This weekend’s newspaper held a fascinating story about sugar cane workers in El Salvador.
It relates to everything we believe about hydration.. and more.
Most articles on hydration I read are basic rehashes of all the usual bullet points: they all say that proper hydration helps prevent dry mouth, promotes cardio health, keeps us cool, assists our muscles and joints to work better, keeps our skin supple, and cleanses toxins from our body.
Frankly, I’ve read these so many times that they don’t really mean much. I mean.. of course they are all correct and important but in my life style they are easy to achieve. I have good water to drink.
But what if you learned that inadequate water supply could be actually killing you?
When sugar cane workers began crowding the local clinic complaining of painful kidneys, of lack of energy, and in some cases, severe debilitation, Dr Ramon Garcia- Trabanino took notice. Thus began and long and involved story that linked climate change, lack of good water, fizzy drinks and sucrose into a deadly ménage-a-trois.
This is not the place to read the full story. Here’s a link to the full story, but I’m going to share the details I think are important to people trying to maintain good health in the face of so many conflicting sales pitches from so many vested interests.
When can workers in El Salvador begin work, they do so at dawn, to make the most of the cooler hours. They usually bring some form of aerated sugar loaded drink because they can’t trust that local water will not bring them down with any one of many ailments. They are a hard working people, and the fact that global warming has delivered them new records in heat has not prevented them showing up for work every day. The grinding poverty of post rebellion El Salvador is another factor in the reason they turn up to work on the hottest of days too. They badly need the money this low paying job provides.
Hanging their soda bottle on a sugar cane, they set to work. As the day heats up they keep working, seldom stopping. When they do stop for a swig of (by the time) warm soda, it’s a short break.
Yes, it seems hard.. but hardly deadly. But as more and more workers arrived at his clinic, Dr Ramon began to wonder. And.. his wondering turned to investigation, collaboration, and at last.. answers. And here is why the cane field workers of El Salvador are dying of kidney disease.
When the body goes into severe dehydration, it attempts to find an alternative energy source. Water supports normal metabolism, but in the absence of water, the body has to survive. It begins to convert carbohydrates – (the staple food group of virtually all peasants because it’s the cheapest way to eat) into fructose.
Fructose – as my regular readers would already know – is what we like to call the ‘sneaky sugar’ . it’s getting some notoriety for its role in obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. When we eat fructose – usually in fruit or corn syrup, our livers are not happy. Yet beyond the liver, the kidneys also suffer. Every meal dumps fructose into the kidney tubules, where it is metabolised into uric acid, causing a classic acid effect of oxidation. So two things are suddenly created, both of which can slowly.. or less slowly.. kill us.
The cane workers were generating unusually high levels of uric acid. Tests showed this result consistently, and reasons were brought up.. (sugary drinks) and rejected.
Finally they came to a conclusion. Dehydration was causing the body to resort to a less than optimal method of staying alive: burning carbs to create a quick ‘shot’ of energy in the form of fructose. And it was the very hot days reaching new levels due to climate change, coupled with the workers’ work ethic and their choice of non-hydrating sugary refreshers, than finally forced their bodies to take a life and death decision: to burn carbs in fructose.
They had unwittingly reached a dehydration threshold the body could not maintain.
When I read this story I began to think about ’first world’ drinking habits. Millions of people, subject to a saturation media campaign against simple water, drink sodas. Sodas do not hydrate like water. I well remember a kinesiologist demonstrating to me the difference in muscle response between teas, coffee, sodas and water. Water was the only liquid that gave a strong muscle response. I then thought about our typical days, and had to accept that coffee and other drinks still play a large part in the daily liquid intake of people who may also drink water.
So my big ‘aha’ from reading the article was that there is a hydration threshold.. and it got me to wondering if it is working to a lesser degree on all of us but still accumulating degraded kidney function, just like our poor El Salvadorians.
Water is what our body knows. It’s what it has always known and what it is genetically imprinted to expect. The relatively ways of refeshment our modern culture has foisted upon us have no place in our paleolithic blueprint – the blueprint, the masterplan our bodies still work within. Put something alien into our body, as our friends the cane workers did, then deprive our body of its correct homoeostasis in the form of less water, and surely we can expect something to give.
It seems to me that our cane workers were like the canary in the mine.
They were subjected, unknowingly, like lab rats, to conditions that were just an extreme of how we may be all living. Sodas instead of water, dehydration as a result..
Many doctors and scientists are now suggesting that as a nation we are in a constant state of dehydration.
Do we really expect our wonderful, amazing bodies and their intricate coping systems o do nothing about an unnatural daily, weekly, yearly and more way of supplying – or not supplying it with what it craves?
Pure water. Water without any of the 600 new contaminants the EPA has not even had time to test for toxicity response. Residual pharmaceuticals. Lead in over 200 US cities at brain affecting levels. Heavy metals, nitrates… PUFAs.. each week a new contaminant emerges.
And deep within our bodies, every single cell asks our cellular signalling system a simple thing. Please give me the water I have always had.
“Give me the water that I bathe in every day. Alkaline, saline, mineral rich pure water.”
Can you hear them?
(Go HERE to see the most natural water you can drink)
Let’s talk about high blood pressure..and why chronic dehydration is seen by many experts the root of high blood pressure.
What is the common why to treat high blood pressure? Medication! For many people it does help drop their blood. But WHY do we have HBP? Have we addressed the root of the problem (chronic dehydration) or only masked it?
Over time there’s a high possibility that side effects of blood pressure medication may affect other organs.
People with high blood pressure on any form of blood pressure medication need to understand how dangerous high blood pressure is and what it will do to your body over time.
You don’t need to be a doctor to find out the root of your problem. It’s water. Or rather, the lack of it. To take it a little further. GOOD water.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and blood Institute high blood pressure (HBP) can lead to coronary heart disease,heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and more health problems.
“Blood pressure” is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.
If you are a victim of this, you’re in a very big club. About 1 in 3 adults in the United States has HBP. The condition itself has few signs or symptoms. You may have it for years without knowing it. During this time HBP my be quietly degenerating your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of your body.
Blood pressure doesn’t stay the same all the time. It lowers as you sleep and rises when you wake up. Blood pressure also rises when you’re excited, nervous, or active. If your numbers stay above normal most of the time, you may be at risk. Risk grows as blood pressure numbers rise. “Prehypertension” means you may end up with HBP.
If you’re being treated for HBP and have repeat readings in the normal range, your blood pressure is under control, but you still have the condition. You should see your doctor and follow your treatment plan to keep your blood pressure under control.
Blood pressure tends to rise with age. Following a healthy lifestyle helps some people delay or prevent this rise in blood pressure.
People who have HBP can take steps to control it and reduce their risk for related health problems. Key steps include following a healthy lifestyle, having ongoing medical care, and following your treatment plan.
But.. we mentioned water. What does that have to do with it?
CAN INSUFFICIENT WATER CAUSE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
Absolutely. Think of cooking Porridge.
You have ample water in the pot. Once the oatmeal is cooked, you can turn the pot upside down and the oatmeal will run out of the pot. Why? Because gravity is strong enough to pull the oatmeal from the pot.
Put too little water in the pot when cooking the oatmeal, the oatmeal will not run out of the pot when you turn it upside down.
Why? Because gravity is not strong enough to pull the thick oatmeal from the pot.
This is what happens when you don’t drink enough water and end up dehydrated. When you don’t drink enough water, you don’t have enough water in your blood – causing your blood to become too thick.
When the heart squeezes and pushes the thick blood up into the aorta, the blood has to fall down out of the aorta where the aorta bends. This is the equivalent of turning the pot of oatmeal upside down.
There is an intrinsic link between chronic hypertension, renal (kidney) failure, dehydration and a deficiency of alkjaline minerals. The real irony is that pharmaceutical medications to treat high blood pressure may further exacerbate dehydration and mineral loss in the body, which contributes to and in many cases causes renal dysfunction and sets up pictures for heart disease and congestive heart failure.
Water and alkaline electrolytes are absolutely two of the most critical components of normal, physiological function. Without a correct balance of fluid and electrolytes, the cells of our body lack the essential electrical conductivity necessary for cellular energy production. When fluid retention (A.K.A. oedema) accompanies hypertension, it is a primary indicator of intracellular fluid loss, and an accumulation of extracellular tissue fluids.
Oedema has very damaging effects upon cellular function because it damages and impedes the electronegative colloidal properties of body fluids.
Blood pressure medications, such as thiazide are diuretics. Diuretics deplete the body of alkaline potassium and magnesium, two critical electrolytes which maintain normal blood pressure and cellular function.
So what can you do?
1. Ensure you drink sufficient water.
2. Ensure you are getting sufficient alkaline electrolytes.
There is growing evidence that molecular hydrogen, the smallest, most common element in the world may assist blood pressure problems. This study is one of over 700 studies into the effects of H2, covering over 150 disease conditions.
For people who want to control their weight or reduce their intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat, there’s something in your kitchen sink.
It seems that tap water may be what the doctor ordered.
A new study that examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 U.S. adults found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water — tap water or from a cooler, drinking fountain or bottle — by 1 percent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.
People who increased their consumption of water by one, two or three cups daily decreased their total energy intake by 68 to 205 calories daily and their sodium intake by 78 to 235 milligrams, according to a paper by University of Illinois community health professor Ruopeng An. They also consumed 5 grams to nearly 18 grams less sugar and decreased their cholesterol consumption by 7 to 21 milligrams daily.
Here’s what he said: (and here is the report)
“The impact of plain water intake on diet was similar across race/ethnicity, education and income levels and body weight status. This finding indicates that it might be sufficient to design and deliver universal nutrition interventions and education campaigns that promote plain water consumption in replacement of beverages with calories in diverse population subgroups without profound concerns about message and strategy customization.”
In plain words?
Drink water. Lose weight.
Ian: Of course the study didn’t take into account water quality which has reared its head recently with the discovery of a vast avoidance of water quality testing in hundreds of locations across the US. here in Australia my friend and water technologist Neil Sweeney has this to say:
“I would encourage all families to get the news out about the dangers lurking in our drinking water. Encourage them to join here or read up as much as they can about the hidden risks in the water supply. Connect my page to any groups you are in if you feel I am right after reading and considering this.
For the past 2 years I have been writing articles about the dangers of Bioaccumulation in the body from Heavy Metals, Chemicals and Pharma in our Potable (Tap) Water.
If you have been following the news you will have seen, finally, this year, Sydney Water and the NSW govt are now coming clean about the dilapadated state of our ageing water pipe system and the impossible and restrictive costs placed on replacing the thousands of kilometres of 60 to 100 year old pipes in this country. The costs runs into the billions PLUS we just dont have the manpower to replace it quickly.
Have you noticed the increase in water main bursts?
So why are we JUST being told now?
The growing presence of Endocrine Disruptors in our reservoirs, the increased concentrations of pharmaceuticals, in particular; antibiotics, the development of organic super bugs and the ever-growing concentration of heavy metals from mining are polluting our catchment and dam systems in this country like never before.
This means that every time we have a heavy downpour of rain the concentration levels of bio-toxins and metals increase exponentially in the reservoirs creating new mutations at the molecular level of harmful chemicals, larger concentrations of soft and heavy metals and more virulent and resistant super bugs and microbial infestations which effect our G.I. tract, Neurological and Endocrine systems.”
Ian: We are about to field test our new UltraStream UltraH2+. It’s still in prototype but the BIG news is that we’ve been able to enhance the already excellent filtration of the present UltraStreams. It will increase its ability to filter out:
>99.9 % of viruses, (polio, rotovirus, norovirus)
>99.99% of bacteria (e-coli, legionella, pseudomonas, etc)
>99.95% cysts( giardia, cryptosporidium)
>80% Ferrous Iron
>95% Arsenic V
PCB’s and BPA
This takes the UltraStream, already an unchallenged leader in water filter and ionizer filtration, to a level unparallelled anywhere in the industry, yet still at a price ordinary people can manage.
You don’t even have to wait for the ‘new improved model’ with an UltraStream. If you order our present model, you’ll get the new model when you order a new replacement filter. That’s the joy of the UltraStream. It never gets obselete!
This great little video on weight loss says it so well. For more details go to alkaway.com.au
I’m working on a downloadable document that attempts to collect and refine all the ways we can drink water to optimise health. Boy, there’s a lotta theories out there but not a lot of science. Stick around.
Constipation? Acne? Obesity? Listless? Cholesterol? Joint Pain? Blood Pressure? The One Thing you can do today to help.
When you have a newly emerging health challenge, where do you look for answers? Diet? Stress? Toxic living?
How many people blame dehydration?
75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
If you suffer from at least one of the following symptoms, perhaps drinking more water may alleviate it. Yes, I know… we don’t do it. We (apparently) naturally blame everything but the simple idea that we are internally dried up. So let’s see wht sort of symptoms may indicate simple dehydration!
The colon requires a lot of water to eliminate waste properly. Without it, waste moves through the large intestine slowly or not at all. Few of us realise that there is a hierarchy of needs that affect constipation. An effect of poor gut health is leaky gut. When this happens, we have bacteria, fermented matter and acidic food waste leaking into ur abdominal cavity, wreaking havoc. The body knows what to do about this problem. It ‘washes’ the gut. But if it hasn’t got enough water to wash it effectively it doesn’t give up. It looks for water wherever it is in the body. And guess where it finds it? Yes. In the faeces. It sucks water from the faeces because its need for water is higher than the need for loose stools.
It’s no secret that water can aid in weight loss, and not getting enough water will cause your body to pack on the pounds. We came across a recent study of hydrogen rich water where two groups of obese men changed nothing except the type of water they drank. Yes, the H2 water men lost weight.
When we don’t get enough water, the enzymatic activity in the body slows down, resulting in fatigue. EVERYTHING works better with water!
4. High Cholesterol
The body produces more cholesterol to prevent water loss from the cells when we are dehydrated. Weird!
Dry skin is one of the first signs of dehydration. We get so many reports of people on our water being told by friends that they ‘look juicier’.We can attribute premature wrinkles, psoriasis, dermatitis and discoloration to dehydration because it makes the skin more susceptible to these issues. You are no longer capable of properly eliminating toxins through the pores.
Histamine increases as our hydration levels decrease, and airways are restricted in order to conserve water.
7. Bladder & Kidney
Toxins build up when we don’t have an adequate intake of water, and may lead to infection, inflammation and pain in our bladder and kidneys. We wash everything we eat off every day, then we allow an ‘unwashed’ environment into which we load our cleanly served food. Nuts!
8. Blood Pressure
when we are dehydrated blood thickens and leads to increased blood pressure.
9. Premature Aging
Chronic dehydration can weaken all of our organs including our skin. Staying hydrated ‘juices up’ up the skin cells and helps us to appear more youthful.
10. Digestive Issues
Lack of water and alkaline minerals can wreak havoc on our digestive systems, resulting in ulcers, gastritis and acid reflux.
11. Joint Pain or Stiffness
Joint pain and stiffness may be a result of a lack of water,. Water is used to cushion joints and help them move properly.
Ok.. So much water should you be drinking?
There are so many recommendations, but rather like the ‘old’ alkaline diet, much of the recommendations are empirical in nature. i.e. they are merely copies of another website which is a copy of another website…
Our recommendation changes as we learn and confirm more. But here’s what we say.
Take it easy, but increase your water (not water in beverages, WATER!) You’ll pee more as your body readjusts its OS to the new input, and that will take time to rebalance itself. But slowly increase. I like 3 litres a day. Other people, two. Some say up to eight, but I am assuming they have a fully kitted out toilet so they can read books or watch TV! They’re going to spend a lot of their day in it. After all, that’s EIGHT kilos of water that has to end up somewhere!
How much do we lose daily?
3 litres through breathing, sweating, urinating and defecating. It’s pretty ‘Duh-Oh!’ that consuming less than what you are losing must lead to at least one of the above problems.
Equally obviously, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, exercising strenuously or living in a hot climate you should aim to drink even more than the minimum.
I’m not going into a big sales speech here, but another ‘Duh-Oh moment is the simple truth that if water’s purpose it to continually fulfil your need to detox, then drinking toxic water is dumb.
Some water ionizer vendors claim that their water hydrates more effectively, quoting but not linking to Japanese scientific studies. We believed it ourselves for a long, long time. Today we believe that alkaline water is definitely better than mineral-poor water. But that really has little to do with electronic water ionizers that only ever give you the alkaline minerals already in the tap water you have in your home. We looked at a metastudy of over 100 separate studies to come to this conclusion.
Vendors also say a water ionizer makes alkaline minerals more bioavailable through microclustering. There is no basis for these claims.
What we can say is that by infusing H2 into purified water, all sorts of health effects may be possible, but this blog isn’t the place to make these claims. if you search on molecular hydrogen institute you’ll be able to research this claim for yourself.
European Food Safety Authority:
Hmm… seems they haven’t read their own name lately!
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a new report: ‘The 2013 European Union report on pesticides in food’.
The report, shows the results for almost 81,000 food samples from 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway”.
Their Press Release of 12th March 2015 reports that:
“a combined total of 80,967 samples of a wide variety of processed and unprocessed food products were tested for the presence of 685 pesticides”.
It continues, “97.4% of the samples analysed fell within legal limits” but adds that,
“Residues of more than one pesticide (multiple residues) were found in 27.3% of samples”.
That’s one in four!!!! Muliple health and environmental NGOs say that EFSA does not examine the ‘cocktail effect’ of these residues on humans. Martin Dermine of Pesticide Action Network told Euractive,
“Providing statistics of single residue level in food is too simplistic”.
Ian: I totally agree. I cannot understand why people don’t understand that if we are ingesting toxins at this rate we don’t have a plan in place to continually detox – even something as basic as good hydration!
About half of a group is ischemic stroke patients were found to be dehydrated when they arrived at the hospital, a Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Stroke Center team reported—and they did poorly compared to the patients who arrived hydrated.
Presenting a study at the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Mona Bahouth, MD, a Johns Hopkins Hospital stroke fellow, said that the report suggests all stroke patients should get fluids.
The problem is that rehydration poses a risk of hypervolemia, which can put stress on the heart and cause fluid to back up in the lungs.
In the study, Bahouth and colleagues followed 168 patients admitted with ischemic stroke. They found that stroke condition worsened or did not improve in 42% of the dehydrated group, but that only 17% of the hydrated group worsened or did not improve.
The patients’ progress, or lack of it, was tracked with MRI scans, and NIHSS scores.
Discussing the results, Bahouth said it is already known that about 60% of stroke patients are dehydrated, and that the condition may in itself cause strokes. “When patients don’t drink enough water, their blood gets sludgy,” she said. That could mean that as it travels through the brain, this thicker blood flows slowly and can back up in narrowed or blocked blood vessels.
“The beauty here lies in the simplicity of this potential treatment,” she said, “Rehydration is cheap and can be given to people even in the most remote locations.” But that does not mean these patients should be told to immediately drink water after the onset of a stroke. That could lead to choking.
The research also did not resolve the question of whether the patients’ dehydration signaled other medical conditions that could have contributed to their tendency to have poorstroke outcomes.
Still, Bahouth added, in general, “as people get older they tend to avoid drinking enough water, partly because they don’t want to have to use the bathroom as often—particularly if they have a disability.” That reluctance to drink water could be contributing to stroke risk, she said.
The study found that dehydration in the group of patients followed was not linked to race, gender, ethnicity or diabetes status. Patients with kidney disease were not included in the study.
Ian: Hmmm. I relate to the bit about getting older and not wanting to pee so often.. but I made the choice. Pee more and drink enough. And yet the underlying question is whether consistent hydration supports stroke immunity.
From all we read.. especially the comment about sludgy blood – means to me that hydration is incredibly important!
We could take this question much farther. Your salt ratio relates to your ability to hold water. And then we can look at the effect of changed pH on the effect of water. I had the experience for most of my life of bloating with tap water or bottled water, but as soon as I began drinking high hydrogen alkaline water this all changed.
Just one other point I picked up.. I had never heard of hypervolemia. Obviously it only applies when someone is dehydrated and attempts fast rehydration, but surely a better answer is a daily program or target of hydration?