I often focus on the health benefits of general nutrition, but sometimes it’s good to go even more basic: water. Without basic needs, you die: without three minutes of air, three days of water, three weeks of food – or just about. Three days without liquid causes severe dehydration. Critical. What about limited dehydration? This is the modern condition of many, many patients I see every day.
Limited dehydration has many forms. Some (most) people between the ages of 35 and 70 do not drink the recommended amount of water – which is, and this may be shocking you, 64 oz. (eight glasses x 8oz.). That is in a low strenuous lifestyle without exercise (no heavy outdoor work) in the winter. In summertime, most of us are reaching for more water than in winter because our throats feel dry. Which opens a whole new discussion: what is objective dehydration? What is subjective dehydration? It is possible to become desensitized by our thirst response by the habit of ignoring the response again and again?
This is similar to working in a loud environment (engine room or manufacturing) where a person can ignore the noise long enough to not really be affected by it. This is the crux of the problem with water consumption and limited dehydration and why many patients do not take it seriously.
To add more fuel to the fire, many patients also take one or more medications that create dry mouth and are asked to drink more water to counteract these effects.
Without feeling overwhelmed by this discussion, consider this fortune cookie: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Drink more water today than yesterday. Measure your water: take a large pitcher and fill it with 64 ounces. Line several water bottles on your kitchen counter; now, empty them throughout the day. See how far you get today.
What about the liquid in fruit juice? What about iced tea, coffee, sodas? Liquid in my fruit? Milk? I believe that most of the measurement should be liquid plain water. If you haven’t been drinking ANY water, then start where you can. Add a little flavor to the water, if it helps you drink more (lemon slices, herb leaves, cucumber or fruit slices) but still drink clear water. Avoid adding sugar (I’m still a dentist – but also the general health effects of sugar are tremendously bad).
Try it to see what happens. See if other digestive and dietary good results come of it. Water is the working lubricant for the whole body and also most particularly, it dilutes most of the bad effects and adds to the good. In dentistry, this especially helps by increasing and causing saliva to be thinner. This better saliva then breaks plaque colonies. Most people are amazed at the good more water can do for your health!
And if you have a story of how your attempt went for you, I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
God bless and be healthy. QCBN
By Dr. Robert J. Carlisi
Dr. Robert J. Carlisi is a Prescott dentist seeing patients of all ages at CARLISI RESTORATIVE DENTAL 928-445-5877 with emphasis on quality and personal service. His office is located at 919 12th Place, Suite 9, in Prescott.