Water the Most Essential Nutrient for Physical Health
Physical Energy for Entrepreneurs
By Dr. Ernesto J. Fernandez, DOM, AP, LMHC
This article was recently reprinted for
Lee Milteer's Millionaire Smarts Program
With an Introduction by Lee Milteer
Dear Millionaire Smarts Members:
This is the last article this month on our focus on Physical Energy. Since our bodies are our vehicle to become successful and to take action we need to certainly nurture it with what it needs. Our guest expert this month is Dr. Ernesto J. Fernandez DOM , AP, LMHC says that most business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs tend to drink more coffee, sodas, than water. The following article is from Dr. Fernandez and I personally hope this article will inspire you to be mindful of what you put in your body daily to get it to perform with the creativity and productivity that you want and need to achieve your goals.
How Can Drinking Enough Water Help Your Performance at Work?
Water is the most essential nutrient in the body. The body is made primarily of water. Poor memory, depression, anxiety, excessive worry, insomnia, diffuse muscle pain and constipation are often due to cellular dehydration of specific tissues of the body, most commonly the brain.
In my practice I serve clients with chronic physical or emotional problems. Over the past two years I have observed that many of these individuals were ill or not responding to treatment from any practitioner, largely due to cellular dehydration. Cellular dehydration is the cell's inability to effectively absorb water into the cell even though the person actually is drinking plenty of water. In other words the body's water metabolism mechanism is impaired. There appears to be a lack of understanding among both health professionals and the general public concerning dehydration, its effects and how to re-hydrate the body. This is what this article addresses.
How do you Know You are Dehydrated?
The obvious clinical signs of dehydration are persistent thirst, dry mouth, dry lips, and sensation of heat in the body. However, many symptoms commonly associated with stress and depression is often also a result of dehydration: irritability, inability to relax, difficulty sleeping, constipation, poor memory. The brain is 85% water when fully hydrated. When the brain is dehydrated, neurotransmission (which is heavily dependent on water) is impaired, resulting in symptoms of stress and depression. To understand why, we must look at the brain more closely.
The brain can be subdivided into three layers. The outer layer, called the cortex, is involved in thinking and motor functions. The middle layer of the brain, the limbic system, is responsible for our primal urges of survival (mate, defend or attack) and emotional processing. The reptilian brain rests just above the spinal cord and includes the cord itself. It is the most primitive part of the brain, responsible for homeostasis of the body such as breathing, heart rate, temperature, etc. When the brain is dehydrated there is a priority system in terms of which part of the brain gets the water first. In other words, the cortex is more likely to get dehydrated before the reptilian brain. This is because the reptilian brain is necessary for survival of the body, and clear rational thinking is not (at least from a biological perspective). So when the cortex is dehydrated we are more likely to react much more emotionally and are less capable of managing stress. Our ability to concentrate and perform abstract thinking also decreases. Our ability to have a fluid open mind decreases. We become rigid, leaving us to behave more defensively when our beliefs or perspective is challenged. Therefore, if your job or business is dependent on creative problem solving, you'll have a much harder time activating the specific creative thinking centers in the brain when your brain is dehydrated.
For most people the process of dehydration (especially the brain) is very gradual. It can take months or years before symptoms are noticed and creating problems. When people do start experiencing symptoms, dehydration is rarely considered as the culprit.
On the other end of the continuum, a person may feel bloated when she drinks water and have edema in her ankles, yet still be dehydrated and display the symptoms mentioned above.
Caffeine is a dehydrating agent that increases the function of the kidneys. In other words, not only does caffeine dehydrate you, it also makes your kidneys work harder. For some people this means frequent urination. Caffeine is found in teas, coffee and soft drinks, which are commonly substituted for water. Alcohol is another dehydrating agent. The body aches and headaches of a hangover are mostly due to dehydration. In fact most headaches including migraines respond well to re-hydration. For a healthy hydrated person some caffeine and alcohol in the diet will be fine. However, for someone who is dehydrated and has a variety of physical symptoms and conditions, even a small amount of caffeine and alcohol can undermine the positive effects of any treatments.
Re-hydrating the Body
Many chronically dehydrated people are not even thirsty; their body's warning mechanism no longer alerts them to when they are dehydrated. This is why it is important to drink water throughout the day.
Gradual re-hydration of the body by the correct consumption of water: you must gradually re-hydrate by drinking large amounts of water each day but in small doses. If you attempt to drink large glasses of water the body won't absorb it and will reject it by making you feel sick or bloated.
According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, a physician and author of “Your Body's Many Cries for Water,” you should drink sips of water frequently. Keep a large glass nearby and sip it frequently approximately every half hour. Start with three ten -ounce glasses a day and build up over a week to 10-12 glasses a day. It will probably take a month to re-hydrate. Then the water will easily be tolerated in larger amounts less frequently.
Drinking water means drinking water , not coffee, tea, milk or juice. Drinking tea or fresh juice is great; however, it is still necessary to drink enough water to accommodate your weight and lifestyle. The above suggestion does not apply if you experience bloating and edema. Your water metabolism mechanism may be too compromised to re-hydrate without the guidance and supervision of a health professional that understands and treats this condition.
There are a variety of professional interventions that can greatly speed up the cells ability to re-hydrate and also facilitate the repair of tissues damaged as a result of dehydration. Some methods emphasize the use of herbs and supplements. Other methods emphasize direct stimulation of the central nervous system and affected organs and tissues through various techniques. Most people need a combination of methods to fully address the chronic dehydration within a reasonable amount of time.
To fully repair chronic dehydration, the water metabolism function will need to be addressed in relationship to other physiological functions. In other words, rather than only re-hydrating an isolated part of the nervous system as in the example above, the viscera (smooth muscle) and organs innervated by the nervous system as well as the skeletal muscles innervated by the meridians from the viscera and organs are also re-hydrated.
References: Dr. Batmanghelidj. Your Body's Many Cries for Water . Global Health Solutions. Falls Church , VA
Dr. Ernesto J. Fernandez, DOM , AP, LMHC, is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, mental health counselor, author, professional speaker, and consultant.
He is available for private health consultations and speaking to groups. Go to www.ernestojfernandez.com to contact him personally.
Millionaire Mindset Coach, Professional Speaker & Author
2100 Thoroughgood Rd. , Milteer Building , Suite A Virginia Beach , VA 23455