Natural Health Tips

The Alkalizing Benefits of Water

The acid/alkaline balance of the body is important for peak performance and health. The body requires a slightly alkaline internal environment to function at its best, as explained in previous articles. However, modern lifestyle and diet usually provide the body with insufficient alkaline foods, causing acidification which can result in a whole variety of problems and diseases. One way to deacidify the body and restore an optimum pH balance is through drinking an adequate amount of water.

Why we need water

Our bodies are 70 percent water, which forms blood, lymph, extracellular fluid (the fluid that surrounds the cells), and intracellular fluid (the liquid inside the cells). Water is present in such a large quantity inside the body that it should always be well hydrated, to ensure that the cells and enzymes have enough water to function properly and at optimum levels.

Enzymes are the "workers" responsible for many biological processes like digestion, assimilation, growth, tissue repair, elimination, and many other processes that are necessary for physical function. Therefore enzymes require a healthy environment to function properly, so when the body lacks water, the enzymes cannot work as effectively.

When the body does not receive enough water, it becomes dehydrated. The volume of cellular fluid shrinks, and the substances the fluid contains, as well as the enzymes, are more tightly packed together. These provide an unfavorable environment for enzymatic activity, meaning that the enzymes work slowly, fewer in number and less efficiently to complete bodily transformations. These transformations are usually in an acid state and as dehydration continues, the body becomes acidified with these substances it has created from the poor transformation of fats, sugar, etc.

Another reason why a lack of water contributes to acidification of the body is that waste acids accumulate in the tissues instead of being eliminated. Insufficient water means that bodily fluids which carry acid waste to the organs responsible for waste elimination, become thicker and less fluid, and their capacity for circulating and transporting waste reduces. Acids that are not being eliminated in sufficient quantity remain inside the body and contribute to its acidification.

When the body does not receive enough liquids to meet its needs, it can suffer from chronic dehydration. This condition is not as abrupt or intense as acute dehydration, but it is thought to be widespread. Chronic dehydration is when the lack of fluid is not substantial enough to cause death or serious illness, but it is still enough to generate numerous functional disorders, such as acidification of the internal cellular environment, with all the health problems that can result.

The Solution

One of the means of fighting acidification is by drinking adequate water. The amount of water required varies from person to person, depending on age, diet and lifestyle. Various factors can increase the body's need for water; eating foods that are too salty, rich or concentrated, and overeating in general, as this requires more water to dilute the toxins these foods bring into the body. The body eliminates about 2.5 liters of water daily through urine, sweat, the lungs, and in the stools. The water we take in not only includes liquids taken in as drinks, but food also imports water into the body. Fruits and vegetables contain around 90 percent water, meats 70 percent, cereal grains 11 percent, and so forth.

Good hydration is therefore important for the reduction of acid production in the body, and helps in the elimination of acids from the body. This in turn creates a healthy alkaline environment which is associated with better health.