Saturday, December 22, 2012

9. If Any Man Thirst

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“If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”

A very important way to care for the gift of our body that God has given us is to make sure we get enough water. God designed us to drink water, not sodas, sports drinks, or any other common beverages.

Water is the major component in our cells, including blood cells. I think about the Original Star Trek episode where the crew met a monster that removed the water from humans. All that would be left after an encounter with this creature was about two pounds of salt-like chemicals. This is not too very far from the truth. 65% of our body is water. Without water our body would literally starve to death. There would be no way for food to get to our cells to feed them.And most of each cell itself is made up of water.

Did you know that next to oxygen, water is the most essential nutrient for us to have? You can live about thirty days (give or take) without food, about three days without water, and about five minutes without air (without brain damage).

Most Americans don't get enough water (an estimated 75% are chronically dehydrated). We walk around suffering the effects of this dehydration; tiredness, edginess, slightly headachy, low endurance, fatigue (Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue), increased heart rate, impatience, difficulty in concentrating, dizziness, memory loss, and mental confusion. You know, in the country with the cleanest supply of water in the world it is strange that we don't drink enough.

Well, maybe not. We live in the culture of the skinny and chronically entertained. Anything to loose weight or have fun is considered OK. So, many women have taken pills to make them pee just so they can get into a smaller dress size. They drink as little (or NO!) water as possible to keep the pounds off.

But look at the cost; Basic functioning is reduced. Quality of life goes down. And you know what? It's not real weight loss. They haven't lost a single ounce of fat. In fact, dehydration may cause your body to rely on carbohydrate fuel more than fat fuel, and it slows your metabolism by 3%, short circuiting real weight loss!

And, of course, if it isn’t a pretty color and doesn’t tickle our “play” center we Americans won’t drink it anyway.

Research says that 64-80 ounces (8 – 10 glasses or one big sports cup) of water a day is capable of significantly easing back and joint pain for up to 80% of people with those problems. Water lubricates your joints so you don't have bone grating on bone.

Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of constipation, and colon cancer by 45%, plus it is capable of slashing the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and you are 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. This is because the water flushes the toxins that cause cancer out of your system.

Did you know that we absorb as much water through our skin when we shower as when we drink? So not only is it important to bathe regularly to wash off germs, look and smell better, but we need it to help keep ourselves hydrated. It is best to install a whole house filter if you can so you are drinking and bathing in the purest water possible. City water is treated with chlorine, which is better than bathing in germs, but still not really good for you.

Drink before you are thirsty. If you wait until you get thirsty you have waited too long. I find that if I keep a bottle of water by me at all times, I will sip on it throughout the day and not even realize it. This is the best way I have found for me to keep hydrated.

For some people, it helps to add a squirt of lemon juice to their water or make sure they have plenty of ice. In fact, the colder the water you drink the more it raises your basic metabolism. It takes more energy to warm up cold water to body temperature then tepid water.

Drink before you eat. Often, when we are thirsty our minds interpret our body's signals as hunger (and we do get some water from our food). We think we feel hungry and go get something to eat. But we just get hungrier and hungrier instead of getting satisfied. If we take a big drink of water first we will often find out we were really just thirsty.

Additional benefit: Water is free. Unlike a daily 20-ounce bottle of soda that will cost you $10.00 a week, tap water costs you nothing. That's $520.00 in savings per year!

Other Drinks


What else should we drink? Most people in our society drink sodas almost exclusively. This is not a good idea. Other than entertainment, there is no redeeming value to sodas.

For starters, Caffeine increases the excretion of calcium, increasing the risk of osteoporosis, (Female athletes that drink sodas have significantly more bone breaks than those that don't.)

The Artificial colorings in most sodas have been linked to ADHD as well as certain allergies.

The carbonation eats the enamel off your teeth.

The other chemicals cause kidney stones, increase the risk of heart disease and act like a diuretic (making you pee more, thus be more dehydrated, function less efficiently, feel more hungry, and more thirsty causing you to drink more soda which makes you pee more which...) and increase the risk of obesity (you take in sweet, whether real or artificial, and your body says "Hey! I need vitamins to digest this sweet!" So you grab a Twinkie because your brain interprets the vitamin craving as a sugar craving. Your body screams for more vitamins, you give it more sugar, and so on).

In fact, the single biggest source of calories in most American’s diet is soda (as much as a full fourth of some people's daily calorie intake).

Imagine eating seven to nine teaspoons of sugar straight. That's how much sugar is in a twelve-ounce can of soda; and we drink the stuff by the gallon! Many people have lost weight by simply eliminating soda entirely from their diet.

And on the effectiveness of diet sodas; have you ever seen a skinny person drinking one? Could the extra sweet of our artificial sweeteners increase our cravings for food making our overall intake of calories go up? There is increasing evidence that this is what is happening. (More about artificial sweeteners later, but remember that the chemical composition of Nutri Sweet is the same as formaldehyde).

There are no vitamins in soda and very few minerals, most of which we all get plenty of anyway (such as salt).

No, stay away from sodas as much as possible. Occasionally it’s OK (I usually have one or two per week). Our bodies can handle some unnecessary junk, but they should be a rare treat. The less the better.


Coffee's value is still up to debate. It appears that caffeine prevents the formation of kidney stones, while it is leaching the calcium from our bones. Coffee itself appears to lower the risk of;
  • Parkinson's disease, 
  • Diabetes, 
  • tooth decay, 
  • Alzheimer, and 
  • cancer. 
But it can also badly affect the heart if you are already having trouble.

Coffee has over 1000 different chemicals, half of which are known carcinogens. However, carrots also have chemicals that, by themselves, are carcinogens. Take any such statistics with a grain of salt.

Caffeine is a natural "pesticide" given off by the bean to keep the bugs from eating it. A cup of coffee contains about 120 mg of caffeine. If you injected that amount of caffeine directly into your blood, you would die. The rush of energy you get from your coffee is your body speeding up your metabolism to get rid of this insecticide. Your body takes water from everywhere to help flush the stuff out.

Of course, a speeding metabolism (more than 100 calories a day’s worth) helps your weight, so coffee drinkers have an easier time with weight control.

I have never been convinced that the good parts of coffee outweigh the bad parts enough for me to bother learning to like it, though the more studies that come out, the closer I am to changing my mind. Most of the benefits can be obtained from other sources with the addition of other vitamins and minerals and none of the bad things.

Other people enjoy a good cup of coffee and choose to drink it. That’s OK. It certainly is better for you than soda and is low calorie to boot, even if you add cream and real sugar.

Frankly, it tastes like dirt to me, so I won't be indulging anytime soon (though it’s possible I have never tasted more than cheapy types). Oddly enough, it is one of my favorite smells, but the taste... Yuck.

(Edited several years later to add: Since writing this, I have begun to experiment with coffee. I have discovered that my slightly ADD brain does function better with one cup’s worth in the morning. I can tolerate it if I add equal parts coffee and hot cocoa (made with anti-oxidant-full dark chocolate, of course). Since I do tend towards the diabetic side, have tooth problems, but have never been diagnosed with heart problems, I decided it really was worth learning to like, at least to like a Cafe Mocha in the morning. I now enjoy that little bit of routine first thing after getting up.)

If you do decide to drink coffee, stay away from those pre-made coffee drinks sold in grocery stores. They are generally made with LOTS of added sugar and man-made fats destroying any benefits from the coffee itself. Those Yuppie coffee shops aren’t generally much if any better (and in a blind taste test McDonalds beat them out anyway.)


When you sit down with a glass of Kool-Aid the main ingredient is water (good). The second is sugar (bad). Then you will find artificial flavorings and preservatives (petroleum products) as well as some natural preservatives (citric acid, otherwise known as vitamin C.) All in all, it is healthier to drink Kool-Aid than soda, BY FAR, but water or juice would be better.

Lemon Ade

If you make it yourself, (lemon juice with sugar or honey to sweeten it) down right good for you. If you buy it pre-made it will have some preservatives and possibly artificial flavorings and colorings. That has to weigh in.

I don't think God wanted us to eat petroleum and most preservatives are actually poisons if taken alone (that is why they work. They kill the bugs that cause food to spoil). Avoid them when possible. But once again, lemon ade beats soda hands down.

Bottled Water

There really isn’t an advantage to bottled water over tap unless you just like the flavor enough that it makes you drink more. In fact, if you are on city water, it is very likely that what comes out of your tape has met far more stringent government regulation for cleanliness than what is in the bottle. Bottled water simply isn’t that regulated, though many companies just fill their bottles with whatever comes out of their tap. Those waters would meet the fed’s standards.

There is some concern, however, that the plastic the bottles are made of causes cancer if over heated or left for too long. So, don't leave the water in your car for very long, and don't refill and reuse the bottle. 

Vitamin/smart Water

Many manufacturers have discovered that if they add a bunch of vitamins and herbs to water people will pay more money. Unfortunately, most of them also add a bunch of cheap sugars to make you like their product better. Most of the time, the number of calories and side affects of the chemicals in these products far outweighs any benefit from the vitamins and herbs. You would be better off taking a multi vitamin and drinking plain ‘ole H2O.

Read the labels. There are some good ones, but they are few and far between.

By the way, the same goes for energy drinks.

Flavored water

Again, read the ingredients. Water, good. Sugar, bad. "Diet" water? Sweetened with chemicals that do not occur in God's nature; we can't grow them on our farm. Same for the flavorings; more petro-chemicals.

Now, home made fruit water made with pure water with a dash of fruit juice added is good for you. Enjoy!

Sports drinks

God did not create a Sport's Drink Tree for a reason.

Generally speaking, water will do everything you need without the calories and chemicals in sports drinks. The only exception is for those that engage in long, strenuous activity, such as Olympic sports or hard physical labor (those, like my hubby, who work in warehouses- pseudo-ovens- all day in summer may fit this category also). These people lose enough minerals that they do need the artificial replacement of sports drinks, though some recent studies say chocolate milk works even better.

The decision to drink them should be balanced with the knowledge of the number of calories and chemicals you are getting also. They are very high in sugar and salt.


Watch this one carefully. Most “juices” on the store shelves have added sugar (watch out for the words “drink,” and “cocktail.” They signal extreme amounts of sugar have been added). Totally unnecessary.

Those that are labeled 100% fruit juice should still be diluted 50/50 with water. The straight juice lost a good deal of its water during processing.

You will get the vitamins from the fruits and veggies in their juices, but you won't get the fiber that eating the real thing would give you.

Actually, I consider milk and juice to be foods, not drinks. They are full of food-like nutrition. Juice you could do fine without, but it is a nice treat, especially if you are trying to wean away from sodas. Try mixing different flavors to make them even more interesting.


Tea is a fascinating subject. Tea is the water that is left after you pour it (boiling or very hot) onto plant leaves and let it sit for a few minutes. The health benefit of tea varies depending on what kind of leaves you use.

What most people think of as “tea” is from the Camellia plant. It has a few vitamins and minerals and has been shown to have some benefit to the human body, such as possibly preventing cancer, tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, wrinkles, hypertension and obesity. (This is another drink I never really learned to like).

The caffeine, though, is not good for you (see Soda and Coffee). Caffeine could be considered a natural upper, but I, personally, don't think it is good to give yourself an "up" off of chemicals no matter how natural.

If you are depressed, find out the cause and fix it.
If you are tired, take a nap or go to bed earlier (though occasional circumstances may necessitate the use of caffeine as an upper. As long as it isn’t a regular means of functioning it won’t hurt you).

As I have said, Americans tend to be sleep deprived as much as they are dehydrated. We compensate for it by drinking drugs to keep us going. Keeping yourself going by using chemicals will wear your body out faster; make your brain not function right, and cause major health problems down the road. It is much better to listen to your body and do what it is telling you it needs. If you are tired, then sleep. If you are thirsty, then get a glass of water and drink it.

Black tea (which boosts the immune system and heart function) is what you get when you ferment, oxidize and cook the Camellia leaves.

Green tea (which helps hypertension, and possibly bone health) is unprocessed.

Herbal teas are teas made from any other plant.

Black and Green tea contain caffeine. Studies have shown that tea helps to burn fat faster. They don’t yet know if it is a chemical reaction to caffeine combined with the catechin found in tea or just the catechin alone.

I also discovered that the drinking of green tea has been linked to higher rates of anti-oxidants (cancer fighters). Black tea (Lipton, instant teas, etc.) have some of the same benefits, but not in nearly the same amounts.

Again, choose tea over soda any day, as long as it isn’t those pre-made, over-fatted, over sugared types in the store. A tall glass of ice-tea on a hot summer day is just refreshing. Very nice.

Read the labels. A (very) few of the premade teas are actually just tea with a hint of sugar but most have way too much junk.

I have recently tried peppermint tea for the first time. This is made from peppermint leaves. That's it. It is very refreshing and aids digestion by calming the stomach and toning the muscles of the digestive tract. Have mild indigestion or just want a refreshing after dinner drink? Try peppermint tea.

Raspberry leaf tea (yes, that is the complete ingredient list) is a time honored (and pleasant) drink for women to use to strengthen their reproductive tracts. It can be taken at any time of life (puberty through menopause, pregnant, nursing, in between, etc.) and I have seen recommendations for doses from one to three cups per day. It will also pleasantly relieve upset tummies in children and men as well as provide many vitamins and minerals; enough to classify raspberry leaves as a food instead of a medicinal herb.

Chamomile tea is a time honored nerve relaxant, as well as a gentle treatment for the flu (think: strong and gentle as a mother).

Clove tea will help you sleep or relieve a toothache0.

Honey/Lemon tea (approximately 1 Tablespoon each to one cup of water and heat. Adjust for flavor) will sooth a sore throat. I could go on.

My advice would be to research thoroughly any tea you want to drink and make sure you are willing to risk any side effects.

As far as regular tea, again do some research and see if the benefits (many, including you just enjoy drinking) out weigh the detriments (some) to you. The answer to this will be different for different people.


“Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”  

“He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.”  

“Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” 

“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging.” Proverbs 23:29-34

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.”  

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.”  

(God made) “wine to make them glad, olive oil to soothe their skin, and bread to give them strength.” Psalms 104:15

The claim is that alcohol consumed in moderate quantities (1-3 drinks per day. A drink is a twelve ounce can or bottle of beer, a five ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor [either straight or in a mixed drink]) lowers your risk of many, many diseases. I question much of this. Solomon certainly didn't seem to think alcohol was usually a good thing, though the Bible as a whole is not dogmatic.

Many of the studies showing benefits were very poorly done, making them unreliable. Those who don't drink are often ex-alcoholics (who suffer from very poor health), or are abstaining because they are taking medicine for other conditions (not exactly a reliable "abstainer" group to compare health with). Alcoholics are often heavy smoking, non-exercising, non-religious (bad for your physical health), bad eating individuals, and many ex-drinkers only change the drinking part of their life style. So lumping ex-drinkers in with life long abstainers will certainly make not-drinking look very unhealthy, even when it's not.

Many point out that the French have the highest consumption of alcohol per person and the second lowest rate of heart disease (after Japan). But there are many variables here. Among those countries studied, France has the highest per capita wine consumption (wine is relatively low in alcohol and high in vitamins), high vegetable consumption and moderate consumption of bad fats. In other words, the French eat so well the alcohol probably has nothing to do with their lower rates of heart disease.

A recent study carefully distinguished between former drinkers and long-term abstainers. Using this distinction, the supposed health benefits for light drinkers over long-term abstainers were disproven for both men and women. When they factored out the ex-drunks, those that never drank at all were healthier than those that drank a little.

An unborn baby can easily be damaged by mommy drinking alcohol. Brain damage, facial disfigurement, growth retardation, and overall reduced brain size often occurs.

Serotonin (the anti- depression chemical produced by the brain) is a factor for brain development. Serotonin is significantly decreased in a fetus exposed to ethanol. Pregnant women should not drink alcohol.

The cancer rate in alcoholics is ten times higher than that in the general population. Studies find a much lower incidence of cancer among groups (such as Mormons and Seventh-Day Adventists) who abstain from alcohol (though non-smoking is certainly a factor, too, and both groups forbid smoking).

Even one drink per day is associated with a 9% increase in breast cancer; four drinks with a 21% increased risk of prostate cancer. Nearly half of all cancers in the mouth and throat have been attributed to alcohol.

Too much alcohol can suppress the immune system, leading to increased susceptibility to infections.

Alcohol is addictive. You need more and more of it to get the same effect and need that "hit" more often. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include tremors, anxiety, variations in body temperature and potentially fatal convulsions. Reread the verses from Proverbs above.

Alcohol has seven calories per gram. That is three more calories per gram than protein (milk) or carbohydrates (juice or even soda). There is a reason it is called a "beer belly."

There is a correlation between alcohol consumption and early death. Accidents are the biggest cause of death before age sixty and alcohol is the biggest cause of accidents. Drunk driving is the biggest cause of car accident deaths, accounting for a full one third. And half of the car deaths in the 25-29 year age group are from alcohol. My hubby’s own parents were killed by a 22 year old drunk driver.

32% of fatal falls, 42% of fatal fires/burns, 34% of fatal drownings, 29% of fatal poisonings, 32% of homicide victims and 23% of suicide victims are due to someone being drunk.

And intoxication is at least, if not entirely, the cause of more than half of all cases of domestic violence.

In other words, alcohol makes you stupid.

Why did Paul, then, tell Timothy to "Take a little wine for thy stomach's sake?" My research says that the wine drunk during the time of the Roman Empire was the same as if you took today's wine and watered it down half and half with water, somewhere around the alcohol content of a wine cooler. So, for starters, they didn't get ethanol in the same amount. The naturally dehydrating part of alcohol is counteracted by the extra water, better flushing toxins from your system.

Secondly, they didn't have the modern water systems we have. Likely, Timothy was suffering from dysentery, a disease often carried by contaminated drinking-water. The alcohol in the low-alcohol wine they commonly drank would have killed the dysentery bacteria as well as other harmful bacteria. We add chlorine to our water for the same purpose. You know, I'm not really sure that's healthier.

Why did Jesus make wine out of water at the wedding in Canaan? There are some benefits to wine.

It is made of grape juice and is high in the same good antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that grape juice is high in (though a hand full of berries has even more of these same benefits).

In small amounts, it does improve the mood in most people, thus increasing the enjoyment of such a celebration as a wedding.

I don't think there is anything wrong with this (isn't it nice of me to not think Jesus did anything wrong?) An occasional drink for celebration purposes won’t hurt anything.

The problem is that in American society, we rely on alcohol to help us feel good, to forget our problems and make us relax. We use it like a drug, not like a party favor.

Solomon said to give drink to those who are in great pain or dying. Do you fit that category? If you do, you need to do something to fix your pain.

Physical pain can't always be cured in this life. I see no problem with using what you need to help you function (this would include, by the way, medical Marijuana. See below). Take comfort that there is coming a day when you won't hurt anymore if you have Jesus in your heart. If you don't, ask Him into your heart now or, well, get used to the pain. It will only get worse.

God has a purpose for everything He created, including alcohol. It is good as a disinfectant, pain killer and the occasional party treat. But just like everything else, it can cause great damage when used wrongly. I don't use it at all (except as a disinfectant and base for herbal medications).

When anything begins to smell like that in my refrigerator, I throw it away. I simply never learned to like the flavor.


MJ is not a drink, but I thought this the best place to include it, next to alcohol.

Medically speaking, MJ is a all-natural pain killer and relaxant. Many, many people find they can use it instead of expensive, little white pills invented by human beings to relieve their pain. And since MJ was invented by God it is hard to argue that it is more moral to force people to use pills.

Man made pain killers often destroy the liver, causing more problems for the taker in the long run. MJ is much gentler with fewer side affects. Make no mistake, MJ does have side affects (it's high in estrogen, for example, causing the problems any phyto-estrogen causes), but all in all, it is much safer than alternatives man has come up with.

Recreatinally, I find it a bit hypocritical for our society to have alcohol legal while outlawing MJ. Their social side affects are similar. In fact, I would rather a person wanting to get high smoke a joint, eat a box of cookies, and take a nap, than drink a case of beer and go find someone to fight with. Too many people have violent reactions to alcohol, especially high amounts of it. Given the choice, I'd rather they used MJ.

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