We all know that life on earth depends on water, plants need it to grow and we need it to prevent dehydration. You may have heard the old saying that, “our bodies are made up of 75% water” but that is not strictly true (unless you are an infant).
If you are a bit older, the percentage of your body weight that is made up of water varies, according to a number of factors including age, gender, fitness level and weight.
Although, the average infant is 75-78% water, the average adult is only 50-65% water. Surprisingly, fatty tissue actually contains less water than lean tissue, so overweight people have less water as a percentage of their body weight than lean people. Because women naturally have a higher percentage of fatty tissue than men the average adult woman is about 55% water while the average adult man is 60% water.
Your muscles are about 79% water, your skin is about 64% water and even your bones are 31% water and then there is saliva, digestive juices, urine, blood, lymph and perspiration.
Water More Important Than Food?
There is a rough guide that says you can live 3 minutes without air and 3 weeks without food and roughly 3 days without water. Of course, some people can hold their breath longer than 3 minutes and… some people have, ahem, let us say “greater food reserves” so they can last longer than 3 weeks but the point is that water is actually more important to our survival than food… but a bit less important than air. 🙂
If you ask most people they, will tell you that they are not in danger of dehydration since they “drink enough” but the percent of people who suffer from “low-grade dehydration” is actually much higher that you would think. According to Christopher Vasey, ND, a Swiss naturopath and author of The Water Prescription because of poor eating and drinking habits most people regularly suffer from chronic dehydration resulting in digestive disorders due to not secreting enough digestive juices. Some signs of “low-grade dehydration” are things like headaches, low energy, dry skin and/or stomachaches.
According to the USDA, senior citizens are more at risk for dehydration and generally are only about 50% water. They also say that based on three different national surveys of individuals over the age of 60… between 30% and 44% of them did not drink enough water.
As water levels in your body drop, your blood gets thicker. When the concentration of solids in your blood rises by 2 percent, you become thirsty. Unfortunately, if you habitually ignore the sensation, you may become accustomed to it and no longer realize the need to drink more.
Are All Beverages Created Equal?
Many people rarely drink pure water, instead they may drink caffeinated, carbonated, sweetened or alcoholic drinks. Unfortunately, these types of drinks may actually do more harm then good when it comes to hydration. For instance, drinks like cocoa, coffee, and black tea are high in toxins called purines that need to be diluted by lots of water in order to be flushed from your body. Artificially sweetened drinks also require large amounts of water to dilute the sugar.
According to DailyHealthPost when you drink a single coke 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. The only reason you can keep that much sugar down is because Coke contains phosphoric acid to cut the sweetness. Within 20 minutes your blood sugar spikes and your insulin level spikes, so your liver converts all that sugar to FAT.
After 40 minutes you have absorbed the caffeine blocking your body’s adenosine receptors preventing drowsiness. Then your body produces a bunch of dopamine stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. (This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.)
The phosphoric acid mentioned earlier then binds with the available calcium, magnesium, and zinc in your lower intestine, making them unavailable for your body. Then the caffeine’s diuretic properties kick in causing you to pee out all the bonded calcium, magnesium, and zinc that was originally headed to your bones. Urination also eliminates sodium, electrolytes, and water. So now you have eliminated a bunch of minerals and all the water that was in the coke, so it has done nothing to eliminate the dehydration and has actually made you worse.
How Dehydration Relates to Tongue Problems
So as we have seen if you drink a lot of artificial drinks you could very well be suffering from dehydration. On page 79 of my book “Treating and Beating Geographic Tongue and Other Tongue Problems” I say that according to Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner Roger Wicke, PhD:
Tongue fissures correspond to various types of “Yin-Deficiency” problems. Systemic dehydration is often one sign.
So dehydration could be related to tongue fissures but the elimination of all those vitamins and minerals could also result in geographic tongue as several medical studies around the world have linked low levels of these minerals (plus other vitamins) to a higher incidence of geographic tongue.