Southeastern Synod ELCA

Water!

Cornelia Pearson - October 15, 2018


While researching what topic to cover in my November newsletter article I kept thinking about water. I guess water is on my mind because I have watched the news regarding the devastation from the latest Hurricanes Florence and Michael. While the East coast and Gulf seashores impacted by the flooding may have plenty of water flowing outside over their neighborhoods, services that ensure a clean water supply for household and other usage have more than likely been temporarily or permanently disrupted.

Drinking water is one of the essentials of life that we take for granted. We get it from our taps, sometimes filtered; we buy it in plastic bottles identifying it as distilled water, spring water, reverse osmosis water, vitamin water, flavored water, coconut water, mineral water, alkaline water and potentially others that I am not familiar with. Continuing my research, I learned that there are 722 references to water in the Bible beginning in Genesis 1:2 and ending in Revelation 22:17. Water references in the Bible speak to us not only of spiritual life through baptism but also of physical life. Genesis 1:2 states that the plants, animals and humans in the garden of Eden could not have survived without water from two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, that ran through the garden.

The U.S. Geological Survey states that “there just would not be you, me or Fido without an ample supply of liquid water on Earth.” Think of what you really need to survive - food? air? water? Facebook? Focusing on water - up to 90 percent of some organisms’ body weight is from water. The adult male human body is comprised of 60 percent water while the adult female is 55 percent water. Fat tissue does not have as much water as lean tissue. The brain and heart are composed of 73 percent water, the lungs 83 percent, the skin 64 percent, muscles and kidneys 79 percent, and the bones 31 percent. Babies and children have a higher percentage of body water than adults.  

Each day humans must consume a certain percent of water, some of it in food, to survive. The adult male needs 3 liters (101 ounces) of water a day while the adult female needs 2.2 liters (74 ounces). One ounce per two pounds of body weight is another way to determine the number of ounces of water needed each day. So, why all of the fuss about drinking water and what does it do for the body?

It helps to deliver oxygen throughout the body! Blood consisting of more than 90 percent water carries oxygen to all parts
of the body. 

It lubricates the joints! Cartilage found in joints and the disks of the spine is about 80 percent water. Dehydration can reduce the joints’ shock-absorbing ability.  

It regulates body temperature through sweating and respiration! Water is stored in the middle layers of the skin. When the body heats up, i.e. in exercise, the water comes to the skin’s surface as sweat. As the sweat evaporates the body is cooled. 

It cushions (acts as a shock absorber) the brain, spinal cord and other sensitive tissues!  Prolonged dehydration can affect the brain structure and function, interfering with thinking and reasoning and the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. As an added bonus,  energy levels are also boosted.

It flushes body waste! The digestive system and kidneys depend upon water intake to work properly. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and urinary tract infections as well as digestive problems.    

It forms saliva and mucus!  Saliva helps us digest food and keeps the mouth, nose and eyes moist. Drinking water can keep the mouth clean and if consumed in place of sweet beverages can help to reduce tooth decay. 

It boosts skin health and beauty!  Dehydration can cause the skin to become more vulnerable to skin disorders and premature wrinkling.

It makes mineral and nutrients accessible! These dissolve in water which makes it possible or them to reach the body’s cells thus allowing the cells to grow, reproduce and survive. 

It boosts the immune system! Water guzzlers seem to be better protected against common germs/organisms that circulate in public places.

Needless to say, water is essential for the body to function properly.  If you want to not put on pounds or to lose weight, skip the water with calories and stick with plain water or add lemon or lime juice for flavor. If you want to help out the ocean and your environment use a refillable bottle rather than a disposable plastic bottle. Your donations to Lutheran Disaster Response will help to provide clean water for those who have recently been or are continually impacted by storms, draught or unsanitary water!

References:

McIntosh, James, Fifteen Benefits of Drinking Water, July 16, 2018, medicalnewstoday.com.

Water in the Bible, learnthebible.org.

Water Properties: The USGS Water Science School, water.usgs.gov

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Cornelia Pearson, RN, MN, Chair

Health Ministries Task Force