There are lots of advice columns that say you should drink more water. Then there are plenty of skeptical medical columns that say your thirst is all you need to go by and “there is no evidence” that your kidneys or water controlling system are benefited by drinking more or less, that your natural thirst will figure it out. All that is wrong! Dead wrong. Let me explain.
Now, how does your water system work? It’s easy. You have a hormone called ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) that stays, “Stop peeing” and hang onto water. When you get dehydrated and dry, your ADH goes up and you don’t pee. And vice versa. You protect the concentration of blood (called osmolality) very jealously with minute-to-minute secretion of ADH to keep your osmolality at 285. Your kidneys work on pushing various items across gradients to get rid of bad stuff and hang onto good stuff. That takes energy to do. The more concentrated your urine, the less water you have to put your garbage into, the harder your kidneys have to work. Kidneys thereby love, love, love dilute urine because it’s easier for them to excrete all your toxins and poisons and extra electrolytes you don’t need.
Now, a small seque into CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome) from mold. I’m finding that about 70% of my clients with CIRS have mismatches of ADH and their osmolality. They come into my office caring a bottle of water and ask to leave for a potty break 15 minutes into our interview. Their brain/hypothalamus can’t read osmolality properly and they put out too much urine and get too concentrated. They drink frantically just to keep up. No matter how much they drink, their osmolality is still way over 285. And they innocently report urinating 15-20 times a day.
CIRS folks aside, what about the rest of us? 75% of the population isn’t vulnerable to CIRS and we concentrate our urine properly. We drink more, we pee more. Simple. We eat more salt, we get more concentrated in our blood. Our osmolality goes up and we get thirsty. We put on 5 pounds of weight that we pee out over the next few days. We eat lots of sugar and white flour and put out insulin, which also makes us hang onto salt water and retain fluid. All that is understood. And our kidneys have to work harder to excrete extra “milli-osmoles” of toxins if we eat tons of salt and then force our kidneys to put that into a small volume of urine. It should make perfect sense to you (and it does to the medical profession) that your blood pressure is a function of how much fluid you are squeezing into your own vascular tree which acts like a big water balloon. If you inflate a balloon to its limits, the pressure goes up. If your blood is more concentrated with various kinds of stuff, it’s more viscous, more sticky, makes for more blood pressure and more heart disease.
Ah! That’s it. If you deflate a balloon, it becomes softer and squishier. If you reduce the milli-osmoles, the extra poisons your kidneys have to pee out every day – the concentration gradient – by drinking more water, you have deflated your vascular tree, your balloon.
Can you prove this? Yes! Emphatically. It’s not even subtle. That’s what Dr. Chan published in the American Jr of Epidemiology in 2002. From the Adventist Study out of Loma Linda, she found that folks who drank 5 glasses of water a day versus those who drank 2 glasses of water had about HALF the cardiac mortality. ( RR of. 0.46 for men, 0.59 for women). That’s huge. Guess what happens if you substitute milk, or juice, or tea? No improvement. Has to be water. Pure, clean, water. Why? Simple. Water has no milli-osmoles in it. (aka other ingredients you then have to excrete against a gradient.). Come on! “Make it easier for me!” say your kidneys. Liquids that are composed of ingredients turn into more ingredients that have to be excreted. Water. Delicious, pure, clean water. No ingredients. That’s what works.
Can I put a tiny squirt of raspberry flavor in there? Would that work? You tell me. What’s your blood pressure?
WWW: What will work for me? I’ve tried extra glasses of water. Sure enough, I have to urinate more. My blood pressure is tiptoeing along the edge of normal so I would like a little better. I tried doing what the Israeli army insists for its soldiers – when in combat in the hot desert, drink ahead of time to stay ahead of dehydration. I was in the yard this weekend and I kept ahead of thirst by setting extra water out on the deck I could get to. For now, each day at breakfast I’m drinking one full extra, tall glass of water. Just that. The literature says three more so I’m thinking about replacing one of my big mugs of tea with just pure water.
|1|| Drinking how many glasses of water a day extra does it take to |
reduce heart disease 50%? Answer: 50%
|2|| Can I drink 5 glasses of milk or tea? Answer: No, if you get all your |
liquids from anything but water, no benefit.
|3|| What hormone does your body put out when you are dehydrated? |
Answer: ADH or anti-diuretic hormone
|4|| 25% of the population is vulnerable to getting CIRS if they |
Anything over 10 times a day means they likely have CIRS. (Then, if
they ache, are sore, tired and have brain fog, they definitely do.)
|5|| Folks with high blood pressure have more sticky blood, filled |