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What´s up with water: Pouring water into your corporate strategy (XI) Water beyond your skin.

A wonderful month of June has begun again. It is my birthday month. It always rains!

I truly hope you had the chance to read your assignment about inland and coastal water systems. As you already comprehend, sometimes I can´t offer you a summary of the readings that I visit for our publications. It is up to each of us to learn more in each episode. We dedicate our time to strategic reflections, but the more you read the better for us. The process of learning about how to do strategic reflections requires a lot of reading, and I wish to encourage you to do the same.

Today we will land on a new scheme: We will develop the subject of “water beyond our skin”. We have tried to cover the summary of our message in the slides. Please take notice, and print them if you can by clicking the download button below.

Why are we water? To prepare our material, I crossed my research with a Ph.D. thesis by ZiMian Wang (1). In 1997, this publication enlightened the conceptual framework of the human model composition models and its methodology, theory, and experiment.  What fascinated me when I was reading this document, was the multidimensional approach to defining the body components in 5 levels of acquaintance. From this thesis, we also can verify that the modern study of human body composition is very recent. Justus von Liebig (1803 – 1873), was the first chemical scientist who first found that many substances in food were also present in the human body.

Liebig took several years of his life to prove that we are what we eat. So let´s think a bit about Liebig’s legacy.  According to Wang, we can understand our body composition on 5 levels (see slide number 4): atomic, molecular, cellular, tissue systems, and the whole body per se. All these levels are interrelated in between, but for this publication, we will pick the molecular and atomic levels to proceed further.

Beyond our skin, humans are 60% water. Beyond our skin, humans are 60% water (on average) Our water is located in intracellular and extracellular manners. This also confirms that many of our organs are mainly water. For example, the brain is around 73% water (it can vary according to your age, sex, and lifestyle): but mainly, other organs hold massive amounts of water, such as the heart (73%), lungs (82%), kidneys (79%), muscles (79%), bones (31%), etc. In consequence, if humans’ composition is mainly water, that also means that we hold oxygen running from top to bottom, and bottom to top in our blood and organs. The rest of the components of our body are lipids, proteins, and minerals.

If you see with careful detail (slides 4, 5, and 10), there is a correlation between our human molecular composition and the food intake (including water) that we require.

Slide 4 of our material today.

Human essential nutrients keep on what our body components are. Our essential nutrients are classified as follows:

  1. Energy nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, proteins
  2. Water
  3. Vitamins: (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K)
  4. Minerals: calcium, chloride, magnesium phosphorous, potassium, sodium, sulfur, selenium, zinc, chromium, copper, fluoride, iodide, iron, manganese, and molybdenum.

From the material above, we can infer, that our body is mainly the same as our essential nutrients. Carbohydrates definition comprise carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, which are found exclusively in plant foods and milk. Simple carbohydrates are found in fruit, vegetables, milk, and sweeteners. Complex carbohydrates are starches found in veggies, fruits, and cereal grains. Fiber is another complex carbohydrate. Regardless of how our body digests the sugars and starches into glucose; what matters now is to understand that carbohydrates are converted into oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen; which are the components of our body from the point of view of the atomic level.

Another essential nutrient required by humans is fats, which are also composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Fats are also the lipids that you see in the molecular view of our human body components (slide 4).

Proteins are encountered in both animal and plant foods. They differ from carbohydrates and fats in that they contain nitrogen as well as carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Proteins are necessary for manufacturing, maintaining, and repairing our body tissues. Proteins regulate the balance of water, acids, and bases, moving nutrients in and out of cells. Proteins also contribute to the immune system by producing antibodies and enzymes needed in our body processes. Again, if you watch the molecular level composition of our body, we also have 15% of our body weight in proteins (slide 5).

We also have mentioned that water is also included in our essential nutrients, and correlatedly water is one of our main components from the molecular point of view (60% of our body weight). The majority of fruits and veggies are packed with water.

Water is all around us. In everything we do. Illustrative and non-commercial image. Photo Source: Microsoft Office Library.

Our vitamins and minerals come in good food. Basically, all food comes with some vitamins, but the concentration of the vitamin in each food depends very much on the process of manufacturing it: the plant or animal´s feed, the water for irrigation, how the produce is harvested, stored, handled, or processed; even the type of soil, sunlight, rainfall, and temperature have significant effects on a food´s vitamin content. For example, tomatoes show a higher concentration of vitamin C when picked ripe from the vine than when picked green. Some farmers know that it is silly to force nature to ripen, and we have to wait until the correct time for harvest, otherwise, we kill the vitamins. Minerals that are critical in hard and soft tissues and regulate body functions and nervous cycles.

A parallel between our food/water intake and our body components.  We have shown you the parallel between our food/water (essential nutrients) and our body components. So when we reassure you that we are water, and that “we are what we eat”, this phrase means that literally, all the body components’ needs and wants are located in our meals. Going deeply into this assertion, from the total 100% of all our daily meals, we must supply edibles and liquids (including water) to our body at that 60% or a bit more. We also shouldn´t eat more than 15% of our daily diet represented in proteins (fish, poultry, eggs, etc). Look at the Harvard Medical School advice.

Our meals represent our source of inner health. Water is in everything we eat. Illustrative and non-commercial image.

If we consume bad food, we will have bad body components. If we consume good or excellent quality food, we will reap good/excellent body components.  If we drink good water, we will maintain fine body components. Since water is directly related to the production of all our food, if our water is inadequate, polluted, or with contaminants (chemical, pathogens, petroleum, artificial fertilizers, pesticides, organic waste, etc.); please let´s not ignore that all our food will be poisoned from inside out.

The latter affirmation applies not only to high in water food such as tomatoes, oranges, watermelon, or lettuce. Even dried, fruits, nuts or seeds have a bit of water and have been manufactured with water.  Now, let´s go to the source of our saga: water. Suppose we ingest contaminated water or water that has been demineralized in excess. In that case, when we drink between 8 to 10 glasses of water per day (or 2 liters), we are also ingesting pollutants beyond our skin. By drinking putrid water, we are also polluting our body components too.

Most of us take water for granted, even in our bodies. If humans are poisoning the water that falls with the rain, then we are also corrupting all our food. When humans utilize chemicals or pesticides in agriculture, we are also deteriorating our food, including all the resources of the water cycle. When humans irrigate plantations with spoiled water, we are also poisoning our food. When humans don´t privilege organic production, we are sacrificing our health. Since the global water cycle is being degraded with the pollution that goes out from our businesses and domestic irresponsibility; then be sure that whatever happens on one side of the world, affects the other side. And our bodies are showing signs of all types of disorders and diseases, caused by what we eat and drink. Many syndromes and sicknesses are caused by the continuous ingestion of poisoned food, and unsanitary water, without knowing.  Climate change has come to exacerbate this situation more because as you already learned, the water cycle (in between other cycles) is being affected directly by climate change.

Let´s stop here. In our next post, we will continue describing what is the meaning of acceptable water for our well-being.  Our next subject: Water for human consumption. Now we will continue with our musical component.

Strategic Music Section:

Why did we choose Nicola Benedetti? We found Ms. Benedetti because I wanted to listen to a virtuoso that could interpret Bach with a sublime style. She did it for my ears. “Nicola plays the Gariel Stradivarius (1717), a 305 years old violin, courtesy of Jonathan Moulds”. Nicola´s biography is full of notable experiences: . Nevertheless, we selected her, because of the daring potential that she represents for the youngsters who need to see classical violinists near them, and not far away. Our youth needs to acknowledge and realize how pretty and comfortable is good classical music, interpreted in solos, chamber, and symphonic orchestras with virtuoso violinists. Schools play a crucial role to provoke the journey to good taste in classical music. Music teachers in schools are crucial for our musical future. If schools have music classes, led by music professors that open the doors to instruments, classical music begins to be treasured. In addition, the loveliness of Nicola´s artwork is directly related to the number of hours that she practices per day.  We read that she spends between 3 to 7.5 hours a day exercising her talent. This is key for all of us. The beauty of our results (in any discipline or art) can only be attained when we practice hard, with difficult pieces, and repeatedly. And this practice in violinists such as Nicola implies searching for demanding oeuvres that are founded in the past. I imagine that some days Nicola has magnificent rehearsals and practices, and some days she doesn´t. But that is how we prepare ourselves better. When we drill in our ritual routines, the habit of repeating them makes us masters. Humans can´t fly higher if they don´t practice with arduous challenges. Nicola is an example of it. Cheers!

Songs of today belong to David Garrett. We have chosen two songs from him today: The first one is “Paganini Caprice Nº 24”. The second one is “Viva la Vida”. We will tell you why did we choose him today in our next publication. Enjoy the music!

See you next Friday, with the 12th episode of “What´s up with water: Pouring water in your corporate strategy: Water for human consumption. Thank you for reading to me.

“Violin Maya”. An aquarelle exercise by Eleonora Escalante 2019. I started to paint this artwork in Starbucks Los Proceres, San Salvador. Montval 300GSM watercolor paper. Size: 48 cm x 68 cm

Sources of Reference utilized to prepare the slides and the material above:

(1). Wang ZM, Pierson RN Jr, Heymsfield SB. The five-level model: a new approach to organizing body-composition research. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992





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