Water… we literally can’t live without it. But getting the most from the water you drink takes some effort. In this newsletter I'm sharing my best tips to help you enjoy the full benefit of drinking water.
If you find these suggestions a little overwhelming at first, remember that changing your approach to water has the potential to make you feel a whole lot better. Promise! So go at your own pace, be gentle with yourself, and remember... Baby steps!
Why is water so important to our health?
What happens when we don’t drink enough water?
Most of us don’t drink enough water. Instead we drink lots of other beverages, some of which may have health benefits, but many are not healthy at all. We also may not even notice we are thirsty because we don’t see the signs. Long before we are actually aware that we are thirsty, our body sends us messages that we need to hydrate. Here are a few examples:
Dehydration can be the cause of many health problems such as kidney stones, liver congestion, headaches, nausea, dizziness, dementia, urinary tract infections, constipation and other issues.
Here are some tips to getting the most out of drinking water:
Water is best drunk at room temperature or cool. Not too cold and not ice water because when the water is too cold it’s a shock to the system and your stomach has to bring the water up to body temperature, which takes away from the benefits of hydration and digestion. Chewing ice is also hard on your teeth.
Half of your weight in pounds a day is the guideline. Or just go with 8 glasses a day. If that seems unattainable to begin with, aim for six glasses and work your way up.
All day long! Don’t wait until you notice you are thirsty. Get in the habit of drinking water all day every day and you’ll notice a difference in your energy and alertness. Even if you don’t notice a major difference, your organs will thank you, especially your kidneys, which need water to do an adequate job of filtering toxins out of your body.
When do I NOT drink water?
During meals. That may sound counter-intuitive but drinking water while you eat reduces the digestive enzymes, which are needed for proper digestion. Ideally we should wait half an hour after eating to resume drinking water.
When is water not water?
Often we feel like we need to quench our thirst with soft drinks (including diet), iced tea, juice, beer and other beverages. But only water is truly hydrating. Caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and sugar, whether added or natural (as in juice), are notoriously dehydrating! So is medication, so if you are taking any drugs – recreational, pharmaceutical or over the counter, it’s especially important to drink water.
Drink a cup of warm/hot water with the juice of half or whole lemon first thing in the morning. After 8 hours of little to no water, your body really needs hydration. Warm lemon water is a simple, healthy way to start the day. And it has a number of benefits beside hydration: a vitamin C boost, waking up and flushing the liver, alkalizing and detoxifying the body, and boosting the brain.
Saturated salt solution, also known as sole (pronounced solay), is a true water enhancer. It is inexpensive, easy to make, and it does an excellent job of boosting your water’s health benefits. Saturated salt solution adds minerals and electrolytes to your water, and it helps the water we drink do a better job of hydrating our cells.
Here is the recipe:
SATURATED SALT SOLUTION
½ cup pure sea salt, ie pink Himalayan sea salt ( do not use iodized salt)
1 ½ cups good quality water ie Berkey filtered water or spring water from a spring. (Even though I tell you below not to buy bottled spring water, you can make an exception here if that’s the only option for you.)
Add ¼ teaspoon per 8 ounces of water. For convenience, I recommend putting some saturated salt solution in a dropper bottle and add one or two squirts per glass of water. The water will not have a salty flavor. Because sea salt is not processed and stripped of minerals, you do not need to worry about having too much salt in your system.
You can add some things to your water and it is still hydrating. Herbs like mint, lemon balm and basil add flavor. Cucumber and lemon also enhance flavor and add some nutritional benefits. Do not add “water enhancers” with additives like stevia, sugars, coloring and other artificial ingredients.
Is water quality important?
Water can and should be yummy and nourishing. You want to drink the best water possible but that can be a challenge. The good news is that whatever water you drink can be improved by saturated salt solution.
Any water is better than no water, but ideally:
Don’t drink tap water. Tap water contains chlorine and fluoride to start with. Arsenic is often found in tap water as well as lead and other heavy metals and neuro-toxins, along with endocrine disrupters, pesticides and antibiotics. Although tap water is better than no water, it does not do a good job of hydrating the cells.
Don’t buy bottled spring water. This is because it contains plastic which is bad for us, the bottles themselves are terrible for the environment and so-called spring water is not regulated so you really don’t know what you’re drinking. Often bottled “spring” water is really just tap water.
What is the best quality water?
The best water is from an actual spring. Springs are regulated and checked often for contaminants. And it’s free! For the best spring water in your area, check out this website: https://www.findaspring.com/.
If you can’t get to a spring, use a water filter. The best water filter is a Berkey. It’s not cheap but worth the money. After years of relying on cheap water filters, I finally made the investment in a Berkey and I really notice a difference in taste, as well as feeling much more nourished by the water I'm drinking. Click on this link to find out more: https://www.berkeyfilters.com/
There is a lot more learn about water quality. I have only touched on the subject. For a deeper dive (pun intended) into information on water filter and purifier options, click here: https://wellnessmama.com/8079/...
Your're probably wondering won't I have to pee all the time if I drink all this water? Maybe at first. But once your body adapts to more, good quality water, it will stop going through you and start nourishing every part of your body.
I’d love to know what you think. Are you getting the most out of the water you drink?