Winter Water

Tom Brady just won his seventh Super Bowl. And what I find more astonishing than that is something else I learned about him. Reportedly, Brady’s 2017 book about his health regimen, The TB12 Method, advocates drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day. So for a 200-pound guy that’s 100 ounces a day; less than a gallon of water. (Can we still use the word “guy”? Is that politically okay? I dunno.) Brady goes on to say that he drinks 300 ounces on days he exercises. That’s more like 2.3 gallons daily, a lot of water.

Brady got as much criticism from conventional “nutritionists” for his water regimen as he did from pundits for his MAGA hat in the locker room back in 2016. Both salvoes were unhinged. While I don’t claim to know what is the correct or safe amount of water to drink in a day, I do know that our bodies rely on water to stay alive and function properly. After all, we know that a human body is 75 percent water. Hydration is essential.

Brady’s nutritionist critics jumped on him and described over-hydration as dangerous. Indeed, one can over-hydrate. They claimed that Brady’s suggestion of over a gallon a day is too much. I’m always ready to dispute a conventionally trained anybody and in this case, especially. I recalled a warning sign along a highway in a California desert reminding drivers to drink at least a gallon of water daily. And that’s with no exercise considered at all. Now, that was the desert but I’ve known it to get pretty warm in summers just about anywhere in the USA. Brady’s suggestion seems on par with the road signs in California, about the only thing in California Brady or I might agree with.

Winter and summer. Sweaty summers and desert heat are one thing. But what about winter hydration? My hygrometer says it’s 85 percent humidity outside in the middle of February. If it’s 85 percent, then why are my hands so dry? Why is my house so dry? Well, the answer is that humidity is relative. It’s not 85 percent humidity inside because it’s not five below inside the house. The atmosphere holds water based on temperature. Let’s say the higher the temperature, the less water the atmosphere holds. So in winter when it’s a comfortable 72 degrees inside, the relative humidity could be as low as ten percent in the house. That makes the humidity inside the same as Death Valley in July. That’s dry. If that roadside warning from the State of California is good advice when the air is so dry in the desert, I’m calling it a good bet that a gallon of water a day is not a horrible idea.

In the heat of summer, we usually don’t need to remember to drink water. Winter is different. With the lower temperatures, it’s easy to forget but just as important to remember. In my non-professional opinion, dehydration can be more dangerous than over-hydration. Cells need hydration to maintain integrity. The system needs hydration to flush toxins and byproducts. Nothing does that better than water. There have been so many times I have heard of someone having a problem with everything from digestion to sleep to skin issues to headaches and I have seen the issue resolve with proper hydration. Cognition, aches and pains, mood swings — all are issues that I’ve heard of improving with adequate water intake.

Improving nutrition and hydration, holistic approaches to health, are like most other natural therapeutic resolutions. They are not instant gratification or resolution. A headache may respond to rehydration in a slower timeframe than it would with hydrocodone or other painkilling drugs. And though water is something I will use every day for a lifetime, I don’t consider it addictive. The side-effects are negligible.

Temperature matters. Temperature is a factor when it comes to humidity and it’s also a consideration with hydration. At restaurants, my dad always asked for water without ice. He didn’t get too specific but alluded to the fact that the body had to warm the water up to make it useful. Turns out, the older I am, the smarter my dad gets. It’s true. Water at room temperature is a better choice than iced water, for a lot of reasons. Makes a lot more sense in the winter, too.

When the temperature drops and the air inside is dry as a bone, be sure to pay attention and stay hydrated. It’s at least as important as it is in the summer and takes a bit more effort to remember.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit HeartlandHealing.com.

2021.02.09


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