Water Facts

Most people are incognizant about one of the most important substances required by their bodies--water. Being misled by the absence of thirst, millions risk contracting numerous illnesses because their bodies are dehydrated A little over two thirds of the human body is composed of water. Cells cannot function without water. The lung tissues need water to incorporate oxygen and emit carbon dioxide. Water dissolves the food materials, eliminates the waste, and regulates the body temperature. For these reasons, the importance of water as a part of our daily diet is inestimable.

The Importance of Drinking Water

Although authorities claim that the average adult needs eight glasses of water per da~ drinking eight glasses of pure water a day may be somewhat challenging, particularly in winter. Nevertheless, this amount may not sound too excessive when we consider that with a loss of only five percent of body water (about eight glasses or two-and-a half quarts) our skin begins to shrink and our muscles become weak. As a result, we may experience dizziness, irritability, or fatigue.

When the body is water-deficient, its process of elimination may continue; however, as the blood and tissues are deprived of water, the normal, metabolic processes are impeded. If this deprivation continues, it may lower the blood pressure; headache, malaise, and other adverse conditions may develop. Kidneys, lungs, and pores may also be hampered in eliminating waste, causing the body to become like a stagnant pool.

When the loss becomes severe enough, the blood thickens, circulation becomes difficult, and the blood corpuscles adhere to the minute capillaries causing the blood to return dilatorily to the heart. As the condition worsens, the blood pressure falls, and a state similar to shock may occur.

According to W. B. Cannon, M.D., if by fasting one loses all of the stored glycogen, all the reserves of fat, and even half of the body's protein, life is not in danger; contrariwise, the loss of even 10 percent of the body's water is serious, and a loss of 20 to 22 percent is fatal, A person deprived of water will die in 60 to 80 hours.

What Water Does in the Body

Water is the body's solvent. In cooperation with certain chemicals it dissolves food and prepares it for absorption and use in the cells, it is needed for many chemical activities in the body. It is the medium of exchange of all life-giving resources from one point to another until they reach the cells and of all wastes from one point to another until they are excreted. it is the agent in osmosis, through which all living matter functions.

Water is the lubricant of all moving parts and the regulator of body temperature. The body cells are "water-cooled:' Strenuous effort continued for 20 minutes generates enough heat to coagulate the albuminous substances in the body as one cooks the white of an egg. Fortunately, the cells are surrounded with water and so are "water cooled" as the heat is promptly dissipated.

In his book, Back to Eden, page 115, herbalist Jethro Kloss states: ". . . When taken into the stomach and intestinal canal, [water] is received into the blood and increases its volume. Then fullness of the circulatory vessels is increased . . . , allowing room for a change in the volume of their contents. Blood is more fluid, and the circulation is quickened by its dilution.

". . . [Water] is eliminated [in] four ways[:] namely lungs, skin, kidneys, intestines. By its dissolving action, the poisons that are separated from the tissues are dissolved. Then the volume of the blood is increased, [and] more water comes in contact with the waste matter in every part[;] therefore, undesirable waste is removed, as is proven by the increased urinary secretions, and increased activity of the skin (perspiration).

"Free water drinking increases the elimination of the mucous membrane of the intestinal tract, which is an important organ of secretion. The result of the increased action is that it renders the contents of the intestines more fluid, thus helping the universal trouble constipation. It also removes from the blood its foulest materials, rendering the blood cleaner for the building up of tissues, and in this way aids both waste and repair."

Water in the Treatment of Disease

There are very few agents that possess as many remedial properties as water. It effectively regulates the bodily resources of strength by ridding the system of toxins and impurities. The internal use of pure water directly aids the digestive organs, lungs, heart, and blood, and it is recommended in the following cases:

Fevers, cholera, etc., when the body's temperature is high and the pulse is accelerated.

Congestion and inflammation of internal organs, hemorrhages, and obstructions of the liver and kidneys.

Circulatory disturbances, deficiency of the glands, cysts, abscesses, furuncles, and various inflammatory manifestations.

Poisons and waste matter in the blood, such as the accumulation of uric acid in arthritis, lactic acid in rheumatism, or jaundice.

One of the water's most important properties is its powerful cleansing effect. Pure water dissolves poisonous waste materials and foreign elements upon contact. When used properly, it alters the circulation and the temperature quickly and effectively, bringing the poisonous elements in the blood to proper eliminative organs--liver, skin, kidneys, and lungs.

The importance of the skin as an eliminative organ is evident, as seen in the constant flow of toxins which are exuded from its millions of pores. Upon perspiration, these poisons remain on the skin, and unless the person bathes daily, they will continue to increase until the skin starts to decompose. This accumulation obstructs the work of millions of pores and causes the toxins to be reabsorbed-thus poisoning the system. Frequent bathing will keep the skin entirely free from poisons.

Is Water Essential to Weight Loss?

Incredible as it may seem, water is possibly the single most important catalyst in reducing and maintaining weight. Although most of us take it for granted, water may be the only true "magic potion" for permanent weight loss. Water naturally suppresses the appetite and helps the body metabolize stored fat.

Studies indicate that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. Donald S. Robertson, M.D., explains why: "The kidneys can't function properly without enough water. When they don't work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But, if the liver has to do some of the kidney~s work, it can't operate at full throttle. As a result, it metabolizes less fat, more fat remains stored in the body, and weight loss stops."

Drinking ample amounts of water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body gets less water than it requires, it perceives this as a threat to survival and begins to hold on to every drop. Water is then stored in extracellular spaces (outside the cells) characterized by the swelling of the feet, legs, and hands. The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give the body just what it needs plenty of water. Only then will stored water be released.

As a general rule, a person's weight (lbs.) divided by two is the minimal number of ounces of water that should be drunk daily. Incidentally, on very hot days or during strenuous work or exercise, several pounds of water may be lost. Therefore people who exert themselves physically need to drink abundant amounts of water in addition to their regular, daily requirements.

When the body gets the water it needs to function optimally, its fluids are perfectly balanced. When this occurs:

Endocrine gland function improves.

Fluid retention is alleviated as stored water is disposed of.

More fat is used as energy because the liver is free to metabolize stored fat.

Natural thirst returns.

Hunger virtually disappears almost overnight.

If the body does not receive an adequate amount of water, body fluids become imbalanced. This results in water retention, unexplained weight gain, and loss of thirst.

Relying on Thirst

Can the reader see the importance of supplying the body with at least eight glasses of water per day? Ordinarily, the body loses two to four quarts of water each day, and in order to maintain the water balance, the amount of water imbibed should not be lower than the amount lost.

Thirst the sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat with a craving for water--~-is a warning designed to prevent dehydration. This alarm signal comes on when the body is already in trouble, indicating that ample drinking of water should have been previously exercised; and it usually shuts off before a sufficient amount of water has been quaffed. Therefore it would be a mistake to rely solely on thirst. It is essential to use good sense and be guided by sound principles.

Experts say that thirst is directly related to movement; therefore, the natural thirst of those whose occupations are sedentary is definitely not a sure guide as to the amount of water they need. All should establish a regular drinking schedule. Copious drinking early in the morning, from one to two hours before meals, and at bedtime should become a part of the daily program.

Drinking with Meals

The habit or custom of drinking while eating should be discontinued, and a new habit ought to he established. Liquids taken with meals, including large servings of soups, interrupt and retard digestion because they dilute the digestive juices resulting in the premature absorption of the excess fluids before digestion can be completed.

Drinking Other Beverages

Many people cannot fathom the counterproductive ramifications that some of their favorite beverages--alcohol-containing drinks, coffee, caffeinic teas, and soft drinks*--have upon their bodies. These beverages contain diuretic properties. They do not hydrate, but actually dehydrate the system. Other beverages contain large amounts of dissolved sugar, which also works in a counterproductive manner. Rather than satisfying the body's need for water, sugar con taming drinks in fact increase it.

For these reasons, drinking pure water is the best way to supply the need for liquids in our bodies. On cold days, herbal teas (no sugar) or hot water with some lemon juice may be a pleasant way to meet the body's need for water.

Final Thoughts

In health and in sickness, pure water is one of heaven's choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. lt is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of human beings and animals. Drunk freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the system and assists nature in resisting disease. The external application of water is one of the easiest and most beneficial ways of regulating the circulation of the blood. A cold or cool bath is an excellent tonic, while warm baths open the pores, aiding the elimination of impurities. Warm and neutral baths soothe the nerves and equalize the circulation. Thousands, who might have lived, have died for lack of pure water, and thousands of invalids, who might enjoy vibrant health, think that their lives depend upon medicines.

"You can live a healthier, happier, and longer life by simply drinking plenty of pure water every day," state top experts.

Water in the Human Body

Amount Used Daily
% Water
Blood (plasma)
about 3 pints
Gastric Juice
1 - 2 quarts
Pancreatic Juice
about 3 pints
Liver Bile
nearly 2 quarts
1 - 5 pints (5 lbs.)




Cannon, Walter B. , M.[)., The Wisdom of the Body

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