How To Get More Water AND ABSORB IT: Top Tips from the Team
Drink water…yes we know drinking water is important. Proper hydration has far reaching effects on our mental state, total body wellness and our ability to slow the aging process inside and out. Proper hydration is one of the most important nutritional components affecting our entire health. But the recommended 2+ litres of water daily can seem daunting and let’s face it… are we really doing anything but peeing it right back out?
We asked our Spine Stretch experts to weigh in…How can we ensure we are getting our daily water intake? (aside from the usual “I don’t go anywhere without my water bottle”) AND how do we ensure we are absorbing the water we are drinking?
1. Use Your Own Body Weight As Your Guide
Get more specific about water quantity to experience the benefits of proper hydration. Take it beyond the traditional “8 glasses a day” and ensure you are aiming to drink half your body weight in ounces of filtered water each day as a minimum plus more on days working out. (ex 140 lbs = 70 ounces water per day. 8 ounces = 1 cup.)
2.Timing Is Everything
Avoid drinking water while eating. Drink water at least 20 mins before a meal and a MINIMUM of 30 mins (ideally 1 hr) after eating a meal. Drinking water while you eat dilutes your digestive enzymes and HCL; slows down and creates stress on your digestive system.
3. Eat Your Water
Consuming foods with a high water content, such as (but not limited to) fresh berries, watermelon, leafy greens, cucumber, celery, tomatoes and avocado passes easily through the large intestine helping prevent constipation. These whole foods also provide a wide range of additional nutrients to keep you energized and healthy.
4. Fluid Is Not The Same As Pure Water
Hydrating foods are important but make sure you are mixing it up with plenty of pure H2O! Juice, milk, smoothies…NOT THE SAME! Sorry guys. Even water with little additives like lemon or lime, your body will think of as food and react differently than if you are drinking high quality filtered water and nothing else. Pure water is not digested it is absorbed. Water is a basic compound; there are no molecules of carbon present as there are with fats/carbs/protein. The moment you mix additives of any sort with pure H2O, the pyloric sphincter (the valve at the bottom of your stomach that opens and closes to control movement of contents from the stomach into the small intestine) closes and the hydrochloric acid in our stomach goes to work on digestion. This valve stays open for pure H2O, allowing the water to pass right through for absorption in our intestines.
5. Water Temperature Changes Things
Paying attention to water temperature will change where and how your water is absorbed! It is best when your water is closer to body temperature because it will pass through the stomach into the colon for absorbing. As with the purity of your water (above), if your water is too hot or too cold the pyloric sphincter will not stay open allowing for water to pass through easily for absorption in the intestines.
6. Minerals Make a Difference
The mineral content of your water affects how your tissues and organs are able to make use of it. So make high quality sea salt your friend. To gently increase the mineral content of your water so it’s more easily absorbed by the body try a pinch of Celtic or Himalayan (make sure it’s REAL Himalayan) salt. You shouldn’t taste it and it WON’T increase your risk of HBP.
7. Aim to Become More Alkaline
Your body’s acid/alkaline balance (pH) is measured on a scale of 0-14 with “0” being the most acidic and “7” being neutral. Your body’s optimal place is around 7.35 (a slightly more alkaline environment). So many things we eat and drink are acidic. It might surprise you to hear that most of our water is actually on the acidic end. If the water we drink is more alkaline (similar to our body’s natural pH) it is easier for our cells to absorb fluid instead of simply stressing our kidneys and eliminating the fluid we drink. 1-2 drops of Alkalife Ph booster drops, (which are available in studio) solves this, making your water more alkaline, helping you support a more optimum pH and increasing your body’s ability to actually absorb your water.
8. Choose To Filter, and Choose Wisely
Chlorine, copper, lead and sediment in our tap water creates an acidic and toxic environment in our body. It is important to filter our water so that our body doesn’t become more dehydrated trying to flush out toxins you are unknowingly ingesting. Basic water filters are fine BUT… STAY AWAY from a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system. Reverse Osmosis removes all the minerals within the water, effectively “deadening” it. Water is life and when you remove EVERYTHING from it, it becomes acidic and will further dehydrate you by increasing thirst and stressing your kidneys.
Whew! As you can see, our team has a lot to say about hydration! Try making sense of one point at a time. First, start with the right amount of water on a daily basis and make sure you have a good filtration system going. Then, get into the details a little at a time. Thirsty for more information? As always, the Spine Stretch Team is here for you to clarify any and all of your questions. This is just the beginning of a great conversation.
Spine Stretch Team Post Contributors:
Lisa Bender, Krystle Colting, Chris King, Angela Greco