The Worth of Water

Written on by Kathryn Lerro


Most of us know that the human body is around 75 percent water. What we may not know is that not drinking enough water to maintain that 75 percent can cause illness—serious illness; so says Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. in his book, You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty. His research suggests that the cause of many serious diseases is “unintentional chronic dehydration.”

“Dr. B’s” back-story is riveting; he was a political prisoner in Iran for two and a half years. Late one night an inmate was carried in to see him, in agonizing pain from an ulcer. With no conventional medication to give the man, Dr. B told him to drink two glasses of water. Within eight minutes his pain disappeared completely! 

During his time in prison, Dr. B used his water cure to successfully treat over three thousand cases of stress-induced peptic ulcer disease. He actually postponed an early release because he wanted to complete his research into healing stress-related health problems with water. After leaving prison, he continued studying the effects of dehydration on health. His book is fascinating and full of scientific facts—I’ll share some highlights—but bear in mind, I’m only scratching the surface.

Are you dehydrated?

If you’re feeling tired, flushed, irritable, anxious, depressed or heavy-headed; if you’re having strong cravings, having trouble paying attention, not sleeping well or are afraid of crowds and of leaving the house, you may be dehydrated.

Are you chronically dehydrated?

Some of the conditions which may indicate chronic dehydration are: asthma, allergies, Attention Deficit Disorder, hypertension, constipation, type II diabetes and autoimmune diseases, heartburn, stomach pain, pain from angina, lower back pain, Rheumatoid joint pain, migraine headaches, colitis pain, Fibromyalgia pain, morning sickness during pregnancy and shortness of breath in an otherwise healthy person.

Why is water so important?

“Water is a nutrient. It generates energy. Water dissolves all the minerals, proteins, starch and other water-soluble components and, as blood, carries them around the body for distribution.” No matter how well you’re eating, without enough water, your body can’t access the nutrients from food and supplements.

How much is enough? 

Adults should drink at least a half-gallon of water per day, starting off with two glasses first thing in the morning to replace water lost during sleep. If you’re overweight, you need more—about a half ounce for every pound of body weight. If you’re drinking enough water your urine should be clear, not yellow.

Can other beverages substitute for water?

Sorry. Water means water. You should drink other beverages only in addition to your recommended amount of water—not in place of it.    

  • Replacing the water requirements of the body with sugary drinks (this includes the natural sugars in juice) “will program the liver into fat-storing mode—a prescription for getting fat.”
  • Too much orange juice, because of its high potassium content, “increases histamine production and can cause asthma in children and adults.”
  • Drinks which contain caffeine or alcohol cause the kidneys to flush some of the body’s water reserves, so you end up less hydrated after drinking them.

 And finally, some bonuses:

Drinking plenty of water enables weight-loss without dieting, may reduce cravings for alcohol and fights premature aging by hydrating the skin.

More information may be found at


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