THE HERALD FRIDAY OCTOBER 7 2016
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Water is the substance of life
LIFE cannot exist without
water. We must constantly be adding fresh water to our body in order to keep it properly hydrated. Water can be a miracle cure
for many common ailments such as headaches, fatigue, joint pain, and much more. We can go for weeks without food, but only three days without water!
THE BODY IS COMPRISED OF 80% WATER
Water makes up nearly 85% of
your brain, about 80% of your blood and about 70% of your lean muscle. Because there are a lot of tissues that have less water, the average is about 50%.
WATER SOURCE It is difficult for the body to get
water from any other source than water itself. Soft drinks and alcohol steal tremendous amounts of water from the body. Other beverages such as coffee and tea are diuretics, therefore steal precious water from the body.
A VITAL ROLE Water plays a vital role in nearly
every bodily function. Lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
WATER TRANSPORTS AND METABOLISES
Water is essential for proper
digestion, nutrient absorption and chemical reactions. The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolised and transported by water in the bloodstream. No less important is the ability of water to transport waste material out of our bodies.
WATER IS ESSENTIAL Water is essential for proper
circulation in the body. The levels of oxygen in the bloodstream are greater when the body is well hydrated. The more oxygen the body has readily available, the more fat it will burn for energy. Without the presence of oxygen, the body cannot utilise stored fat for energy efficiently. Not only will the body burn more fat when well hydrated but because there are increased oxygen levels, you will also have more energy.
REMOVES TOXINS Water helps remove toxins from
the body, in particular from the digestive tract. Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolise stored fat. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. In 37% of Americans, the thirst
mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
REGULATES COOLING SYSTEM Water regulates the body's
In days of sail
cooling system. Sports drinks are useful when consumed after or during vigorous and prolonged exercise in high heat. But most experts agree that water works better than carbohydrates or sugared beverages for moderate exercise. For instance, if you drink 12 ounces of plain water, your body will absorb eight ounces of it within 15 minutes. Most experts agree that water
works better than carbohydrates or sugared beverages for moderate exercise. If you drink 12 ounces of a 10%
sugar solution, less than one ounce will be absorbed in the same period. A typical soft drink is a 10% to 12% sugar solution.
CHRONIC CELLULAR DEHYDRATION
Consistent failure to drink
enough water can lead to Chronic Cellular Dehydration. This condition, where the body's cell are never quite hydrated enough, leave them in a weakened state, vulnerable to attack from disease. It weakens the body's overall immune system and leads to chemical, nutritional and pH imbalances that can cause a host of diseases.
CAN HAPPEN IN WINTER Dehydration can occur at any
time of the year, not only during the summer months when it is hot. The dryness that occurs during
winter can dehydrate the body even quicker than when it is hot. When you are dehydrated you tend to eat more. General Rule: the rule we often
hear about drinking eight glasses of water per day can be misleading. We need to drink half our body weight in ounces of water every day to provide the body with its MINIMUM water replacement requirements. But eight glasses per day is a good start.
I RECENTLY looked into what
life on sailing vessels - which set out on around-the-world voyages - was like.
Obviously, we have progressed
significantly from those days but I was reading how life was aboard a sailing ship at the beginning of the 18th century. The number of men and women that made up a ships compliment was quite staggering and for such small vessels, health, hygiene and discipline must have been a priority. It struck me that going on a
world trip, as I may call it, involved a considerable logistical effort and what shipmasters could call upon to find solutions to what was encountered on route.
Such logistics come under the
heading of ‘seamanship’. For instance, a flotilla of small vessels would regularly transfer personnel ship to ship deep sea. This, in part, involved holding ship management meetings (as we now call them)! I do not suggest for one moment you carry out this practice but this was a regular occurrence and Masters required their staff to be competent in small boat handling of which, strangely enough, training was done at sea. Another issue was shipboard maintenance. Should the wate rtight integrity of the ship’s hull be compromised, Masters would customarily beach their vessels on a suitable shore and undergo a process of ‘careening’. This may have involved other ships in the flotilla. In employing a ship to assist with the ‘careening’ of another one, a system of purchases would be used to heel one vessel over so that its hull would be exposed and further maintained to recover watertight integrity. To heel a vessel is to apply an external force
in which to turn the vessel over on its beam. Notice lots of initiative and thinking - called seamanship. Could seamanship be applied to
modern day sailing? The answer is a resounding yes! What are the lessons to be
learnt from these seafarers of old? They lived at sea and, to maintain their lifestyle, seamanship was the first stop! The Masters I read about regularly exercised their staff in boat launching, maintenance of sails and rigging, especially after an encounter with an enemy ship where acts of war broke out. As a rather interesting observation, any plunder or booty these ships gained, including stores from captured ships, was put to immediate use in any repairs to the fleet of ships. Any prisoners were encouraged to assist in maintenance and upkeep of all ships retained and such staff were correspondingly treated with respect. Here is a classic case of finding out how competent an enemy crew were. Probably there were language issues, but one could tell from the way prisoners worked if they knew what they were doing. How about that point of seamanship standing the test of time and being applicable today? What’s the simple answer to improve competency? Exercise and more exercise until practical seamanship is second nature. On board training – rings a bell does it? What those seafarers in days of
old saw as common sense, we have to follow up and update in the modern world. What could we start with? Wearing suitable clothing and donning a lifejacket, for example, is a good point of departure. Losing valuable trained seafarers
was a terrible loss to shipmasters and this fact remains today. Keep safe – stay safe!
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