What is the best way to Hydrate? There are a lot of differing opinions out there (much like with food) and many of them are sound and good. So how do you know which is best for you?
The Answer: You have to tune in and find out. Here are a few quick tips on the best way to make the most out of drinking your water.
1. Drink 2-4 cups with lemon upon waking.
When we sleep, our bodies are very busy repairing and detoxing. When we awaken, we are actually quite dehydrated. When you wake up squeeze a wedge of lemon into a glass of water and drink it. The lemon helps cleanse your liver and flush out toxins as the water hydrates you. My Nana used to do this every morning. It’s a terrific way to start hydrating and getting in your glasses of water. Then drink a tall glass of water.
2. Don’t drink water while you eat.
When we chew, we release digestive enzymes –digestion begins in the mouth. If we down water with our food, we dilute our digestive juices and hamper, digestion and absorption. Wait 20-30 minutes before or after you eat to drink your water — in between meals.
3. Drink throughout the day, and stop a few hours before bed.
Start first thing in the morning. Drink water when you’re hungry instead of reaching for a snack right away. See if water can quench your perceived hunger. Timing differs for everyone, find your optimum stopping point so that you may have a full night’s rest without waking for trips to the bathroom.
4. How much?
While it’s important to hydrate, how much water depends on what you’re eating. If you’re diet is rich with raw fruits and vegetables, you’ll find you need less water. If you eat a lot of cooked foods (the water cooks out) you’ll require more water by the glass. It’s important for you to be the judge. In the winter we tend to drink less water. A basic rule of thumb is the drink half your body weight in ounces. Example: 140lbs = 70 ounces of water per day. Keep in mind, too much water drinking can tax the kidneys.
Not enough water can cause dehydration, increased appetite, dry skin, hair, brittle nails, sluggishness, constipation and whole host of other things. There are many health professionals that believe the root of illness and disease is chronic dehydration. Our job is to tune into our unique body to find out what it needs.
When I follow the steps above, I stay regular (who doesn’t want that?), my skin looks great, my energy flows, and I feel good. I do however, have to make a conscious effort to hydrate, the habit comes and goes for me. What about you?
Test out steps 1 -3 for a week and let us know what you find out. How much water are you drinking now? What are your water drinking goals?
Read about Hydration’s Role in Healing.
Water affects every system in the body.
When we see muscle tissue that’s slow to heal –or the healing mechanism doesn’t spark in the body quite as well– often the culprit is dehydration.
Water helps keep the the muscles pliable. The muscle has a more difficult time healing itself after treatment if the person is not properly hydrated. If your body is well-hydrated before acupuncture the healing potential is heightened. It usually takes 2-3 days to become fluid. Many of us are chronically dehydrated.
Water helps keep the blood alive and healthy. Without water the blood gets sticky.
The body’s tissues are what holds the water in the body. The way to get the water into the tissues – here’s the secret: Drink a bunch of water and then stretch. If you sit still it will go right through you, if you move it will go into the the soft tissue of the body – the muscles and the fascia.
If the fascia is dry, the conductivity and communication in the body is hampered.
Whenever you have enough water in the fascia system – the connective tissue– the body can work more efficiently at immunity, tissue healing (muscle repair), oxygenation, brain function, and heart health to name a few.
Hydration goals: Drink half your body weight in ounces per day – for example 140lbs = 70 ounces water per day.
The quality of water is important. Taste and cleanliness are paramount (no chlorine or fluoride) opt for local spring water.
Drink mindfully, good water.
Read more about healthy hydration techniques in article 4 Ways to Make the Most Out of Water.