Hydrate to Heal & Thrive

Most Americans are deficient in the most important substance needed for their body to function, heal and thrive: water. More than 60% of the human body is water. It is the primary component in blood, lymph, digestive juices, urine, tears and sweat, and it is involved in just about every bodily function from circulation to digestion to nutrient absorption & detoxification. But most Americans just aren’t getting an adequate daily supply.

Without enough water our bodies struggle to perform critical functions. Dehydration can result in headaches, muscle aches, stiffness, high blood pressure, insulin issues, kidney stones, dry skin, dry brittle hair & nails, digestive distress, constipation, slowed brain function, impaired athletic performance and poor nutrient absorption. When symptoms like these creep up though, most people turn to over the counter or prescription medication instead of a possibly simpler answer: water.

We lose water constantly each day through our breath, sweat, tears, digestion and elimination and our bodies depend on us to replenish that lost water through food and drink. On average, we need about 12 new cups of water a day to be properly hydrated. While we can produce about a cup through different bodily processes, the rest needs to come from food and drink. If you consume a diverse whole foods diet rich in fruits, vegetables, wild fish and meet, you can get another 3-4 cups from the food alone. But that still leaves another 7-8 cups of water needed daily (and much more if you are not consuming a diverse diet) that most Americans just aren’t getting

There are a lot of opinions about exactly how much water we should consume each day. Here are a few guidelines that haven’t failed me yet:

  1. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of clean water

  2. For every cup of diuretic food of beverage (coffee, colas, high sugar food) add about 4-6 ounces

  3. For every 15 minutes of exercise (sweating) add another 6-8 ounces

  4. But above all else, listen to your body. If you’ve lost connection, here are a few ways to get back in touch:

    • That headache you feel coming on? Instead of popping aspirin try water

    • When you’re constipated instead of popping pills try water

    • If you’re feeling low energy despite consuming adequate food, try water

    • If your skin is dry & hair is brittle or breaking, instead of lathering on chemical laden beauty products that cost a fortune, try water.

And finally, remember to be kind to your body, your hormones & planet. Don’t drink from disposable water bottles that expose you to bisphenol and phthalates. Choose to reduce, reuse, refill glass, stainless or silicone bottles and cups.

Emily Popson