Much A Do About Water
It’s summer. It’s hot. We all know water is good for us. But how good exactly? And why? Water is necessary for survival… more necessary than food. Actually, a large part of the reason fruits and vegetables are so healthy is because they contain a large percentage of water. Water comprises at least half of your overall body weight and assists in almost all bodily functions. Literally, you need water to survive. It supports your digestion, elimination, cell reproduction and growth, joint health, and regulating body temperature. You are just like a plant! You must water yourself!
In addition to water’s necessity to maintain bodily functions, it’s important to note that your body also naturally loses water on a day to day basis. If you are hydrating properly, you can prevent symptoms of dehydration. Dehydration occurs through elimination (specifically diarrhea), perspiration/sweat, eating the wrong foods, improper breathing techniques, and drinking the wrong water. Yes, drinking water can make you dehydrated. Before I explain why, it’s important to know that chronic dehydration can lead to a myriad of serious health issues such as:
-Digestive issues, heartburn, constipation
-Urinary tract infections
-Autoimmune diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome
Based on my experience in the health field and working with clients for many years, it seems to go unnoticed that some really serious health issues can actually be caused by not drinking enough water, or, drinking the wrong types of water. Oh, and just to be clear, WATER IS WATER. Seltzer water is not water. Sparkling water (or water with carbon dioxide added to it) is not water. Coffee is not water. Tea is not water. Fruit juice is not water. Wine is not water (sorry). Is that clear? And even though fruits and veggies contain a lot of water, they are not replacements for actual water consumption. In other words, just drink it. Perhaps that can be a new slogan, like Nike’s ‘Just Do It’.
Okay, so the burning question: HOW CAN DRINKING WATER MAKE ME DEHYDRATED?! Asking that question is like asking, ‘How can processed artificial junk food make me fat?’ Well, because it can. It’s not so much about the water as much as it’s about the quality of the water you’re drinking. Thinking all water is equal is like thinking all food is created equal, and we all know that’s not true. There is a difference between a Twinkie and a side of steamed broccoli. Hard to tell, yes, but there is a difference. When you are drinking water (specifically tap water or unpurified water), it likely contains contaminants. These pollutants increase your risk of illness. Chemicals like aluminum and fluoride counteract the healing effects of water and are extremely dangerous to your health. I know tap water is convenient. So is a BigMac. Convenience is not always healthy or ‘right’. If you want convenience with water, go somewhere that rains a lot and just drink the rain (actually, given all the air traffic pollution, that’s probably not healthy anymore either). Anyway, my point is, not all water is created equal. SO NOW WHAT? Don’t stress. Not worth it. If you’ve been drinking tap water, it’s okay. I ate fast food for twenty-one years straight, and I’m totally cool. The body is an incredible machine that will start healing once you start feeding it properly. You have a built-in mechanism for health and wellbeing!
When choosing water, there are many paths you can take. Some people swear by filters. Some filters are expensive and some are not. Some people, like myself, choose to drink purified water. Then there is the issue of plastic. When I lived on the East Coast, I used to travel an hour to a local spring and fill up gallons of glass jars with pure spring water and live off those, until one day all the glass jars broke in my back seat. It was ridiculous, and I realized it was too much of a hassle. In a perfect world, I would be drinking from a river or a spring. But I live in LA. And at that time, I lived in NYC. I recycle, and I do the best I can. I make sure I buy bottles with no BPA.
My water of choice is a water that has a high pH, specifically Essentia water. You may remember studying pH in chemistry class when you were younger, unless you were too busy passing notes to your friend across the room (remember notes? old school text messages-aww, the good old days). The body needs to be kept in an alkaline state, not an acidic state. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, meat, dairy, chemicals, and pesticides are acidic in their nature. Unfiltered, chemical ridden water contains substances that propel acidity in the body and that becomes fertile ground for disease and inflammation. Drinking pure water with a pH above 7 can lead to:
-maintaining a healthy body weight
-good skin and a healthy ‘glow’
-decreased inflammatory response
I started purchasing Essentia water because I noticed their pH was a 9.5. The water is purified using reverse osmosis and an electrolyte formula which keeps me feeling nourished before or after a workout or yoga class. It is also super affordable, and I actually felt a difference while drinking only Essentia water for two weeks straight. It was almost obvious. In fact, I encourage many of my clients to perform these types of experiments with foods too. Some of the foods we are eating every day, even those that we may think are good for us, can actually be causing some of our health issues. A lot of people ask me how much water they should drink per day. The truth is, the amount should be different for everyone everyday. It depends on many factors, such as your bodyweight, height, location, amount of physical activity, lifestyle, food, etc. When it comes down to it, I feel the same way about water consumption as Michael Pollan does about food (‘Eat food, not a lot, mostly plants.’): Drink water. Not too much. Not too little. It’s important to experiment in order to find out how to feel the best you can feel! Are you up for the challenge? Sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of this page, and you are automatically enrolled in a chance to win a CASE of Essentia water! The winner will be chosen Friday, August 1 and notified by e-mail. Good luck, and happy hydrating!