We live on a planet whose surface is mostly water. About 70% of the earth’s area consists of oceans, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water. Your body is also mostly water. In fact, the human body is about 70% water. If you’re an average person, you have about 45 quarts of water or fluid in you at all times.
The water in your body is responsible for and is involved with nearly every life process. Digestion, absorption, circulation, and excretion—water is the primary transporter of nutrients throughout the body and is necessary for all the building functions. Water also helps maintain your body temperature and is essential for carrying wastes from the body.
You’ll lose about three quarts of water, on the average, each day in the form of perspiration, excretion, etc. If you live in a very hot or dry climate, you might lose as much as 10 quarts per day. This water must, of course, be replaced. Generally, three or four days is the longest person can go without replacing these fluids before serious lamage and eventually death occurs.
Unfortunately, modern man replaces these lost fluids in ways that may be harmful to him. Alcohol, caffeine beverages, soft drinks, hot and cold drinks, drinking with meals—all of these beverages and drinking practices contribute to poor health.
The purpose of this lesson is to inform the reader about the harmful beverages that are used, the harmful drinking practices that occur, and the correct way of obtaining fluids for the body.
1.1 The Harmfulness of Common Beverages
Water is the only fluid that can be used by the body. It doesn’t require coffee, tea, milk, beer or soda pop for its functions. Everything that is drunk by man that is not pure water must either be classified as a food or as a poison.
If a drink is classified as a food (such as milk, fruit or vegetable juices, etc.) then it should be taken as a food, by self, and not drunk in addition to other foods. If a drink is a poison (such as alcohol, coffee, cocoa, soft drinks, etc), then you should ask yourself if you should drink it at all!
According to Dr. Herbert M. Shelton, water is the only true drink, and in his words: “The time to drink is when one is thirsty and when this time arrives, there is nothing to equal a glass of pure, clear, sparkling, cool water.”
Beverages and drinks are now used as forms of entertainment. They are consumed out of habit or for the ‘kick’ they provide in the form of alcohol, caffeine, or sugar.
Almost everyone drinks excessively, and there are several reasons for this. Many of the common beverages do not satisfy thirst; indeed, many of them with the sugar and chemical content induce more thirst. Alcohol actually dehydrates the body. People drink with meals; they drink when bored, and they also drink because they eat a diet that is deficient in natural fluids.
The most harmful beverages such as coffee, tea, cola drinks, and alcohol are discussed first. Then the beverages that are used as food substitutes (juices, herb teas, milk, etc.) are also evaluated for their suitability in the diet.