Hydration requirements (the best water and survival tips) to sustain life used to only be the conversation of the science of war. As the world falls apart, this is becoming a topic we need to consider as a matter of survival. There are a lot of varying opinions on salt intake. There are numerous papers on hydration. Yet, most are flawed. This can be seen by considering them with common sense. Does a 4'9 person need the same hydration as a 6'2 person?
It's Not Just for Thirst Aid It's Essential for First Aid
Even more importantly, water is key to first aid for over 76 different diseases and conditions. Research shows it can help with things like tooth aches, headaches and at the other end of the health spectrum, research is now demonstrating what Dr. Batman wrote about decades ago...water and salt play a role in helping end asthma and even diabetes. When you read this page, do not just think water as a thirst aid....think of it as first aid.
Much of the research on the topic of water and survival came from World War II as preparation for fighting in North Africa. The definition of dehydration is ubiquitous and on the web, often scientifically wrong. Technically, it is when we loose more than 1% of our body weight of water. When we loose over 10% of our body weight in water it can become fatal.
As a rule, we hold to the Dr. B theory that we need half our bodies weight in ounces of water. It is a good guide that accounts for various sizes of bodies. Women, often smaller than men, will obviously need less depending on weight. The more active we are, the more we need to drink. This recommendation is similar to medical practice of giving saline IV on entering the hospital. Go to the Water Cures Protocol.
Thus, we prefer to use the more accurate term, fluid and electrolyte imbalance. In survival mode, we are mostly concerned with the condition when we have less than bodies needs of both salt, potassium and drinkable water. Thus, there are a few modification to the protocol when considering water and survival.
It is essential when considering water and survival to understanding the human physiology when the body is in a state of drought (when there is no water to drink, intentional or unintentional) and needs when there is little water, and there is sufficient water and when dealing with extremes in temperature or conditions.
Websites report various amounts of water we need. One site recommended 19 liters (4 3/4 gallons of water (presumably it is in reference to running an marathon in a desert). Drinking 19 liters or 4.75 gallons (608 ounces) without appropriate electrolytes could cause serious health problems and even death. Again, it is very wrong and could make you sick.
The other end of the water and survival spectrum is the institute of medicine which has guidelines for men and women. For women, about 90 ounces or (2.5 liters). For men, 125 ounces or 3.7 liters. This theory assumes that about 25% of the water we need comes from the foods we eat.
Depending on your diet, about 25% of the water you consume comes from your food.
The Water Cures Protocol is an intuitive, common sense approach to hydration that is very similar to what doctors do with their patients on entering the hospital. It is the oral version of a saline IV. These are the same doctors who say not to eat salt. The primary difference, aside from being oral, it has you take less salt than you would get under hospital care.
Before showing the problems with the above information, consider this, it bears repeating. Most sites will say to avoid salt. What is the first thing most people get when they enter the hospital system? An IV of normal saline. This is basically salt water only with refined salt, void of all minerals. In the case of dehydration, lactated ringers may be used. What about outside the hospital. Up until the 1960's, workers would take salt pills to help maintain hydration. Why? Salt helps your body get the water and hold on to it until it does its job.
Unprocessed sea salt has the ingredients of Lactated Ringers (only without the lactate) and over 80 other essential minerals. In the hospital, you could be getting over 4 to 5 teaspoons of salt during your visit. With the Water Cures Protocol, you will get far less.
There are a few problems with this recommendation also. Like the recommendation of 8 glasses a day, it lacks the science. We all need a basic amount of water, there is no question about that. However, we may need more water depending on what we are doing and the environmental factors that could cause increased water use by our bodies.
What the health recommendations or standard of required water consumption fail to address is body size and needs. Does a 4'6 inch man at 100 lbs need the same amount of water as a 6' 3, 300 lb man? Probably not.
Factors determining how much extra water are dependent of physical activity, air temperature, food consumption, disease you are currently experiencing and water consumption.
Water Cures Protocol: Hydration and Survival: is probably the best course of action. It allows your body to carry the water inside you and not on you. The salt and other minerals help the water to stay inside you longer than drinking water alone.
Our bodies have requirements for water based on activities we are doing. If we are playing sports, working hard, running or other wise exerting ourselves, we loose considerably more water than when sitting or just resting. The sweat we produce evaporates and accounts for 90% of our bodies cooling ability.
Likewise, when it is cold, we loose more water.
We loose 2 to 4 liters of water daily in low activity life. According to the U. S. Army survival manual, if we are in the wilderness, we need at least 6 liters (over 200 ounces) to survive. The manual does point to one little known fact. Water alone is a diuretic. In other-words, drinking water alone makes you loose water. This is why the water cures protocol, taking the raw or unprocessed salt, helps you need less water and keep the water you drink inside your body longer.
Food consumption can deplete you of water. Digestion requires hydration. If there is no water, it is best to not eat or eat as little as possible until water becomes available. We can go for weeks with little or no food. With activity, we can only go a few days without water. Patients on Hospice who are dying have lasted up to seven days without water, but they are totally inactive, usually semi-comatose.
Some suggest that not eating is starving. This is not necessarily true. Everyone with reasonable health should try fasting for a day. It is a truly remarkable process. Having fasted for up to 21 days, the results can be incredible. For one, it helps reboot your immune system. Weight loss can be up to 2 lbs a day. And do not forget the mental clairity you will experience. Do some research on this topic on the web. Do it now before you have to and be prepared.
When we exhale, we loose moisture from our lungs. We loose about 1 to 2 liters from breathing alone.
If the air is hot and dry, we loose more water than when it is cool.
Both our urinary tract and our bowels are places where water from our body is lost.
To maintain our body temperature of 98.6 degrees (36.9 degrees Celsius) we need to replace at least the water we lost. A small person will loose the same proportion of water as a heavy person with one exception. Some conditions cause some to retain or loose more water than others.
Thus, according to the work of Dr. Batmangehlidgh, we need at least half our body weight in ounces of water.
If you weigh 100 pounds then you will need 50 ounces of water for the day of normal activities. This would be about about four 12-ounce glasses daily for a 100 lb person. A 200 lb person would need four 24 ounce glasses of water. Since most do not drink that much, were does the rest come from? From the food we eat.
Put another way, if you weigh 200 pounds, you will need a minimum of 100 ounces of water for the day of normal activities. This is slightly more than 3 quarts or slightly less than 3 liters. It ends up being 10-12 cups of water that you should drink ideally. If in hot conditions, working hard or other factors causing dehydration are present, you will need more. This is the baseline for water and hydration needs.
Again, since we often don't drink that much, our bodies are getting the needed water from the food we eat. Remember, even our gut needs water for the proper processing of food.
There are two aspects of the water cures protocol to consider.
In the event that there is plenty of drinkable water, then should you follow the water cures protocol completely, it will result in improved health, decreased appetite and maximize your satiation.
Even if you are not drinking the required amount of water now, once you do, your body will start moving towards its optimal functioning.
You will still follow the water cures protocol but the salt intake needs to be more accurately followed.
The electrolyte balance part of the process will help you to use less water, get the best benefit from the food and maximum potential from the water.
WARNING, Use this only in case of emergency. Do not use this if you have kidney disease or salt intolerance. Failure to drink could cause your kidneys to shut down and not restart.
When there is almost no water or very little water, one source recommends that you not drink at all for the first 24 hours*. This allows your body and especially your kidneys to reset. Think of it as rebooting the hydration systems of your body. Then ration the water to last the maximum time possible.(* Citation Needed)
Of course we are not recommending this. We do not have any scientific research yet on this. This is only a plan B if you have no options. File it away under water and survival in the recesses of your brain.
If you do have water available, as a simple rule, it is better to carry the water inside your body and not on your body. In the absence of adequate water, it is essential for regularity of hydration for maintaining kidney function.
We are continuously researching the answer to this.
What should we do if we are totally cut off from a normal water supply or the water available is not drinkable? The first consideration is whether you should try to move to safety or seek shelter in place and hope for a rescue.
When walking, under traditional thinking, we need 1 gallon of water for every night time 20 miles we walk. Daytime walking is 2 gallons for every 20 miles,
Without water, walking only at night time, you may be able to walk up to 25 miles before you collapse.
The decision is...would it better to walk 20 miles to safety or last 3 days longer seeking shelter in place?
There are a number of theories on how to consume water. One is to drink small amounts at regular intervals. This is believed to decrease sweating. The thinking is that sipping will reduce water loss through sweating. The problem with this thinking is that the little you drink will not be enough to fully hydrate your body. If possible, drink the full amount you reasonably can based on your body weight but not to exceed 32 ounces within 2 hours.
Aside from common sense, there is not a lot to know. The best thing to have in your go pack is a supply of unprocessed salt as part of your water and survival plan. Also some kind of water filter that will allow you to get drinkable clean water.