It’s widely known today that water and hydration is an important thing to keep an eye on. However, there doesn’t seem to be a recognition of the underlying processes involved to indicate how or when it should be taken. This is something I wrote eight years ago now, of what I understood of taking water from before Jane Fonda’s water diet, the widespread informing of the association between stress and dehydration, and the prevalence of water sales and “pet” bottles. Hope you might find it interesting and try adopting.
Water Story T.T hc.r 3.6.08
It is recommended that a bolus (single large dose) of water be taken at morning and dusk each day for the rest of your life. Regulating the intake of the second most vital substance after air, is an easy way to establish a healthy tone and daily rhythm to your whole body.
Anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) plays a key role in the management of the body’s fluid balance. As part of a generalized shut down for sleep, levels of the hormone are high during the night causing an anti-diuresis or production of low volumes of concentrated (dark) urine. The bladder is slow to fill so that ideally there is no need to get up during the night to empty the bladder.
Approaching dawn, the levels of ADH in the blood dramatically lowers. The kidneys are set for diuresis or the passing of large volumes of weak (clear) urine (as with diuretic drugs). After a nights shut down, the body is ready to be flushed, generally re-hydrated, and the various “fluid compartments” within the body (of fluids – plasma, blood, lymph, secretions etc, organs and tissue layers) re-adjusted.
With the morning dose of water ideally taken at least 15 – 30mins before breakfast gastric, digestive and mucosal glands are readied for secretion. The rapid expansion and contraction of the stomach by the bolus dose and its rapid absorption and emptying, acts as an internal wake up stretch and is an effective stimulus for peristalsis (intestinal contraction that propel contents by its wave like propagation through the intestine) whose wave begins at the stomach.
1 pint (600ml) to 1 litre depending of age, gender and body size, is to be drunk steadily without too much of a break. Discomfort is often encountered and takes some minutes to pass. Stomach distention and pain indicate stomach weakness, liver strain may cause nausea and spleen weakness a faintness. The symptoms are from strain on the organs and may take weeks to months to settle. It is a good strain that tones the organs. Appetite and bowel movements are also stimulated.
Animals come to the water hole at dawn to fill their stores of water for the day and replenish it at dusk. Unless there is an excessive loss of fluids as with sustained and intense physical strain or extreme heat, it is better to use up the fluid store and replenish them at the end of the day. Then the kidneys and the body in general firm for activity during the day instead of becoming bloated or water logged if fluid is taken through the day without the distinction of intake and use; as if the fluid compartments at the core are not moved and exchanged remaining tight while more superficially becoming over sensitive to wet and dry.
In Chinese medicine 5 pm to 7 pm is designated kidney time. Emotion for the kidney is security. The end of the day is the time to finish your tasks, take stock, replenish your stores and settle. Fluid intake should not be necessary after dinner. The body is ready for the night’s closure with the return of rising levels of ADH.
In our modern lifestyle the natural cues of the daily cycle, of activity and light are numbed by transport, lighting, housing, programmed/personal entertainment and institutional work around the clock. Controlling your water intake is an effective way to introduce a natural cycle to our life. It is also a good way of establishing yourself in your time zone and place from jet lag, commuting as well as staying up.