How many times has a doctor told you to “drink more water?” The first step of eight in my book, “Unleash Your God-Given Healing” is proper hydration. It was the first step I learned and it has the most benefits for the cost. The cost is literally zero! Hydration benefits every cell and every system including our immune function in our bodies.
I’ll never forget this anecdote that my eye doctor, William Jenkins shared with me several years ago.
A mother brought a teenager into the office for a first time visit. She normally had perfect vision, but it had literally changed over night. After performing the usual tests and finding no cause, he asked the mom to increase her hydration for one week and then bring her back. Bingo, her vision was back to normal.
It’s amazing that dehydration can actually impact our vision. I gave you this example so you can see that every part of our body needs proper hydration to function properly.
Here are seven reasons doctors tell their patients to “drink more water” (the benefits of proper hydration):
Adequate water is needed to make saliva to break down food and move nutrients and waste through both the small and large intestines. It’s the water with much-needed fiber which allows this movement. When you are dehydrated, constipation can stop this process and make your life most uncomfortable. If you have constant constipation, your doctor will encourage you to “drink more water.”
Your liver and kidneys require sufficient hydration to clean your blood, produce urine, and eliminate waste through the kidneys. If you have kidney stones, the first thing your doctor will tell you to do is “drink more water.” When you have a cold or flu, it’s best to increase your water intake to heal from the illness. Your body needs water to produce snot and phlegm, which carries germs and bacteria out of your body. The mucus lining in our noses is empowered by water. It acts as both a defense against infection and a means of eliminating what is causing inflammation.
Improves brain function.
Our brain needs proper hydration for us to think. Dehydration can cause headaches, seizures, and even death. Next time you have a headache, consider that it might be your body telling you to “drink more water.” I’ll never forget when a friend’s daughter ended up in the hospital with seizures. After days of testing, her doctor told her to “drink more water.” Yes, her seizures were caused by dehydration.
Regulates blood pressure and body temperature.
Chronic dehydration is one of the causes of high blood pressure because it causes the body to hold onto sodium. It can also make your blood too thick, which can lead to strokes and heart disease. For these reasons, your cardiologist will want to make sure you are drinking enough water. Dehydration also results in a higher core body temperature. This is why your family doctor tells you to increase hydration when you have a fever and before and after strenuous exercise.
Keeps cartilage and joints lubricated and flexible.
Seventy to eighty percent of your cartilage is made up of water. It’s the fluid located between the joints in your hips, knees, shoulders, hands, and feet that gives you that much-needed cushion. Proper hydration helps reduce friction in the cartilage and provides smooth and sustained movement in the joints. Your doctor may well recommend hydration to relieve pain and improve mobility before he sends you to physical therapy or surgery.
Transports nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
We need both nutrients and oxygen to be delivered to every cell in our body. Dehydration can prevent this from happening. When a patient is undergoing chemotherapy, increased hydration lessens the side effects and assures that the chemo reaches every cell.
Reduces your risk for cancer.
Your immune system, which includes your lymphatic system, needs sufficient water to protect your body from disease. It takes both movement and hydration for this lymphatic system to protect your body from foreign invaders. It also transports and removes waste and abnormal cells from your body. Since my cancer journey, I’ve heard many doctors say “chronic dehydration opens the doors to cancer.”
Now you know why so many doctors sound like a broken record when they say, “drink more water!” It’s clear that water impacts every cell and every system in our body. Next time you have a headache, feel weak or dizzy, experience digestive issues or joint pain, or feel a cold or flu coming on—consider water as a healing nutrient before you reach for that medication. Almost every prescription drug has dehydration as a potential side effect, so increase hydration when taking these medications. Increased hydration also helps to lower your toxic load.
What other issues have you found that are influenced by dehydration? Next week we’ll look at how much hydration is needed for your body to work properly and what to eat and drink that counts as hydration.
For Your Health,
Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs, and Second Place in both Selah Awards for Memoirs and Director’s Choice Award for Nonfiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. It recently received the Christian Authors Network’s (CAN) Gold Award for Excellence in Marketing for reaching 62.5 million people with a message of cancer prevention and survival. It was written with commentary from an oncologist and was featured on CBN’s Healthy Living Show, Atlanta Live, and CTN’s Homekeepers along with over 75 media outlets. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.