Let me introduce myself. I’m what some might refer to as a molecule of water. I prefer to think of myself as a massive, unfulfilled storehouse of potential energy (I’m not given to grandiosity!). I lie around a lot, dreaming of making it big – thinking about all the fabulous reactions I could cause inside a body (frankly, I’ll take any body at this point, though my preference is for one of those standy-up, 2-legged/2-armed jobbies that call themselves human).
Ah, just imagine… I’m in a bottle with my mates (not one of those nasty plastic numbers that leach chemicals, but a classy glass or stainless steel receptical that can be cleaned and reused for years and years). My human (pardon my familiarity, but she’s the one carrying me around) has just finished her morning gym session and is tres thirsty. Bottle to the lips; down the hatch we go, and I can hardly contain myself as we’re launched upon our exciting journey.
Being a very clued-up human she’s been eating natural, unprocessed sea or rock salt regularly. This stuff’s fantastic. It acts like a sponge – every molecule grabs hold of a number of us water babes (I’m here with Gregory, Linda and Maxine) and creates a little sodium pool which sits outside of her cells. Sodium’s important for maintaining blood pressure and for normal nerve and muscle function. She’s a serious smartie, ‘cos she’s also been eating lots of veg which helps to keep her potassium levels high (potassium helps your heart beat). This means she’s been able to keep a little pool of water inside the cells too, creating a balance between the inside and the outside and keeping the cells hydrated. To be technical, sodium is pumped out of the cells, and potassium into the cells, creating an electrical charge, allowing the transmission of impulses along nerves. This pump action is also necessary for muscles to contract.
Oooh – this is so thrilling; I’ve just passed through a membrane to become part of the cellular pool! I’m going to play a starring role in my human’s state of health. You know how they say you shouldn’t use a hairdryer while you’re in the bath? That’s because wet ‘mollies’ like us are shockingly conductive – we pass electricity along faster than Flash Gordon can save the world. Since you humans are electric (did you know you had your own direct current?), you need a babe like me to be able to pass signals on to other important bits in the cell. The more of us, the better the signal.
Even at rest, you’ve got billions of biochemical reactions taking place every second you’re alive and ALL of them require us water babes to function properly. Imagine what happens when you don’t drink enough of us? Think grapes left in the sun too long … raisins dude, raisins!
Just so you can’t claim that no-one told you (sorry), here are some other spectacular things us water guys and babes do: we take out the body’s trash, we get between the joints and make like grease and we we unblock the sewerage works (I last saw Maxine passing into the colon, poor thing). We prevent your arteries getting clogged (reducing your chances of strokes and heart attacks); play a vital role in both your heating and cooling mechanism, and in the production of neurotransmitters and hormones. Oh, and listen – dehydration prevents sex hormone production and is one of the primary causes of impotence and loss of libido. So don’t get caught with your pants down … drink more water.
Yawn. Ah, back to reality. Here I am, bottled (in plastic, nogal), on the shelf and waiting for the next gym bunny to choose my bottle of water over everyone else’s. Oh look, here comes someone now … will she choose me? JOY! She did! Oooooh, I’m so excited. She’s opening the bottle; she’s taking a sip. Aweso..