Yes, it's true. I no longer drink plain water... and yet I am the most hydrated that I've been in my life.
We have been told for years that in order to stay hydrated, you must drink 8 glasses of water a day. I myself am guilty of telling people to drink "one ounce of water for very 2 lbs. of body weight." Unfortunately, what you often aren't getting from this water is minerals!
Yes, you need water, but you also need all sorts of minerals. Your current water processing and filtering systems have probably stripped away most of those minerals from your water. Think about the fluids in your body. They aren't made up of straight H2O. You have a complex mixture of all sorts of minerals.
If you are drinking just plain water (especially if you have a lot of it), you can dilute those mineral-rich fluids in your body. This makes your kidneys work way harder than they need to, and you may find yourself running to the bathroom constantly to pee off all of that excess fluid.
This summer I started utilizing something called an Adrenal Cocktail. After running a Hair Trace Mineral Analysis (HTMA) test on myself, I found out that my potassium levels were incredibly low and was inspired to start utilizing adrenal cocktails.
There are several ways to make an Adrenal Cocktail, a mineral-rich drink that particularly focuses on supporting sodium and potassium levels. It also contains Vitamin C which helps in the utilization of these vitamins and provides bio-available copper.
My Adrenal Cocktail consists of:
- 1 Cup Coconut water
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 tsp salt
That's it! I mix it up in the morning and take it with me to work every day. I sip on it between breakfast & lunch and between lunch & dinner.
In addition to feeling like I am actually doing a better job of staying hydrated, I have also noticed improvement in my skin and my energy! Here are more Adrenal Cocktail Recipes.
What else do I drink? Gel Water
Another way to increase hydration in the body is through a substance called "Gel Water." In their book Quench, authors Cohen and Bria describe Gel Water, or living water, as a “newly identified phase of water that’s not quite liquid, vapor, or ice. (It is) identified by an extra hydrogen and oxygen atom, so the molecular structure is H3O2.”
Gel Water exists in plants and can be found in fruits, vegetables, & seeds. While ancient cultures didn’t know the chemistry behind this type of hydration, it was used to sustain them in very dry conditions where water was scarce. In fact, the Aztecs and Incas are thought to have often subsisted on only chia and cacti going weeks without water. The fact that these plant products are full of Gel Water is probably the reason they could survive in this way!
When I'm not drinking my Adrenal Cocktails, I make sure all of my water is some form of Gel Water. Most often, I add the juice of a lemon or lime to my water and sometimes add a little salt. Recently, I started adding Trace Mineral Drops to my water as well! I probably have between 2-6 cups of this each day depending on my thirst and how much I sweat. I use about 5 drops of trace minerals with each cup of water. Another awesomely hydrating form of Gel Water is Bone Broth! To get the wonderful benefits of broth in your life you can drink it plain or enjoy it in soups and stews.
I do drink 1-2 cups of coffee or tea most days but am intentional about pairing them with food. I do not have them on an empty stomach, so they don't impact my stress hormones as much as they would otherwise.
This is my favorite brand of trace minerals.
Quick Tips for Hydration
- Have an Adrenal Cocktail (or 3) each day.
- Start your day with 16 oz of gel water before you put anything else (including coffee) in your system.
- Encourage the production of gel water by adding citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, or limes to your water throughout the day.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Not only are they full of gel water, but they also contain naturally occurring electrolytes and are high in fiber which helps the body’s ability to absorb gel water.
- Drink and cook with bone broth. It is full of both collagen and gel water.
- Cook with coconut and ghee. Both are full of gel water and electrolytes.
- Try boosting the mineral content of your water by adding 1/16 teaspoon of table salt into every eight ounces of regular water you drink.
- Add Trace Mineral Drops to your water
How Do I know if I'm properly Hydrated?
There are a few signs you can look at to see if you are properly hydrated. First of all, the color of your urine is important. I recommend the goldilocks principle - not too light, but not too dark. While some people might aim for having super light almost clear pee, I think if your urine is too light you are likely drinking way too much plain water.
Another thing to pay attention to is how often you need to urinate. While there are lots of factors at play here (pregnancy, prostate size, etc.), once you start hydrating better, you often actually need to use the bathroom much less. Four to five trips to the bathroom per day can actually get to be pretty standard. Needing to wake up to use the bathroom at night can also be a sign that something with your hydration might be off. The woman that I learned about the Adrenal Cocktail from (who's lovely recipes you can find in the link above) even claims that she was able to go through her pregnancy without needed overnight trips to the bathroom by hydrating herself with Adrenal Cocktails.
The Benefits of Proper Hydration
You may know that hydration is important for digestion, energy levels, blood volume, and your skin, but did you also know that it is important for your mind? Without water you starve every cell in your body, preventing them from working at their best.
According to Dr. Hyman, “water is so essential for our brains that a loss of just 1-2% can significantly impact our cognitive function, making it harder to focus, concentrate, make decisions, or even connect with others.”
Prioritizing your hydration will help your body and mind to function more effectively. We could all use more energy and focus to get through the day. With these new tricks, you can get a handle on your body's hydration.
Is hydration a challenge for you? If so, I encourage you to try some of the suggestions listed above. You will feel better, and your body will thank you!