If ancient records are to be believed, one King Richard II of England trod a grim path to meet his Maker. After overseeing a season on the throne bedecked with acts of cruelty, the chap was overthrown by a gallant Henry and left at the mercy of his hunger pangs.
The stomach is one demanding organ, but there’s something else that would have filled his last moments with more grief: dehydration. I can imagine his mouth getting patchy as his saliva became thicker and eventually dried up, his throat turning into a coal stove, his tears becoming scarce, making eye movements painful, his blood becoming thicker and thicker as his heart struggled with the increasing load, leading to less blood reaching major organs followed by a shutdown of kingpins such as the kidneys and liver, his brain screaming with the gusto of tinnitus in protest at the critical conditions all around him before immersing itself in hallucinations and delirium…at which point death becomes a relief. Enough to make model weightlifters sprout tear glands.
Yet that is how dire things can become if we don’t have enough water in our person. Reaching the heights of agony suffered by King Richard, second of his name, would of course require a unique set of variables which include you being of royal blood, ascending to power, wielding it ruthlessly before being deposed and disposed of by your fed up subjects to rot your way out of existence. Not very likely.
Our bodies are by nature very gentle servants, and by the time the former king was having a chaotic choir in his head an emergency was at the door.
Before notable alarms are sounded, the problem has invested enough to be a threat to you. Before alarms are sounded loudly, they are sounded softly. A dry throat and komodo dragon-esque saliva are much softer than hellish hymns in your head when the hallucinations set in.
A very successful engineer at Tetra Park Company has a simple rule for keeping the league of machines that make the familiar pyramid housings for milk and beverages of similar ilk in top form. Solve the problems before they occur.
Maintenance is the art he practices, since we can assume with great confidence prophecy is something beyond flesh and blood. Solving the problem when it is still developing is easier than tackling it when it has matured.
The same goes for our ‘machines’. Cultivating a habit of drinking water (hmm…water is just water…no synonyms) would bury a host of issues before they have a chance to exist, seeing that water is part of the major way of cleaning the internals. A clean you is very close to a healthy you. And a healthy you can fight off bad guys that science is yet to name or find a drug for.
How do you become an ethical drinker(I like this name. I hope it trends)? Any habit takes time and effort to stick. Downing liters at a go is unnecessarily laborious and injurious at times.
It is easier to take it a sip at a time. It starts with as often as you remember and soon you will be able to notice the subtle bells when the body is recommending water intake. A thirsty feeling is more of a demand.
(Having a water bottle can be quite handy, if not trendy. If it is too much for you, a regular bottle that comes with purchased drinking water could also serve the purpose. Replacing such a one should it get lost is also less corrosive on the pockets…and heart.
500ml is a good capacity, as it is easier to ferry around. However, it can get a bit repetitive and inconvenient having to do refills if you wish to hit the 1.5 liters a day mark. Sometimes you may be away from where you can refill with safe drinking water. A capacity of 1-1.5 liters can be a bit hefty to lug around for some people but it is unmatched for convenience).
The practice of turning the alimentary canal into a cold waterfall immediately after a meal is also not being kind to your belly. It needs warm conditions for the enzymes to work and turn that food into something useful and washing it with cold liquid gives the stomach the strenuous task of warming itself up before it can start appreciating its payload. All that energy could have found better use elsewhere, like flooring that irksome flu.
If you really have to consume vast quantities then warm water is better, though not as tasty. If not readily available, then that cold water should be taken like medicine. As little as is tolerable.
Tolerable here means we need at least a ratio of 1:1 for fluid: solid food for efficient digestion. Some fluid already exists in the stomach, so do not get too mathematical with the quantities you down at mealtimes. The body knows how to handle itself.
Water drank immediately after meals also slows digestion since all that water has to be done away with before digestion can begin. If you want to drink a whole river after a meal then wait a bit, eh? An hour if you have the courageous requirement between your legs. Taking water before meals, however, can work well to bridle the deviant appetite.
(Chlorinated water is quite safe for drinking since most germs abhor water that has the aroma of chlorine. However, I personally prefer boiled water that has cooled in the open, or cooled when exposed to the air.
It has a good safety profile, a more natural taste, and cooling it when exposed to the air allows air, and most importantly oxygen, to move back into the water: since it went away in bubbles during boiling. This will boost the amount of oxygen in the blood when the water is recruited into the bloodstream, and our bodies and oxygen are in a serious relationship that we would do wise to support).
This is the last paragraph. I am merely finalizing this document, feeling good that I have made good my word to say something about water drinking habits, wishing you a fulfilling day, and appeasing the grammar naggers in my head by putting a full stop to this last sentence.