Something you might notice if you spend enough time on this site (and come on, why wouldn’t you?) is that RAS and canker sores are a systemic condition, one that is tied closely to your overall health. So from time to time I might take a break from waxing poetically about the plagues and pleasures of our little mouth demons and talk about overall health issues.
So here goes.
DRINK. YOUR. WATER.
There is no single action that you can take for your health and well being that is more simple and powerful than this one. Drink water.
That’s it. Not 8 glasses a day, or a percentage of your body weight or your body mass times the square of the root of the metabolic synthesis factor blah blah blah… Just drink water. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
There are people in my family and friends who I love and admire beyond words who tell me that they simply never drink water, just a steady diet of sodas and energy drinks. It’s so hard for me to not slap them repeatedly with a porcupine pelt.
How exactly otherwise smart and far-sighted people can do something so… dumb and short-sighted… will forever be beyond my understanding.
I’m not going to sit here and point out all the health benefits of cutting back on soda and drinking more water. That kind of statistics and number-crunching rarely actually causes anyone to change. And besides, there are plenty of other places where you can learn about the benefits of water. Like here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here…
No, I’m not going to talk about all that. I’m just going to say this…
If you’re one of those people who drinks nothing but soda, just stop for a second and consider the following:
What would you think of someone who ate nothing but candy? Irresponsible? Immature? So what do you think you’re pouring down your gullet all day long? Soda is liquid candy. It has no more health benefits to your body – especially the diet sodas with the artificial sweeteners – than candy. And like candy, it’s okay to drink one every now and then, but a steady diet of the stuff is ruinous to your health. Just as it’s necessary to fill your food diet with primarily nutritious food, your liquid diet should be mostly water.
It’s what a 5-year old would do. Left to his own pre-kindergarten devices, a child would live off of candy and sugary soda. Just watch the movie Big for definitive proof. You can’t blame a 5-year old for that kind of choice because they don’t know any better. They don’t understand consequences, they can’t educate themselves, and they don’t have control over their impulses. You’re not 5 years old. If you’re old enough to drive, you’re old enough to understand consequences, can educate yourself, and should be able to think beyond the pleasure centers of your brain. To put it bluntly, grow up.
Would you feed your dog nothing but soda? Even caffeine-free soda. What would you think of someone who fed their dog soda instead of water? If you’re an average person, you’d want to report them to Animal Control. It’s cruel. Inhumane, even. So what makes you think it’s okay for you to do it? (hint: It’s not. At all.)
We are made to drink water. Did you see that Discovery Channel show where they discussed the evolution of mankind and they talked about how for 99% of human evolution the world was covered with Dr. Pepper, and that mankind evolved to drink nothing but soda? Yeah, I missed that, too. We were not made to live off of syrup and carbonation. Other things we evolved not to do: Drink arsenic, hang upside down all day, and impale ourselves with javelins. Would you do those other things just because it tasted good?
If you don’t make yourself drink water, your kidneys will. Let’s face it, we take a lot of crap into our bodies on a daily basis. It’s unavoidable, and our food isn’t getting any healthier. You know what happens when you don’t flush all that processed food and salt out of your body? It collects in your kidneys. As someone who had a kidney stone a year ago, trust me, that’s not something you want (unless you are the type that enjoys the feeling of being punched in the lumbar region by Ivan Drago – a thousand times a second for four hours). And flushing out all that crap with more crap isn’t the answer. Take it from personal experience, drink water and clear your pee before you get to know the joy of having a 2-foot stent pulled out of your urethra by a nurse named Louise who is ambivalent to your pain.
Needless to say, the above experience changed the way I put fluids into my body forever. These days, I drink nothing but water (with some coffee and tea thrown in) all day long during the week, and allow myself as much soda as I want on weekends. And here’s what I can tell you: It’s so much better this way. I don’t miss it at all during the week and you know what? It tastes a thousand times better when I have it. It makes the weekends that much nicer. And something else? I don’t want it as much. Often times, I don’t even finish one bottle. Just a little bit is all I need. I enjoy it more, and it’s a nice treat at the end of a long week.
I’m not going to say it’s easy, it’s not. Especially if you drink it all the time right now, your body will have a hell of an adjustment to go through. But it’s worth it. In a million ways, it’s worth it. And the withdrawal passes quickly, probably in less than a week. You’ll get used to it and then you won’t want it any other way. And you’ll feel so much better.
Healthy habits tend to do that.