“And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” Exodus 23:25.
It is fortunate that one of the most important substances in the human body is also one of the most abundant on earth. Sixty percent of red blood cells, seventy-five percent of muscle tissue and ninety-two percent of blood plasma is water.1 It is essential for health for several reasons. Water’s power as a solvent keeps your lungs moist so oxygen can dissolve and move into your blood stream. It helps break down large nutrients so the body can use them more efficiently. It also serves as a lubricant to help the internal organs and joints slide over each other easily. Water is an amazing substance, and its uses in your body are almost limitless. You can live without food for several weeks, but without water you will die in only a few days. “In health and in sickness, pure water is one of Heaven’s choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Drunk freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the system, and assists nature to resist disease.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 419.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote, “Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.” Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. That may be the case for one stranded in the midst of the sea, but usually not a problem for most land-dwellers. Water is one of nature’s most abundant substances, yet from childhood on we are given practically every beverage but water. Tea, coffee, cow’s milk, carbonated beverages, alcoholic beverages—the list is endless. Many children learn to not like the taste of water and grow up to be adults who will drink almost anything but water. Yes, all those other fluids contain water. Some of them, like natural fruit juices and herbal teas, have value, but the body needs and craves pure water. Did you know that by the time you become thirsty you are already becoming dehydrated? Caffeinated beverages such as black tea, coffee and colas act as diuretics that actually pull more water out of your body, causing you to become more dehydrated. Many beverages contain an amazing amount of refined sugars that add empty calories to your diet and cause your blood sugar to soar and then drop. Milk contains saturated fat. Who wants to drink a glass of cholesterol? Milk also contains lactose, a sugar that the human body cannot digest, which may result in bloating and flatulence. The phosphorus that helps keep soda bubbly helps to break down your bone tissue and leads to osteoporosis; plus, it is scary to think of what laboratory compounds it takes to make your drinks those bright, happy colors!
“Thousands have died for want of pure water and pure air, who might have lived. . . . These blessings they need in order to become well. If they would become enlightened, and let medicine alone, and accustom themselves to outdoor exercise, and to air in their houses, summer and winter, and use soft water for drinking and bathing purposes, they would be comparatively well and happy instead of dragging out a miserable existence.” Ibid., 419.
Now, doesn’t a glass of clean, pure water sound great? Adults should drink a minimum of 2.5 quarts per day,2 more during and after exertion, since sweating can cause you to lose more than 1.5 quarts per hour.3 Our water input must equal or exceed our water output. How much do we lose each day? See the table for the approximate amount you need to replace daily. Not surprisingly, the average American consumes nowhere near that amount. When dehydrated you may see and feel the results; including thirst, dry skin, constipation, headaches, congestion, and dark, concentrated urine. That is just the tip of the iceberg in comparison to what is going on inside your organs during a water shortage. Each cell produces waste which now has no where to go. Toxins build up and your liver and kidneys work overtime trying to deal with these poisons. Those same toxins, with an adequate amount of pure water each day, would normally be flushed harmlessly out of the body.
What are the best sources of drinking water? Water purified by distillation is inexpensive and is the most pure, followed by filtered water, if an adequate filter has been used. You can find out what is in your tap water by contacting your water supplier and asking for their annual water quality report, or you can have an independent laboratory test a sample of your water. Private wells should be tested annually. Bottled water is not necessarily safer than tap water since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses the same water quality standards on both.4
Water’s natural cleansing properties, both internal and external, are well documented. Throughout the Scriptures these same cleansing and purification properties are identified in the spiritual sense. God commanded the priests to wash with water before entering the Tabernacle “that they die not.” Exodus 30:21. The spiritual purification is also a blessing, as seen in Psalms 1:3: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Baptism is, of course, a lesson in the spiritual symbolism of water, representing both death to self and purification from sin. Jesus speaks of this symbolism by describing Living Water, which comes from Him, a substance that, after having partaken, should cause us never to thirst again. (See John 4:7-14.) Doesn’t that sound wonderful? “The channel of communication between earth and heaven must be kept free from all obstruction, that the soul may receive from Christ a supply of living water.” Manuscript 50, June 9, 1901, untitled manuscript.
Your body requires more water than dictated by your thirst. Water is necessary for life, health and vibrancy. You have seen a plant wilt and wither without water. How much more destruction occurs in the human body with a chronic water shortage? Keeping yourself well hydrated and cleansed with plenty of pure water and Living Water each day will make you both physically and spiritually blessed.
Water Output (loss per day)
Lungs (breathing) 350 ml
Skin (diffusion and sweat) 450 – 650 ml
Kidneys (urine) 900 – 1400 ml
Bowel Movements 150 ml
Total water loss 2600 ml or 2.6, quarts approximately