Savvy Veg: I found this letter about the benefits of drinking water in The Weekly Reader local news mag, in my home town of Fairfield Iowa.
I tend to go on and on about water and health, because I've had similar experiences with water dehydration. So I always have a mug of water at my elbow, and slurp absent-mindedly whenever it catches my eye.
I recently learned about the importance of drinking water the hard way - painfully.
My lower back pain became severe sciatica; I could barely walk. I tried everything: more rest, exercise, stretching, diet, herbs, adjustments, etc.
The problem turned out to be - dehydration! Yes, a bulging disc caused by simply not drinking enough water.
If the muscles don't get enough water, lactic acid collects so they become stiff and sore and pull bones out of place, such as vertebrae causing the disc to bulge and irritate the sciatic nerve. It's very unpleasant.
The big surprise is that dehydration can be chronic and it takes at least a month, more often two or three, to get rehydrated.
And if you are dehydrated you cannot really expect to be healthy. Since the body is mostly water, it just doesn't work right without adequate water.
Immediately you have excess Vata (dryness) and Pitta (heat), but most seriously impurities collect in the body, causing all kinds of problems.
Over 90% of illnesses can be related to dehydration. Joints and muscles, digestion, skin, energy, allergies, weight control, mental and emotional problems, insomnia and blood disorders are just a few areas quickly affected by water intake.
Ask those who have been on the Water Diet; they feel great. I now regard water as a holistic health elixir. Dr. B's original Water Cure
Distilled and reverse osmosis water, being devoid of minerals, is not so healthy, but easily remedied by adding one pinch per half gallon of mineral salt, which is pinkish in color. It's inexpensively available in bulk, or as the RealSalt brand. Mineral water is best.
Measure actual water, not milk or juice, etc., which have to be digested. The Vedic herbal water recipes may be an exception. If in doubt drink more. Safety first. If you are exercising, sweating, fatigued, stressed or ill, drink more. That half your weight number is a minimum maintenance amount.
Thanks to myotherapist Michael Fleischman for relaying knowledge from Vaidja Dr. Raju , Vedic doctor who emphasizes the importance of water.
David Haworth, Fairfield IA
If you're drinking purified water, RO or distilled water: The part about the minerals in water is important. If you don't add minerals, for both cooking and drinking, the water will strip minerals from your body on on it's way out. I haven't used rock salt, except in cooking, but have used, and recommend concentrated mineral drops to add to water, e.g. Concentrace.