It’s a glorious, sunny day here in Arizona. But it’s dry. Always dry. As much as I dislike the humidity of the East Coast and the South, the dry cold (and heat) is a challenge for me as well. So as I write, I’m hydrating by drinking a huge breakfast smoothie made with lots of fruits, veggies, & coconut water.
Due to unfavorable experiences brought about by exercising in this climate, I have in recent years taken a deep dive into the science of hydration. During college, I read Dr. F. Batmanghelidj’s Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, and it made a lasting impression, with information on how chronic dehydration can result in high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pain, asthma, allergies, etc. However, since I hadn’t heard anything in the media or read other books supporting these ideas, I concluded that the body’s need for hydration couldn’t possibly be that critical. Otherwise, we’d all know about it. Right?
Wrong. Decades of studying human health has taught me that much of the information we most need is not very publicized or, if it does happen to make a media appearance, a campaign of propaganda is often initiated to cause us to believe otherwise. Many times this is done in the name of profit, and usually to the detriment of our health and environment. Or, the propaganda has been around for a lifetime and it’s really difficult to believe anything different. (Prime examples include the myths that we should all eat a high-protein diet and that dairy is essential for healthy teeth and bones.) Dehydration creates a great many problems in the human body, driving the need for pharmaceuticals, a trillion dollar industry.
You may have read other posts I’ve shared touching on why proper hydration is such a big deal. Our body is composed of more than 2/3 water. Each one of the mind-boggling number of cellular processes that occur within us requires water, according to Dr. Gerald Pollack, at the University of Washington’s Pollack Lab. Hydration influences our abilities to remember & feel energized, our cells’ capacity to clear debris vs. generate inflammation, and our power of creativity. (Check out my post Water: The Miraculous Molecule for more on these benefits.) It is essential for strong immunity, youthful aging, and proper cellular communication. It works to space blood cells, assisting with heart and kidney functions. It helps with elimination. And due to the fact that hydration helps the body run more efficiently, it also assists with weight loss.
Dr. Zach Bush, a triple board-certified physician, says that virtually all of us are chronically dehydrated. Pretty strong assertion, right? At his clinic in Virginia, he offers a device called a Phase Angle that measures the ability of cells to hold an electrical charge, which translates into an individual’s hydration level. Dr. Bush says typically, a patient’s results are less than 7 on a scale that tops out at 10, even those considered healthy. His cancer patients generally show a result of 4.5 or less, and those scoring nearer the 3.5 mark are usually close to death. And improvement is not something that happens quickly. A full year of committed lifestyle changes may increase your score by only 1/2 point. For me, this brings the importance of proper daily hydration to the forefront. Does it change your thinking?
My understanding of proper hydration has been broadened by listening to The Hydration Solution Summit from the Hydration Foundation and reading the book Quench: Beat Fatigue, Drop Weight, and Heal Your Body Through the New Science of Optimum Hydration coauthored by the podcast host, Gina Bria, and Dana Cohen, MD. Interestingly, Bria is an anthropologist who has studied desert dwellers to learn their hydration secrets. The lessons from the podcast and the book are most practical, like the fact that (most) fruits & some vegetables like celery & cucumbers are more hydrating than plain water; fresh lemon juice and/or Himalayan salt added to water mineralizes it, making it easier for our cells to absorb; and placing your water in a glass in direct sunlight supercharges it, upping its hydration capacity. The eight glasses of plain water a day that most of us believe we need is no longer the best recommendation, Bria says. This is due to decades of heavy chemical exposure and tap water being forced through less than ideal city water systems & home pipes.
Staying on top of your hydration needs is one of the best things you can do to assist your body with optimal function. If you’re suffering with health issues, there’s a good chance that getting and staying hydrated will help you feel better. You can’t always assume the media will share the health info that truly benefits you & your family. Don’t sell your health short: hydrate and thrive!
Blessings for Hydration,
The original version of this post, entitled Hydration – No Really, was my first-ever blog post on WordPress, back in March of 2020. Thank you for reading (and if you’re reading for a second time, thank you for sticking around!)
The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.