The no-brainer lifesaver

MarkedwardsI was recently invited as a guest to a motivational and well-being seminar, and one of the speakers pulled up a slide of things to do each and every day. It was a cute little presentation with music and images, and the audience received it well, reacting to each of these little rules to live by.

But then something shocked me…

One slide popped up of a toilet, and the caption read this little daily rule: “Always put the toilet seat down after use!”

Naturally, this common source of matrimonial friction caused a reaction: the audience yelled, hooted, and nodded in approval. In fact, they reacted affirmatively to all of the slides but one, the most important slide of them all. The reaction to that slide was blank faces, silence, and crickets chirping…

What was the slide, what was this little rule to live by that was lost on this big audience?

This: “Drink 8 cups of water a day!”

Most people evidently care more about toilet seats than they do about what is simply the no-brainer lifesaver. Indeed, I even know a medical doctor who refuses to drink water!

How do you feel when confronted with a ‘rule’ to drink 8 cups of water a day?

I imagine that the apathetic (subconscious) reaction with the people at that seminar was something like this:

“Yeah, I suppose he’s right. Although my teacher or parents never told me to do that, did they? And they never say much about this on ‘The Today Show’… and the government doesn’t exactly push this message does it? Anyway, I drink plenty of coffee and soda so that should cover it… and who has the time to do that? I mean, I don’t want to keep going to the bathroom!”

Sound about right? It’s one of those ‘no-brainers’ that everybody knows but nobody does.

Please take a moment to read what follows. Everybody thinks they know about water, that they should drink it, but they don’t really understand why and in what way…

  • You are 75% water, and you lose water constantly. Ever think people act strangely when it’s a full moon? You’re right to think so. The moon’s gravity is responsible for rising tides, so what do you think it does to 75%-water-beings? You would die in 48 hours without any water. You and water are one.
  • Soda, beer, coffee—none of these counts as your daily water intake. The water must be pure, ideally spring water. Your tap water doesn’t count either—it’s loaded with chlorine and fluoride…
  • What’s wrong with fluoride? It’s an indiscriminate killer of ALL bacterial life, and that means YOU. It’s in the top-20 most toxic substances around. There are healthier and safer alternatives, just have a good oral hygiene routine. The dental establishment is fiercely polarized about fluoride- it’s not the accepted truth you may think!
  • For every unit of alcohol and cup of coffee you have a day, that’s one more ADDITIONAL cup of pure water you need. Alcohol and coffee are diuretics. When drinking at a party or whatever, alternate alcohol and water. Caffeine (present in most sodas as well as coffee) works as a drug directly on your kidneys to increase urine production, which means water loss.
  • Lack of thirst does NOT mean you are correctly hydrated. As soon as you taste salt (from water) on your tongue, it sends an incorrect message to the brain. Ignore thirst, just drink the required 8 cups. Look at your urine. It should be pale yellow or clear- this is the only correct cue you have to your state of hydration.
  • According to medical research and a BBC expose, asthma could be simply a reaction to dehydration (and therefore salt shortage) and caffeine. The study showed asthmatic sufferers’ bronchioles relaxing after a pinch of salt was added to the tongue (try it for yourself if this applies).
  • Water keeps your mouth less acidic and therefore less inclined to bad breath and tooth decay.

I could go on, but you get the point I hope. Today, please figure out a routine, a mechanism to ensure your compliance to the 8 cups a day rule. That’s actually 8 servings of 8 ounces of pure, clean water a day (not soda or coffee or tap water or anything else).

8/8.

8 helpings of 8 ounces a day.

How many people do you know who do that? And we wonder why we’re getting sick.

Everyone knows, but nobody does.

If you’re interested in my discipline mechanism, here’s what I do. I have a BPA-free Camelback bottle with a built in filter. This goes with me wherever I go. The filter in it means I can use any water source and it becomes clean through the built in straw. It measures 16 ounces, so I ensure that I’ve drunk 4 fill-ups a day. I don’t sip, I take big draws that fill my mouth, and swallow. This usually depletes half a bottle right away. I have until lunchtime to drink 2 bottles, and until bedtime to drink 2 more. After 30 days anything becomes a routine!

It’s a small inconvenience, but not as much as a disease would be, and it’s extremely cheap health insurance.

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