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  • Your body is about 60 percent water. There’s water inside your cells and out. There’s water in your bloodstream and in your organs. There’s even water inside your bones (synovial fluid) and your spinal cord (spinal fluid).

    Like any healthy body of water — a swimming pool, a lake, an ocean — the water in your body needs to stay CLEAN. And to stay clean, it needs a FILTER.

    Fortunately, your body has one. In fact, it has two — your kidneys. They filter out toxins and wastes and send them to the bladder for disposal.

    The kidneys also help control the alkaline/acid balance of the body (critical for optimal health), cellular levels of electrolytes (potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium), and blood pressure levels.

    Meanwhile, your bladder is the storage container that holds your urine, so you can control your urination to when it’s convenient. Unless of course your bladder is irritated, in which case you go when IT wants you to! If your kidneys and bladder are in tiptop shape, you’ll feel clean and clear from the inside out, helping you maintain abundant energy and a sharp mind.

    Here are a few simple but highly effective tips for the care and maintenance of your filtering system.

    Drink Plenty Of Water
    It’s hard for your kidneys to flush toxins out of your system if you’re dehydrated. But exactly how much water should you drink every day? There are a lot of different recommendations — and I think you should ignore them all! Just check your lips and mouth. If they’re dry, you need to drink more water. It’s as simple as that!

    Another simple method is to check the color of your urine. If it’s a dull yellow, then there’s not enough water diluting it and you should drink more. (Urine can also turn bright yellow from taking B vitamins, but that’s different from the murky yellow of overly concentrated urine.)

    A third method is that when you feel tired, drink a glass of water and see if your energy improves in a couple of minutes. If it does, you were dehydrated.

    Another method, which I often use to tell if I’m dehydrated: when I’m thirsty, I can easily chug a whole glass of water; when I’m not thirsty, I prefer to sip it.

    My final tip? To minimize your intake of possibly toxic chemicals in the water supply, drink filtered tap water. I’ve found that MultiPure makes excellent home water filters, which you can easily install at the faucet or the sink.

    Keep The System Sterile
    Your body’s filtering system functions best when bacteria in the system are kept to a minimum. Fortunately, the body does an excellent job of ridding the system of bacteria, washing them out every time you urinate. But two tips can help:

    1. After a bowel movement, women should wipe front to back, which helps keep nasty bowel bacterial (E. coli) from reaching the bladder.
    2. If you experience urinary burning or urgency, try Dmannose. D-mannose is a natural substance that stops E. coli from sticking to bladder walls. Use ½ to 1 teaspoon, dissolved in water, every two to three hours. (Children under five should use half that dose.) To outflank frequent bladder problems, take ½ to 1 teaspoon a day. Another good idea is that if you tend to develop bladder problems after sexual intercourse (which can also deliver E. coli where it’s not wanted), take a dose one hour before and another dose just after intercourse.

    Stop Calcium Crystals From Forming
    The kidney filters electrolytes like calcium — but too much calcium can precipitate into sharp-edged crystals that can literally rip up the delicate tissues of the kidney and the urethra (the tube between the kidney and bladder). Fortunately the amount of calcium in the diet doesn’t cause these crystals. So enjoy high-calcium foods!

    The main way to keep calcium dissolved so it doesn’t form crystals? Get enough magnesium, which counterbalances calcium. 200 mg a day is a good dose. Vitamin B6 (25 mg daily) is also helpful. You can get that amount of magnesium and B6 in the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder.

    Increase Your Potassium Intake
    Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels also keeps your kidneys healthy. And the best way to keep blood pressure optimal is by getting enough of the mineral potassium. Coconut water is an excellent source. (I drink Zico, the Safeway brand — it’s 100 percent natural and inexpensive.) Tomato juice and V8 juice also deliver plenty of potassium. Bananas and avocado are excellent food sources.

    Other nutrients that optimize blood pressure include magnesium and coenzyme Q10.

    Cut Back On Sugar
    Maintaining optimal blood sugar levels also helps protect your kidneys. The best way to do that is to not overdose on sugar! The average American eats 140 to 150 pounds of sugar a year. An easy way to start cutting back? Limit (or completely eliminate) your intake of the four types of foods that are loaded with added sugar: fast food, processed food, sodas and fruit drinks.

    Overcome Leaks
    As women age, they can start to leak urine during laughing, sneezing or coughing. An easy solution? Use vaginal bioidentical estrogen/progesterone cream, applied daily by the urethra, the outlet for urine.

    Kegel exercises — repetitive squeezing of the pelvic muscles used to stop the flow of urine — can also help. Simply tighten the muscle for a few seconds while laughing, sneezing or coughing, to decrease the risk of linking. Over time, using Kegels to prevent leakage will become second nature. To learn how to do Kegel exercises, see this online guide from the Mayo Clinic.

    If there is blood visible in your urine, and you have fever and back pain, see your doctor immediately — these are signs of a kidney infection, which can cause severe damage to your kidneys if left untreated.

  • Any way you look at it, you are mostly water! The question is, if you take water for granted, aren't you in essence taking yourself for granted? Your brain and muscles are three-quarters water. Your blood and lungs are over 80% water. Even your bones are one-quarter water. Next to oxygen, water is unquestionably the most important nutrient for sustaining life. Then why don't the majority of us drink enough of it?

    Well you might say; I drink plenty of liquid; juice, coffee, tea, sodas. Nothing can take the place of water. A great many of us may indeed be dehydrated and not even know it! Aging is a process of drying out. Many health researchers and medical experts now believe that water-not just fluid-is essential to our health and well being, and is one of the keys to slowing down the aging process and helping us lose excess body fat!1,2,3

    Muscling in on longevity

    By now you are all well aware that lean body mass (especially muscle) to a very large extent controls the overall metabolic rate of the body,4 but did you know it also determines your age - at least from a cellular standpoint. Research presented in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 1997, shows muscle mass as being the number one determining factor in longevity (experiencing a longer, yet more healthful life).5

    The problem is that the great majority of North Americans will lose anywhere from one-third to one-half of their lean body mass over their lifetime-especially if they are sedentary (resistance exercise maintains muscle).  According to Dr. Robert Mazzeo, professor of exercise physiology at the University of Colorado, the majority of major health risks for the frail elderly are immobility, falls and fractures, which are all related to muscle weakness.  Muscle strength is directly related to muscle loss and Dr. Mazzeo  states, "Studies indicate that muscle strength declines by approximately 15 percent per decade in the sixties and seventies and about 30 percent thereafter."6 Researchers have also shown that a loss of muscle mass is even correlated to loss of brain and nervous system function as we age.

    Studies prove that maintaining and enhancing muscle mass is associated with: increased energy, lower body fat levels, better mood, stronger connective tissue, better immunity and the list goes on.  As you are now aware, your muscles are 75% water.

    Speaking of slowing down premature aging, maintaining lean body mass (muscle) and losing body fat, everyone realizes how important regular exercise is. Intensive exercise can cause a person to lose five to eight pounds of fluid through perspiration, evaporation, and exhalation. Studies show that for every pound of fluid lost, there is a significant drop in the efficiency with which the body produces energy. Everybody wants energy! But how many of us actually understand how energy is made in the body?

    Running on empty
    The majority of energy is produced in tiny little power plants within our cells called mitochondria (my-toe-con-dria). The more active a cell is, the more mitochondria it contains. Some of our cells (like heart, muscle and brain cells) contain thousands of these tiny power plants. Our cells are completely dependant upon mitochondria to not only sustain life by generating energy, but research has even shown that mitochondria are also responsible for ending life by triggering cells to commit programmed suicide (apoptosis). In fact, one of the major reasons we experience aging as we know it is because our mitochondria lose their ability to produce energy and cellular suicide increases in later years. This phenomenon is referred to as the Bioenergetic Theory of Aging.7

    The mitochondria are also where the majority of your fat is burned as energy. They produce power through a process called the Krebs cycle. This cycle (the Krebs) is responsible for converting the nutrients from the foods we eat-the protein, carbs and fats-into a universal chemical energy substance called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is like an electrical source, nothing in our body runs without it. In fact, we use so much ATP on a daily basis that the total amount required just to get most of us through the day would weigh in at an estimated 150 to 200 pounds.8

    The process in which ATP is converted from our foods into the energy we feel is extremely complicated. So complicated in fact that we still don't fully understand (nor can we recreate) how the body manufactures energy using a process called electron transfer.

    So what does all this biochemistry babble have to do with water you ask? The fact remains that water is imperative in the creation of ATP. In fact, ATP has to be broken down by water in order to generate its energy-in a process called hydrolysis (meaning water broken). As I mentioned, ATP is like an electrical charge, and water is responsible for providing the primary hydroelectric energy that is stored in ATP when the cell is inactive. As your cells becomes active, water hydrolyzes ATP and energy is released again so that you can do everything it is you do in a 24 hour period, yes, even sleep! So as you can see, a low water environment means inadequate energy production. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    Is tap water good enough?
    Have you ever left a few drops of tap water in a glass on your counter only to come back to a dried residue of sediment? Do you actually believe that the sediment should be in your body-it shouldn't! Over 60,000 different chemicals are known to contaminate our water supplies and studies indicate that we may drink over 450 pounds of raw metal and sediment over the course of our lifetime! The problem is that the human body cannot use the majority of these inorganic materials in our tap water.9

    Aside from this, the specialized water channels-aquaporins-mentioned above only allow the purest of water to travel through their structures to hydrate your 100 trillion thirsty cells. Therefore, it would stand to reason that you should drink only the cleanest sources of properly filtered-not mineralized-water. Water purity is measured in Total Dissolved Solids in milligrams per liter (TDS mg/l) usually referred to as parts per million or ppm. You should do your best to always consume extremely low ppm water, for this reason I recommend distillation, reverse osmosis filtration and bottled waters with ppm levels of 30 or less.

    Health experts are still not 100% certain regarding exactly how much water is needed by the average person on a day to day basis-due to factors including amount of exercise, heat loss, illness, etc.-but the general consensus is that adults require anywhere from three-quarters to one ounce of water per pound of body weight. In other words, the average 120-pound woman should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day.

    1. Hodak SP, Verbalis JG. Abnormalities of water homeostasis in aging. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2005 Dec;34(4):1031-46, xi.
    2. Miller M. [Aging and water metabolism in health and illness] Z Gerontol Geriatr. 1999 Jul;32 Suppl 1:I20-6.
    3. King B. Fat Wars Action Planner. Wiley & Sons, Toronto, Ont. 2003
    4. King BJ. Fat Wars: 45 Days To Transform Your Body. CDG Books. Toronto, Ont. 2002. (pg.11)
    5. Ravaglia G, et al. Determinants of functional status in healthy Italian nonagenarians and centenarians: a comprehensive functional assessment by the instruments of geriatric practice. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1997 Oct;45(10):1196-202.
    6. Krucoff C. Making Muscle a Thing of the Present: New Guidelines Urge Older Exercisers to Put Emphasis on Strength Training. The Washington Post, Jan. 26, 1999; Pg. Z28
    7. Linnane AW et al. The universality of bioenergetic disease. Age-associated cellular bioenergetic degradation and amelioration therapy. 1998. Ann NY Acad Sci 854: 202-213.
    8. King, BJ & Schmidt, MA; BIO-AGE: Ten Steps To A Younger You, CDG Books Canada, 2001.
    9. Willix, RD; The Shocking truth About the Water You Are drinking Now…and the lethal Effect it may have on Your Health; Doctor's Special Report, Healthier You Inc., 1998.