Ashlee asked me awhile ago to review a book I had read and I'm just getting around to it. It's called Your Body's Many Cries for Water; you're not sick you're thirsty! and was recommended by an alternative Dr. we have been working with. The book is not very well written. He is obviously a physician and not a trained, professional writer. It reads more like a medical journal in certain places and the content jumps all over the map within each chapter. The ideas and content of the book was very good, however. Hopefully I can share a little bit about it here.
He reminds me a lot of Dr. Fuhrman in that he has practiced all of his ideas on thousands of his own patients and found great results, but is not taken very seriously by many in the medical profession. But he claims that so many of diseases and sicknesses that we live with or medicate is due to chronic dehydration: Morning sickness, headaches/migraines, Type II diabetes, alzheimers, peptic ulcers...you name it, he lists it.
It all makes sense to me. We all know that we are chronically dehydrated people and water should be the first defense. He does say that once you have symptoms, you can't just "drown it". You can't just down 64 oz. of water in one hour and expect that to take care of the problem. You should have it 8 oz. at a time and keep it constantly in your body. He suggests having 8 oz. when you wake up, at least 1/2 hour before you eat, 2-2 and 1/2 hours after you eat and before bed. The reason being is that your body can only take in so much water at a time and the rest just leaves the body if you take in too much at a time. Not that it would hurt to drink more water than less, but you do need to make sure that you consistently and periodically take in 8 oz. glasses throughout the day. He did a study where he gave 2 glasses of water to someone at the same time and it didn't help the body as much as if you took those 2 glasses of water and spread them out in an hours time.
You've all heard that by the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. He says it this way: If your body is lacking water, then your most vital organs/functions are going to get the water first at the expense of other organs/functions that aren't as crucial. The last place you should feel the lack of water in your body is in your mouth. Your body is designed so that even if the rest of your body doesn't have water, your mouth does, so that you have saliva to break down the food that you eat. So if your mouth is dry (as it constantly is for people in old age), not only are you lacking water, but it's a clear symptom that nothing else in your body has the water it needs either.
Your brain is mostly water, so there are obviously problems with not having enough water for your brain. Mucus is also mostly water and helps the body get the bad bacteria/virus/whatever out of your body, so especially if you are sick, you need more water. I was diligent about this last time I got sick and I think it helped a lot.
As far as the type of water, he says that tap water is best. He says it's even better than bottled water because you usually always have access to tap water and most people can't afford to drink that much bottled water every single day. He says if you fill a pitcher up with tap water and let it stand on the counter for an hour or so, a lot of the chlorine and junk in regular tap water evaporates and then it will taste pretty good. Or you can use a Brita pitcher or something else.
Although this isn't talked about in the book, I know there are a lot of people who swear by alkaline water. People say that drinking alkaline water does as much for your body as eating raw 100% of the time. I don't know how accurate that is, but it definitely does help. The less acid you have in your body, the less calcium is leached out of your bones, etc. to neutralize the acid. The problem: You have to buy an expensive water machine to make it, or pay someone who has a machine. We have a friend that has one and we've gotten some from her before. She swears by it, and so does our alternative Dr. we have been working with. His main practice is in Kansas, so we don't have access to it, but he lets his patients just come in with water jugs and get as much water as they want from it because it's so beneficial in his opinion.
I am not sure that I believe that water is the only answer to some of the bigger health problems he lists, but I do think that if we treat ourselves with water first, we won't need as many treatments and medicines. I know I feel much better when I am diligent about drinking small amounts of water all throughout the day than when I am not as good about it.
I hope that's what you wanted to know, Ash!