Top 7 Ways to Hydrate
Keeping ourselves hydrated is vitally important to our health, wellbeing and to staying young and beautiful. You could be chronically dehydrated and not even know it. Some signs to watch out for are:
● Thirst, Dry mouth and Skin
● Yellow and dark urine
● Muscle Cramps
● Tiredness, depression and irritability
● Inflammation and joint pain
Here are some of my Top 7 Ways to make sure you get yourself back on track and stay hydrated and healthy.
1. High Quality Water
We have all heard of the importance of drinking water but you may not have given much thought to the type of water you drink. The truth is the quality of the water we drink, just like the food we eat, can vary in its nutrient profile and toxic load.
Is there water that is more hydrating than other water?
Yes, there is. The difference between spring water and let's say tap water is quite simple. The molecular structure of the water in spring water is naturally clustered making it more absorbable and hydrating to the body. This is why sometimes you can drink and drink tap water and still feel thirsty while constantly running to the bathroom.
Tap water is problematic because the contaminants are filtered out and zapped with UV light to kill bacteria, which also removes alkalinizing minerals - leaving behind acidic water that can inflame the body.
Destructured water that has had minerals removed also acts as an anti-nutrient in the body. What that means is that drinking mineral-less tap water can actually leach minerals from your body and out through urine, instead of depositing vital health promoting minerals in your body.
So where do you find good quality water? You can check out local springs on www.findaspring.com or more practically speaking, you can take large bottles of water to a health food store and fill them up, buy spring water in glass bottles or invest in an in-house filtration system.
So how much water do you need to drink everyday? Ideally, people should have half an ounce of water per pound of body weight at least per day. There are 33 ounces in a liter so if you weigh 135 pounds you would need to drink about two liters per day
Side note- Can you drink too much water? The simple answer is yes. You can do too much of anything in life, even good things. Drinking too much water can lead to you flushing minerals out of your body and weakening your digestion so drink in small amounts throughout the day and give your body the chance to absorb it and hydrate properly.
2. Coconut Water
Coconut water is that is raw and unpasteurized is an excellent source of hydration. If you drink processed coconut water, it may contain added sugar and little nutrient content. Raw coconut water straight from a young green coconut or from brands like "Harmless Harvest", found in Wholefoods, are more pricey but so worth the investment. Coconut water is very hydrating, easily absorbed, nutrient and mineral rich (adding a good source of potassium and other nutrients to your diet.) Personally I love the way coconut water makes me feel and can't live without it!
3. Raw Fruits and Veggies
Processed dry diets lead to dehydration. This is a big wake up call for people. That means pastas, pizzas, cereals, breads and desserts. If you are eating foods with long ingredient lists on a regular basis chances are you are already chronically dehydrated. The lack of living, raw, hydrating foods in our bodies not only dehydrates us but radically increases our susceptibility to illness.
Live fruits and veggies that are uncooked have water in them that will stay in your body longer and hydrate you. They are enclosed in the cell walls of the plants and will not be flushed out as quickly as drinking water. It is absolutely essential to eat organic plants that have a high water content to stay hydrated. Cucumbers, celery, watermelon, pineapple and oranges are examples of vegetables with a high water content.
Juiced plants or cold pressed plants are a great source of water and nutrients. It’s a waste of time to drink pasteurized juices because the nutrients have been zapped in the heating process and usually sugar and additives are preserving the color and flavor of the beverage to trick your taste buds. Don’t fall for juices that claim health benefits if they are pasteurized. You will just be consuming a lot of processed sugar that will actually dehydrate you because sugar is a diuretic which increases urination and water loss.
Try to combine greens like celery, cucumber and kale into your juices. Anything sweet will mask the ‘green’ flavor. If you only drink plants that have a high sugar content like beets, carrots, citrus, apples etc, you will miss the alkalizing effects of the green plants. The darker the greens, the more nutrient dense they are and the less hunger signals will be sent to your brain.
Some people are concerned about the sugar content of juices because the fiber is removed in the juicing process. Smoothies are a great alternative or addition to juicing, although both are great options. Check out recipes for hydrating smoothies and start to incorporate them into your weekly nutrition plan.
Side note- It’s best to use natural spring water to blend your smoothies instead of processed beverages that contain ingredients such as guar gum, carrageenan, and lecithin.
6. Natural Homemade Electrolyte Drink
Have you thought of making your own gatorade at home and avoid the chemical and sugar laden store bought Gatorades? Unfortunately sugary sports drinks only offer temporary relief from thirst and can still cause muscle cramping and migraines. As mentioned before, processed sugar increases urination. Additionally, it causes adrenal inflammation which is problematic because adrenals regulate hydration in the body as well as chemical compounds related to stress and energy levels. Messing up the delicate hormonal balance of the body with refined sugars can also lead to unwanted weight gain.
You can add lime or lemon or infuse water with your favorite fruit by chopping the fruit (after washing it) and leaving it in the water overnight.
DIY Natural Gatorade Recipe: To a liter of water add: 1 cup coconut water, a pinch (¼ to ½ a teaspoon) of high quality mineral dense salt like Celtic Salt or Pink Himalayan salt, 1/2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp mineral rich raw honey or maple syrup.
7. Aloe Vera
If coconut water has been the rage for a while I am pretty sure Aloe vera will be next as the popular hydrator.
ALoe vera is a superfood and a very hydrating pulp that can be enjoyed by itself or in a smoothie (this helps with the taste). It is great for your skin and the jelly like pulp holds water in your body as it digests. Many people swear by the many digestive and health benefits of aloe vera. Again, try to get fresh aloe vera stems or unpasteurized juices so you get the full nutrient spectrum of the plant and don’t waste your money. You’ll find the unpasteurized plant juices have a better flavor anyway.