Let’s talk hydration!
This is one of my favorite topics, probably because it affects each and every one of us, every single day. Did you know that the water you drink directly affects the hydration of your cells and the health of your mitochondria? And, that without proper cellular hydration, you can have chronically dehydrated cells that can result in cell death and disease?
Proper hydration is not as simple as drinking 8 glasses of water a day, it is about getting the water you drink into your cells. As we age, this process gets harder. Despite 70% of our bodies being made up of water, the vast majority of the water in our body is located inside of our cells (hence why when you get a cut, water doesn’t come pouring out). The good news is, knowledge is power! Once you know more about how cellular hydration works, you can immediately begin to improve the hydration of your cells. Lets run through some of the most important factors for proper cellular hydration.
The importance of proper mineral balance
One of the big keys to cellular hydration is proper mineral balance. This can be supported in a variety of ways. One way is to drink pure spring water which is naturally mineral rich. Spring water is natures perfect creation. If you can drink from an unpolluted spring, you are getting an amazing dose of natural minerals and the best hydration available. A great resource to see if there is a spring near you is findaspring.com. If you're in Nebraska like I am, gathering your own water from a spring isn't an option, but you can look into having spring water delivered (check the resources section below for more info on this).
Another option that is more accessible is mineral supplementation. You can purchase trace mineral supplements at any health food store, but the quality can vary and proper dosing can be a bit of a challenge, so be sure to do your research!
My favorite mineral supplement is Pure Himalayan Shilajit (this link will give you 15% off if you want to give it a try!). Never heard of Shilajit? It is a combination of plant minerals and humid/fulvic acids, and it is easily absorbed and digested by the human body. It has been used by humans for at least the last 3,000 years as a powerfully healing substance. It contains every essential mineral as well as amino acids and fatty acids. It not only supports cellular hydration, it also supports the immune system and basically every function of the human body. I really can't say enough great things about this product. It is something I take daily even though I drink quite a bit of natural spring water, and I have noticed a huge difference in my overall energy and vibrancy since beginning to take it. Learn more about Shilajit here.
The importance of healthy fat and hydrating foods
Healthy cell membranes are surrounded by unrefined omega 3’s and omega 6’s. If you are not getting enough healthy fats in your diet, it directly affects the health of your cells. My favorite fatty foods are avocados, nuts, flax and chia seeds. For non vegans/vegetarians, clean sources of grass feed meat and wild caught fish are great options too.
Fruits and veggies are super important as well because they are naturally hydrating. The water in fresh fruits/veg is easily absorbed into the system because it naturally contains the proper mineral balance. Some great options include melons, cucumbers, oranges, and mushrooms.
The importance of movement
Drinking water is awesome, but movement/exercise helps the water get where it needs to be. Isabel Friend, in her amazing Water is Life e-course, speaks about fascia acting as a hydraulic pump (hydraulic means “movement by water”), and tells us that movement moves water through the tissues and into the cells. So, make movement a part of your daily routine!
You can also incorporate dry brushing which can help with the flow of water, and massages can also stimulate this as well!! Deep breathing can also help this process (if you are interested in beginning a breathwork practice, I highly recommend checking out my good friend and Breathwork Practitioner Jules, owner of Your Breath, Your Healing, if you are interested in one-on-one breathwork sessions, or group classes). You can also check out this great book to learn some at home breathwork practices.
The importance of drinking the right water
So we've talked about spring water being the best drinking water choice, but what if you don't have access to a spring? There is a lot of money in water right now, with a seemingly endless amount of filters and devices. Lets run through a few to help you navigate what is right for you.
Tap Water: Pollution, chemicals, and other contaminants are extremely common in tap water, including arsenic, chlorine, heavy metals, and pesticides (just to name a few!). You can check your local water municipality and read the water quality report to see the quality of the water in your regions. There will be some minerals in tap water, but it's likely you won't be able to properly absorb them all because of the toxins in in the water.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water: This type of water is stripped of all of its minerals in the filtration process. RO filters are highly effective at removing contaminants, but this leaves the water devoid of the necessary trace minerals. If you are drinking RO water long term, you have to add back in the trace minerals (or at least be supplementing trace minerals), so that is something to consider. There is also a ton of waste with RO water filters. For every 1 gallon of filtered water, there is up to 4 gallons of water wasted.
Bottled Water: Most bottled water available today is either bottled tap water or RO water. If you are drinking out of plastic bottles, you are also getting a hefty dose of micro-plastics ("Tests on more than 250 bottles from 11 leading branches reveal widespread contamination with plastic debris including polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET)"*). There is so much waste to consider if you are drinking bottled water frequently, so consider buying a reusable bottle instead of contributing to more plastic pollution. If you have to drink bottled water, try to find it in a glass bottle (Mountain Valley Spring Water is my favorite choice).
Ionized/Alkaline Water: This type of water is currently all the rage (heard of Kangen water? That's what this is). Ionized water has a high PH, created through an entirely unnatural chemical process called electrolysis (basically, electrocuting the water to make it artificially alkaline). There are a lot of health claims out there for this type of water, among them are that it is anti-aging, has colon cleansing properties, that it helps you resist cancer, and the list goes on. It also claims to reduce acidosis in the body. Acidosis is the build up of acid in the blood stream and can be caused by many things, including other health issues and diet/lifestyle factors. In my humble opinion, the best way to address acidosis is through diet and lifestyle changes, as well as working with a health care practitioner to address underlying causes. You can't drink your way out of a bad diet.
Important to note, spring water can be fairly neutral on the PH scale, or it can be alkaline. When it is alkaline, it is because it picks up minerals during the natural water cycle (by running over rocks, and that sort of thing), so the naturally high PH is actually good for the body in that it is providing our body with essential minerals.
Filtered Water: The quality of filters on the market vary widely. My recommendation is to do your research! Studies have shown that basic carbon filters (such as Brita pitcher filters) have little to no effect on water quality, and can even add more bacteria into water**. Look for a multi stage filter. I have a custom system built by a handy neighbor using filters from Clean Water Revival. You can't go wrong with any filters purchased from their company. I also really like Berky as an alternative option.
I really want to stress that doing *something* is better than doing nothing. I realize that some of these changes can be expensive and access can be difficult, but again, knowledge is power! If you start using the filter in your fridge instead of drinking tap water, that is a worthwhile improvement! If all you can do is incorporate a trace mineral supplement, then you are making an incredible step for your body. If you need help brainstorming ideas on how to get cleaner drinking water, please send me an email! I am passionate about water and cellular hydration and would love to answer any questions that you have.
So, now you know what cellular hydration is, and you know about the different water options on the market. Here's a few more tips to help you make the most of your daily water intake.
Another important consideration is to not dehydrate yourself with what you are consuming. Consider reducing or eliminating caffeine and/or alcohol. Both of these are very dehydrating. I still enjoy my one cup of coffee a day, but I make sure to drink extra water to be sure that I am properly hydrated. The rule of thumb is to divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water each day. If you drink a cup of coffee, you should include an additional 10oz of water (two cups of coffee, drink an extra 20oz, etc).
Things to avoid when working on proper cellular hydration:
Check out Mountain Valley Spring Water – depending on where you live, you may be able to get it delivered right to your door for a reasonable price! I recently learned about this and we’ve started having 5 gallon glass jugs delivered right to our door to supplement our drinking water. If you are local to the Omaha area, you can look to Ideal Pure Water to see their water delivery options.
To find out if you are resonating with low minerals or low fatty acids, you might want to consider a Balanced Health Scan which tests for nutritional imbalances, including 15 different minerals and 5 fatty acids (a sample scan report can be found here). This is a scan I offer to my clients, and I am currently offering a free 30 minute call to go over the results. For questions about having this scan done, please contact me! (you can use the code RAVENSMOON for $20 off any scan).
*This post includes affiliate links. I only recommend products/classes that I have personal experience with and that I stand behind. Thank you for your support!*