In terms of what you need to survive, water is truly at the top of the list. As you already know, water is a life-giving substance that we all must put into our bodies (just about) every single day in order to go on living. Without water, extreme dehydration, particularly during the summer months, would cause us to die within just a few short days — and definitely within one week! In some organisms, up to 90 percent of their total body weight is made up of water, while in the human body the number is close to about 60 percent water by volume for the average adult.
Drinking enough clean water every day benefits us in many following ways (and keep in mind this list is just the tip of the iceberg, too!):
- Acts as a crucial nutrient for building, maintaining and regenerating cells
- Helps regulate our internal body temperature
- Allows us to sweat and perspire
- Helps us breath and performs respiration
- Allows us to produce saliva and digestive enzymes
- Helps us metabolize macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and proteins) from the foods we eat and turn them into usable “fuel”
- Helps our muscles contract
- Makes up part of our blood that carries oxygen throughout our bodies
- Helps flush away waste and toxins through urination and bowel movements
- Lubricates our joints and acts as a shock-absorber for our major organs, including the brain, spinal cord and heart
What Is Structured Water?
While we’re lucky enough in the Unites States and other developed nations to have easy access to plenty of clean drinking water, just how healthy is our water, really? Compared to the type of water that our ancestors drank thousands of years ago, the water coming out of our faucets today — or from store-bought plastic bottles we commonly purchase — might fail in comparison.
How so? According to emerging theories on “structured water,” water that hasn’t yet been filtrated, mechanically cleaned or “processed” in any way, to some degree, might hold more “energy” in it.
Structured water is “the water that’s found in nature,” according to groups like Structured Water Technologies. The theory is that structured water molecules held within our cells might have a higher level of electrical charges, in a specific order that helps our cells function. When our cells’ water molecules are optimally charged, this can potentially impact how the muscles and tissue throughout our bodies work. But when water is mechanically filtered, treated with chemicals and contaminated with various pollutants or toxins — leading to high tap water toxicity and abnormal estrogen levels in our water — the structure changes and, therefore, the water loses some of its healing benefits.
Dr. Gerald Pollack of the University of Washington is one of the leading authorities on structured water. After studying water science and technologies for the past decade-plus, he believes that water is profoundly impacted by light and heat-generating sources found in nature, which change the molecular composition of the water we drink and store within our bodies.
While research is still limited and inconclusive, structured water might have an optimal pH that is crucial to health and specific power source that helps us stay maximally hydrated. Because of the many roles that water and hydration have in the body, structured water is said to benefit:
- Energy levels
- Digestion and regularity
- Enzymes that help with nutrient absorption
- Muscle contractions
- Positive moods
- Ability to sleep well
- Blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Weight control
- Kidney and liver health
- Joint health
Understanding the Water Within Your Cells
To understand what the potential benefits of structured water might be, it helps to first grasp how water works within our cells.
Water is an important building block in every single cell in your body. The actual structure of your cells is something like a matrix that is made up of a different acids (some of which are proteins). Between the acids is where water is held, essentially bridging the gap. All of the water molecules within our cells hold electrical charges, whether positive or negative. Oppositely charged water molecules line up next to one another, just like a battery.
Initially, water gets its charge from the sunlight or heat in the environment and then stores it within our cells. The idea behind structured water is this: Ordinary water filtration processes that have the purpose of cleaning drinking water also de-structure water molecules in the process.
When the water is no longer structured the way it was intended to be, the health of your cells suffer; specifically, the protein molecules within your cells don’t work the right way. This can negatively impact muscular and tissue functioning, leaving you prone to injuries. How exactly does the water within our cells become unstructured? It’s not exactly clear yet, but one theory is that too much time spent indoors — away from natural sources of energy like the sun and the earth’s surface (imagine a clean-running mountain creek that people used to drink directly from) — could partially be to blame.
How Water Can Be ‘Restructured’
The belief associated with structured water is that even once water is in your body and enters your cells, it’s capable of restructuring itself when it’s exposed to certain energy sources. These restructuring energy sources can include a source of heat (including the sun, earth, radiation device or a muscle-heating pad), infrared light or even human touch.
Both strong heat-on-contact and ultraviolet light are capable of impacting the water within your cells, which is one reason why these have been natural treatment methods for muscle-related or skin problems for many years. In the case of light therapy, this treatment has benefits for cells that make up your skin and brain — which is why some depressed patients experience reduced symptoms of depression or skin disorders when using specialized light treatments or light boxes.
“Grounding” or “earthing,” a practice where you simply come into direct contact with the earth’s surface by walking or laying outdoors barefoot, might also affect the structure of our cells. The scientific theory of earthing is that your body absorbs negative electrons from the earth through the soles of your feet and this changes the chemistry of your body.
Although not very accessible for most people as of now, optimally structured drinking water is also available in some parts of the world. There’s some belief that unfiltered water obtained from parts of the world including the Ganges River in Northern India might have the optimal structure to help our cells function best. We aren’t sure yet how drinking and swallowing naturally “structured water” changes its molecular composition or whether it’s more beneficial to alter the structure of water after it’s already reached muscle and tissue cells.
The Importance of Spending Time Outside
Overall, we still need more research revealing the potential uses and benefits of structured water. Until we know more, your best bet is to spend time outdoors in the sun, including having your bare feet and skin touch the ground often; if you’re a runner, try barefoot running. The concept of structured water might be similar to the theory of grounding or earthing, in that it attempts to explain how exposing our bodies to nature, light and heat sources affects our health in many positive ways.
Time exposed to direct sunlight, without sunscreen on that blocks important light waves, has many health benefits: increasing vitamin D production in your skin to prevent vitamin D deficiency, helping restore your body’s natural circadian rhythms, easing stress, giving you more energy, raising immune function and allowing you to sleep better at night. While one added perk of sunlight exposure might also be changing the way water molecules align with our cells, with or without proof of this concept at this time we can all still benefit from more time spent de-stressing outdoors.
Read Next: Alkaline Water: Beneficial or All Hype?
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