page. The list goes on: anxiety, irritability, depression, sugar cravings, and cramps. As for making you sick, when the dehydration gets a little more severe, symptoms include acid reflux (heartburn), joint and back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, constipation, colitis, and angina. Serious dehydration is linked with asthma, allergies, diabetes, hypertension, and such skin problems as eczema, rashes, spots, blemishes, and acne. Degenerative conditions including morbid obesity, heart disease, and cancer are all linked with serious long-term dehydration. If you lose 15% to 20% of your body's water, it can be immediately life-threatening. In short: lack of water can kill you.(5)

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