By Dr. Mercola
The TEDx Talk above, featuring Gerald Pollack, Ph.D., and the two videos that follow, all address the importance of water for biological function and optimal health — and there's a lot more to this than you might expect.
You're probably well aware of the fact that your body is composed mostly of water, which is needed for a number of physiological processes and biochemical reactions, including but not limited to blood circulation, metabolism, regulation of body temperature, waste removal and detoxification.
Once your body has lost 1 to 2 percent of its total water content, it will signal its needs by making you feel thirsty. Using thirst as a guide to how much water you need to drink is one obvious way to ensure your individual needs are met, day-by-day.
But did you know there are different KINDS of water? And that a certain type of water is more beneficial, indeed critical, than regular H2O?
Water, Cells and Life
In "Water, Cells and Life," Pollack — author of the groundbreaking book, "The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor" — explains the role of water in the functioning of cells, and the importance of living, structured water, which he refers to as EZ water — EZ standing for "exclusion zone" — which has a negative charge.
This water can both hold and deliver energy, much like a battery. This is the kind of water your cells contain; even your extracellular tissues are filled with EZ water, which is why he believes it's so important to drink structured water for optimal health.
Typical tap water is H2O, but this fourth phase is actually H3O2. It's more viscous, more ordered and more alkaline than regular water, and the refractive index (optical property) of EZ water is about 10 percent higher than ordinary water.
Its density is also about 10 percent higher and, as mentioned, it has a negative charge (negative electrical potential). This may provide the answer as to why human cells are negatively charged.
Cells Act as Light-Driven Batteries
Like plants, the human body not only needs water; it also needs sunlight. The near-infrared rays in sunlight actually penetrate your skin and structure the water in your cells. In this way, sun exposure plays an important role in your body's energy production. As noted by Pollack, cells actually act as "light-driven batteries."
As light hits the water in the cell, it undergoes the first step of photosynthesis — water is split into positively and negatively charged water. The same step occurs in plants.
It's fascinating to consider the implications of "human photosynthesis." Have you ever tried growing a plant in a dark corner inside your home? It's a challenge, to say the least, and quite possibly your body could experience a similar struggle to thrive in the absence of sunlight.
Inside nearly all of your cells are mitochondria, which are essential for energy production within the cell.
As Pollack explains, your cellular membranes are hydrophilic (water-loving) surfaces, and EZ water builds next to hydrophilic surfaces, be it a plastic tube or a cell membrane. As negatively charged particles repel each other, energy is created.
How to Build EZ Water in Your Body
Much of our physical energy is created through the consumption of food. But we also get it from sunlight. As the light is absorbed by the water in your body, EZ builds, thereby creating energy. So, both water and sunlight are critical components of biological function.
Testing water samples using a UV-visible spectrometer, which measures light absorption at different wavelengths, Pollack discovered that in the UV region of 270 nanometers, just shy of the visible range, EZ water actually absorbs light.
And the more of the 270 nanometer light the water absorbs, the more EZ water the sample contains. EZ water is quite stable, meaning it remains structured even if you leave it sitting around for some time.
Interestingly, water samples from historically venerated places such as the river Ganges and the Lourdes in France have been measured, showing spikes in the 270 nanometer region, suggesting these "holy waters" contain high amounts of EZ water. According to Pollack, you can build EZ water in your cells by:
✓ Drinking pure water, which is the raw material needed for building EZ water. Natural gravity-fed spring water is best, as it contains EZ.
You can also increase EZ in your drinking water by vortexing and/or chilling it
✓ Drinking vegetable juice; plants are an excellent source of EZ water that not only hydrates but also has other important functions
✓ Exposing your bare skin to sunlight
✓ Using an infrared sauna; I recommend using a full-spectrum infrared sauna for optimal health benefits
✓ Grounding/Earthing; by walking barefoot on the ground, you soak up negatively charged ions from the Earth, which builds EZ
The Importance of EZ Water for Cardiovascular Health
A particularly fascinating aspect of EZ water is its role in your cardiovascular function. As explained by Pollack in a previous interview:
"We found that if we put a simple tube, like a straw, made of hydrophilic material, in water ... there's water flow through the tube at high speed. This happens spontaneously.
But it SHOULDN'T happen spontaneously. The common idea is that if you want to drive fluid through a pipe or tube, you need to apply pressure.
But we have no pressure here. There's no pressure difference between the input and output. But flow builds up spontaneously, and it keeps going, [and] if we add light, the flow goes faster. It means that light has a particular effect; especially ultraviolet light, but other wavelengths as well. It speeds up the flow.
We think that somehow the exclusion zones (EZs) are involved because inside those tubes, there's a little annular ring of exclusion zone, and inside that is an area full of protons ... It seems that the exclusion zone and the pressure of these protons are driving the flow."
As noted by Dr. Thomas Cowan, a family physician, founding member of the Weston A. Price Foundation and author of "Human Heart, Cosmic Heart," this is actually how blood is "pumped" through your veins and arteries.
It's not your heart that is responsible for the blood flow — it's the EZ water! As explained by Cowan, if any pumping action were to be involved, it would actually have to occur at the capillaries because that's where the blood stops and needs to get moving again.
The solution nature came up with is far simpler. As the blood moves up the venous tree, the blood vessels narrow and eventually coalesce to come back to the heart. This narrowing of the vessels makes your blood flow faster, in and of itself. Valves and muscular contractions also play a role. However, the primary way blood moves has to do with EZ water.
"What happens is you form a gel layer, or protective layer, on that hydrophilic surface, which is negatively charged. Therefore, the opposite of positive charge is dissolved into the bulk water in the middle of the tube (capillary or blood vessel) … All you need is a hydrophilic tube, which forms a gel layer, which is negatively charged, and then the bulk water is positively charged. The positive charges repel each other and that starts the flow going up," Cowan explains.
When you consider the fact that sunlight positively affects the flow of water and/or blood through a hydrophilic tube, which is what your blood vessels are, the importance of sun exposure for cardiovascular health becomes quite evident.
Water, Minerals and Light in Human Biology
While conventional wisdom states you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, there's no real science to back that up. Water requirements are in fact extremely individual and can vary from day to day, depending on your age, body size, activity level, temperature and so on. Three strategies that will help you gauge your water requirement on any given day are:
• Feelings of thirst. Once your body has lost between 1 and 2 percent of its total water content, it will signal its needs by making you feel thirsty. Bear in mind the thirst reflex tends to be underdeveloped in children and can be compromised in older adults, and by the time you actually register thirst, you may already be somewhat dehydrated. If your mouth is dry, that's a sign to rehydrate.
If you're an athlete, a 2 percent dehydration level is enough to cause a 10 percent decrease in athletic performance,4 and recent research shows driving while dehydrated reduces your concentration and reaction time to the same degree as being legally drunk and/or sleep deprived.5
For these tests, hydrated drivers drank 200 ml (6.76 ounces) every hour; dehydrated drivers got only 25 ml (less than 1 ounce) of water an hour. This kind of data may also hint at the amount of water you need in order to optimize your brain function and physical performance.
• The color of your urine. You should be drinking enough water to turn your urine a light-colored yellow. Dark-colored urine is a sign that your kidneys are retaining fluids in order to maintain your bodily functions, which includes detoxification. As a result, your urine will seem highly concentrated and dark.
One caveat: Riboflavin (vitamin B2; found in most multivitamins) will turn your urine a bright, almost fluorescent yellow, which will make judging your water requirement based on the color of your urine more difficult.
• Frequency of urination. A healthy person urinates on average about seven or eight times a day. If your urine is scant or if you haven't urinated in several hours, you may need more water.
Naturally structured, EZ-rich water comes from natural gravity-fed springs. FindaSpring.com6 is an excellent resource if you want to find one in your local area. You can also increase EZ through vortexing and/or chilling the water before drinking it. Better yet, drink fresh green juice every day. And, be sure to get sensible sunlight to help build and optimize the EZ water in your body.