The Water We Drink
The Water We Drink
By Dr. Daniel Rocha DN
Drinking water comes from two sources: groundwater and surface water. Groundwater is pumped from wells under the earth and is the source for most private water systems. Surface water originates from lakes and streams and requires more treatment than groundwater. Many variables affect the quality of water. Public water systems derive from surface water, groundwater, or a combination of both. Either source provides bottled water.
Water serves many functions in the body, including removing waste products, lubricating tissues, regulating body temperature, and maintaining acid-base balance. The major component of blood, saliva, sweat, tears, mucus, and the fluid between joints is water. Intracellular and extracellular water is water inside and outside the body’s cells. Environmental temperatures, health conditions, physical activity, and dietary choices determine water needs for each individual.
The kidneys, antidiuretic hormone, aldosterone, and the renin-angiotensin system all control water balance by regulating urine output. Dehydration occurs when water loss is more significant than fluid intake. Dehydration is treated with oral rehydration therapy, but more severe cases require intravenous fluids. Water intoxication can result in hyponatremia, otherwise known as low blood sodium.
So why do I recommend electrolyte water?
The body requires major minerals over 100 mg daily, where lesser amounts are known as trace minerals. The major minerals include calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. Substances that reduce the bioavailability of minerals can come from plant foods that contain phytic or oxalic acids.
Calcium is necessary for bone and teeth formation, muscle contraction, blood clot formation, nerve transmission, and cell metabolism. The body responds to low blood calcium levels by secreting parathyroid hormone and calcitonin in reaction to high blood calcium levels. Osteoblasts and osteoclasts' activity remodel the human skeleton. Osteoporosis occurs due to a calcium deficiency, and excessive calcium intake yields hypercalcemia. Primary sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, and cheese products.
Calcium and phosphorus are involved in the formation of bones and teeth. Phosphorus deficiencies are unusual because there are a variety of foods that supply the nutrients. Patients with kidney disease are at risk for phosphorus toxicity, and a phosphorus deficiency can lead to hyperphosphatemia. Significant sources of phosphorus include dairy foods, meat, and seal greens
Sodium maintains normal food balance, transmits nerve impulses, muscle function, and transports substances into cells. Sodium chloride is a primary source of sodium in the American diet. Processed foods are high in sodium and can cause hypertension which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. Sodium deficiency can lead to hyponatremia. Uncooked fruits and veggies are low in sodium.
Potassium maintains proper fluid and electrolyte balance. A potassium deficiency leads to hypokalemia, where an excessive intake of potassium can lead to hyperkalemia. Both conditions can be fatal. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of potassium.
Magnesium is crucial for muscle contraction and relaxation, enzyme function, energy production, and protein synthesis. Sufficient magnesium intake can contribute to the prevention and treatment of severe chronic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Magnesium deficiency occurs most often in alcoholics, older adults, patients with poorly controlled diabetes. Hypermagnesemia occurs from the overuse of laxatives, antacids, and dietary supplements that contain magnesium. Patients with poor kidney function can result in magnesium toxicity. Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and chocolate are among the richest sources of magnesium.
Chloride maintains proper fluid and electrolyte balance. Gastric juices contain chlorine as a component of HCl. The dietary source of chloride is sodium chloride. Excessive chloride can cause hypertension.
Diets rich in proteins provide adequate amounts of sulfur, a component of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine. Sulfur is part of antioxidant systems and is essential for several enzymes. There is no established daily intake for sulfur.
As an athlete or someone who takes their training seriously, one should always be trained to recognize when muscles are hypertonic and where dehydration can be part of this diagnosis. Depending on medication consumption, outdoor activity, and regularity, water is considered when assessing soft tissue. When going for a massage or any manual therapy such as chiropractic or naprapathy, it can be good advice for you to consume a glass of fluid before treatment begins. If you know you are sore from training and have a massage scheduled, I recommend coconut water or body armor, as coconut water is part of the ingredients, be consumed before your treatment. Of course sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade are great as well. Please choose the zero versions if you are watching sugar or caloric intake. Although if you’re dehydrated, an eight-ounce glass of water will not fully hydrate the body, but water can make the manual therapy a bit more pleasant for you as a client.
People do not realize how little water they drink and the minerals lost from the heat and sweat. Living in desert climates also takes it toll on your body’s hydration. Take also in consideration the amount of activity that you do. Are you a laborer, abd believe it or not that sedentary jobs show more people with dehydration than those who are active. It’s good to educate oneself on proper hydration and the importance of minerals to keep the body healthy. This article not only went over how to hydrate well but also added in the proper foods to keep your body healthy and vibrant.
Take note that MPA Supps Pharmagrade EAAs contains three grams of coconut juice powder for hydration. As a coach, I recommend putting one scoop in your favorite electrolyte water or sports drink. This will provide proper hydration and over thirteen grams of essential amino acids per serving.
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Davidson, T., AM, & Li, M., PhD. (2020). Drinking Water. In B. Narins (Ed.), The Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 323-326). Gale. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX7947900088/HWRC?u=lirn33148&sid=bookmark-HWRC&xid=ca43cb27
Stephenson, T. J., & Schiff, W. J. (2018). Human Nutrition: science for healthy living. MCGRAW-HILL EDUCATION.