Short Order: Let's drink to more water consumption

Even mild dehydration can slow down one's metabolism by as much as 3 percent.

mineral water 88 (photo credit: )
mineral water 88
(photo credit: )
I often see Post Archives director Elaine Moshe, teacup in one hand, water bottle in the other, hurrying back and forth between her office and the staff kitchen. "You're in no danger of dehydration," I told her, approvingly. "I realized that I don't drink enough at home," she explained, "so I try to make up for it at work." This exchange coincided with an item in the June 6 edition of In Jerusalem that interested me very much. It was a compilation of statistics from studies in the US (cited without attribution) and circulated on the Internet. "Are you and your children drinking the amount of water you should every day?" it began. Now material on the Web needs to be approached with care, especially when it's health-related, and the recommended daily amount of water varies depending on the work one does and the amount of physical exercise one gets (something the item didn't relate to). But I found a number of its points fascinating: • Even mild dehydration can slow down one's metabolism by as much as 3 percent. • 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 a printed page. • Lack of water is a major trigger of daytime fatigue. • One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of dieters studied in a University of Washington study. • Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could ease back and joint pains. I hadn't been drinking a great deal of water, and decided to increase my intake dramatically to see what happened. I drank whenever I remembered, and also had a glass of water prior to making any hot drink. After only a short time, I noticed that I could get through the working day without feeling the drowsiness that used to kick in during the early afternoon. I also suffer from joint problems and found improvement there, too. Over 50% of the body is made up of water, and it is constantly getting depleted, particularly in hot climates. When someone gets seriously dehydrated, a number of symptoms make themselves unpleasantly felt, often leading to hospitalization and an IV. But there could well be a "grey area" in which many people - and I may have been one of them - aren't sufficiently water-deprived to feel ill, but, on the other hand, don't function as well as they might. The point is that drinking more water is a win-win situation. So why not do it? Water, anyone? Let's drink a lemayim. I HAVE two excuses for repeating this recipe: 1. It is terrific in hot weather; and 2. I made it last week using Brazil nuts instead of almonds, and it was wonderful. Make it as smooth or chunky, as thick or thin as you please. It's virtually a meal in a bowl. GAZPACHO TO DIE FOR 1 800-gr. can of tomatoes handful of almonds, roughly chopped water 1-2 slices of bread 2-3 large cucumbers, peeled, in chunks 1-2 peppers, roughly cut 1 medium onion, quartered 2-3 cloves of garlic 1⁄2 cup olive oil juice of 1⁄2 lemon 1 short "pour" of citrus vinegar dash of soy sauce (optional) 1⁄4 tsp. salt 10 grinds black pepper Process the almonds with the tomatoes in a food processor, followed by the other ingredients. Adjust the seasoning if needed, and add more water, or lemon juice, as you like. Garnish with finely diced cucumber. A CLOSE friend of mine, let's call her Sandy, has a predilection - one might almost say compulsion - to see double when she's clothes shopping. Tempted by a dress or top, she'll invariably picture it with a different neckline or longer sleeves and, if the price is attractive, buy two exactly the same - one for dismembering so the other can be enhanced. Next day, she'll take them along to her dressmaker and realize her vision. "This is an interesting approach," I teased her, "one for the price of two." She laughed, but remains unrepentant. And why not? It makes her happy and certainly doesn't displease the store owner, or the dressmaker. Recently I found myself unwittingly imitating Sandy's technique - but getting no pleasure from it at all. I spotted some fairly inexpensive salmon steaks at the supermarket and bought them for supper, only to find them so "fishy" and unappetizing, even after being baked, that I elected to throw them away rather than serve them up. Next day, I got more salmon from elsewhere, dearer and of far better quality. "One for the price of two?" enquired Sandy, innocently.