Whichever detox diet you chose to follow and for whatever reason, it is essential you ensure your body is properly hydrated. I have gone for a very restrictive fruit and vegetable diet which I would have drawn more benefits from should I looked into my water intake and exercise plan better. That aside, I am starting again, from the basics, taking it a step at a time, bearing in mind that fasting on water has been for centuries regarded as having medicinal effects on our bodies in many cultures across the world.
Here are some notes I have collated so far:
- dehydrating activities:
daily life-styles: Stress, drinking strong teas, coffee and alcohol, eating sugary stuff, chocolate and processed food, smoking and taking medicines or social drugs + environmental factors: travel, breathing in pollution, using computers and mobile phones, sitting in air-conditioned and fluorescent-lit rooms + not getting enough of the essential fatty acids that are used in the body partly to control fluids
- you can check your hydration level at the gym
- dehydration symptoms: tiredness, fluid retention, constipation, lack of thirst, general dryness (of skin, eyes, vaginal, scalp etc), inflammatory conditions like arthritis or colitis and immune problems like recurrent infections, colds or allergies.
- dehydration leads to cell toxicity:
If the brain gets the signal that we are dehydrated, it triggers the production of more cholesterol to go into the cell membranes. This protects the fluid within the cell, without which it would die. If this goes on for too long, the cell becomes stagnant and therefore toxic as the fluid movement in and out of the cell is limited. Also, the cholesterol blocks the use of the essential fatty acids (EFAs). This is obviously not good for our health long-term. If we continue to be dehydrated this protective system keeps happening, so we become more and more toxic and cellularly stagnant.
- check the quality of your tap water: use filtering systems (reverse osmosis water filtration will filter both chemicals and minerals out, including calcium so bear that in mind, however you can ensure a proper intake in your diet).
Plastic bottles are better avoided as both BPA and non BPA bottles are linked to toxicity, so better be safe than sorry. Glass is the safest material. Stainless steel is pretty good as it is a relatively inert metal but there is some transfer of elements which can be an issue for people with allergies to nickel.
- How much to drink: either 1.8-2.3litres p/day or take your body weight in pounds and you need half that amount in fluid ounces (Alcohol, tea, coffee, juice nor any other caffeine or sugar or chemical-containing drink don’t count)
- water should be at room temperature
- The best times to drink it are:
1 glass half an hour before each meal
1 glass about two and a half hours after each meal
another glass around the heaviest meal or before going to bed
- you cannot down most of your water intake in one go, your kidney’s will have to adjust to the new levels it has to filter through: if you need to pee ever hour and your urine is clear, you drink too much at once; if on the other hand your urine is dark, fizzy, cloudy or coloured, you need that amount of water to detox (B supplements though do turn your urine into a lurid yellow)
- you may need some extra salt in your diet to offset the extra hydration [Dr Batmanghelidj]: a pinch of salt on your tongue after drinking water or an extra 1tsp a day. Be careful with your sodium intake, it is very individual and if you use salt, go for himalayan (packed with minerals and balancing pH qualities among other benefits), rock or sea salt.
- ensure your fluid levels are retained biochemically by a proper essential fatty acid intake: omega 3,6 and 9 via natural products such as nuts, seeds and oily fish. Synthetic supplements are tricky as very often hard for the body to absorb (5%), which can overburden your liver and kidneys.
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