Archive for water

Electrolytes 101

Most college students recognize the “101” designation! For any course of education you take up, that’s the basic, introductory course in that field. So, Electrolytes-101 is simply a beginning look at the study of electrolytes.

The “body electric” depends on electrolytes. An electrolyte is simply a substance that produces an electrically conducting solution when placed in a solvent. In our bodies that is usually just plain water. And the electrolytes are generally cell salts. The cell salts are dissolved into electrically charged ions that interact with each other, conducting electrical energy and supporting the body’s electrical components.

Electrolytes are naturally occurring elements in the body and important to control many physiological functions. Examples of these electrolytes are sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and even calcium. We get them from numerous foods and drinks and many supplements also contain them. They are necessary for balanced loads in the body.

In severe cases of imbalance, we may see such drastic things as seizures, coma, kidney failure, and cardiac arrest. But we may regularly see symptoms in hot, sweaty activities like outdoor running and sports. You see, we lose a lot of electrolytes when we sweat. So it is not unusual to see young people with muscle cramps, muscle weakness, nausea, confusion and the like after an outdoor summer athletic practice. If we let it go further, we may see diarrhea, fast heart beating, headaches, and cramping.

When I was a kid our PE coaches use to give us salt tablets after hard play outdoors in the last spring and summer. Both sodium and chlorine which make up table salt are electrolytes. But a more complete form of “cell salts” are better balanced and more effective – and without the heart strain that can come from using too much table salt.

Cell Salt formulations go by the homeopathic names of their ingredients. A couple of examples might be Mag. Phos., which stands for Magnesia Phosphorica and is formulated to help with muscle cramps and pains, or Nat. Sulph., which stands for Natrum Sulphuricum, and helps with flu symptoms, nausea, and vomiting.

Original studies in cell salts led to the formulation of 12 standard cell salt formulas. More recent studies have identified up to some 27 different cell salts. They should always be replaced after any strenuous activity. So if your work or play produces active perspiration, or if you feel fatigue, lethargy, or a mild headache after a bout of physical activity – take some cell salts – or a salt tablet as a minimum!

– For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail or visit

Water, Water Everywhere!

How much water do you drink each day?  We all know we don’t drink “enough,” but how much do you really need?

8 Facts About Water

A friend I trust e-mailed me this list of 8 facts about drinking water… it’s rather eye-opening.

  1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (This likely applies to half the world population.)
  2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
  3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%. (This will certainly make it more difficult to loose weight!)
  4. One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a U-Washington study.
  5. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  7. 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.
  8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Finding Good Water

With three-fourths of the world’s surface covered with water you’d think we’d have no trouble finding enough good water to drink.  But the truth is that we have not been good stewards of our precious water resources.  Pollution now affects virtually every lake, stream, river, sea and ocean in the world.  Yet every cell, tissue and organ in our bodies require pure water daily to perform properly.  While many have done lengthy fasts demonstrating that we can survive for many days, even weeks, without food, our bodily functions and our mental abilities begin to shut down in only a few days when deprived of water.

Finding potable water is getting to be a more difficult task all the time.  Let me quote Dr. Andrew Weil from his book Eight Weeks to Optimum Health.

According to recent reports, drinking water in the U.S. is increasingly becoming a health risk, whether you live in a big city or a rural area.  More than one hundred million Americans drink water that contains significant levels of three cancer-causing chemicals: arsenic, radon, and chlorine by-products … In addition to chemical contamination, chlorine-resistant viruses and parasites … can slip through the more than one thousand large water systems in this country lacking proper filters.

And we can add to his comments that many health advocates believe that even chlorine and fluoride, which we routinely add to our drinking systems, are themselves health risks.

Bottled Water

I recently saw a news program on television that also brought the bottled water movement into question.  Many of the tests they ran in preparing the program showed many bottled waters to be no purer than most tap water.

Home Filtration

To address this significant problem, many have turned to home water filtration systems.  There are a number of different types of contaminants that these systems are designed to reduce and remove.

Chemical:  We’ve mentioned the chlorine by-products already.  Many of our water sources also contain industrial VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), agricultural SOC’s (Synthetic Organic Compounds), pesticides, detergents, fertilizers, and so on.

Biological:  Besides the viruses and parasites mentioned above, there are also many types of cysts, fungi, and spores that may be present in our water sources.

Dissolved Solids:  We need to guard against heavy metals such as aluminum, asbestos, copper, lead, mercury, and others.

Aesthetic contaminants include sand, silt, sediments, odors, and offensive tastes.

What Can I Do?

What can you do to ensure a safe drinking water supply?  Have your water tested to see what contaminants are present.  If you need a filtering system, research a reputable one that will filter out the specific contaminants you need to remove.  Never drink from the hot water side of your tap.  Dissolved metals are more prevalent in hot water lines, and water that has been stored in the hot water tank is a prime candidate for contamination.  Flush your system regularly.  And research the origin of bottled water you may use.  You may even question the bottler regarding his bottling procedures.


What about travel?  I recently found a “mobile” water filtration system that I use away from home.  It is a water bottle that can be filled from any water source and has a filter that removes all these types of contaminants. Many such products can be found in health food stores and camping supply shops.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

Remember that you need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to fully hydrate your body systems.  That’s about the equivalent of one two-liter bottle a day.  Fill a two-liter bottle each morning with good, pure water.  Make it a goal to drink it all before bedtime that night.  You may alleviate many of your health problems with just this simple solution.

Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.  Gen.1:29.

–  Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: