8 glasses of water a day? Or is it 10?

The answer? Its quite variable…! So long as the cells are all properly hydrated – filled with water.

And properly hydrated cells are rare. Most people suffer some degree of dehydration, even those who drink a lot of water and pass a lot of clear urine.

Water can easily pass through the system but is it entering the cells as it goes by?

Water needs Electrolytes

Water needs to have some degree of electric potential to cross cell membranes into the cells.

Usually this is minerals, or salt or even a good electrolyte powder. Pure rainwater is unlikely to have enough minerals, many water filters deplete all the minerals.

Good water actually has a “structure” – a noticeable shape to the molecular bonds. Water flowing through the rocks of a mountain stream will have a very different structure to city water travelling through a network of pumps and pipes with added fluoride and alum.

The technology which measures an individuals cellular hydration, comparing water inside and outside the cells, is called “phase angle”. It’s a more advanced form of the bio-impedance analysis which is used in the readily available body composition scales.

Practitioners using Phase Angle know that nearly everyone is dehydrated. It’s likely to take at least a week to re-hydrate, and more likely to take at least a month. A good rehydration program requires pure mineralised water, a glass of water each hour or so all day with every second glass containing a suitable electrolyte.

Yes, its that serious.

And don’t forget that caffeine and alcohol are diuretics – they dehydrate…

Hydrolysis – a seriously important chemical reaction.

Hydrolysis is simply the separation of water (H2O) into a hydrogen (H+) and hydroxyl (OH-). These two powerfully reactive molecules take part in a myriad of chemical reactions inside each cell.

For example the energy cycle of each cell uses H+ and OH- to create the energy molecule (ATP). Reduce the water, reduce the energy output.

Most of the water in the body is fully involved in these chemical reactions, this is called the “bound water”. To keep the reactions going there must be a reserve of “free water”. As soon as the free water is depleted the body begins to manage drought, systematically shutting down functions.

The extreme shutdown is death, which happens in a few days. But dehydration sneaks in quietly, thirst sensation loses sensitivity, tiredness may be a first symptom and chronic disease is the likely outcome.

It’s safe to say that dehydration is a factor in all chronic disease.

Chart of Biochemical processes – water is intricately involved