Staying hydrated is a constant battle. Every minute of every day, we are losing water — especially at night, when we dehydrate for 6-9 hours. During sleep, our brain actually shrinks
up to 20% due to this process! This isn’t a scare tactic — it’s just science.
But before you freak out, this brain shrinkage is totally normal, and is actually a good thing— it’s our brain’s way of cleaning house overnight for total restoration. However, upon waking, it’s vital to rehydrate our bodies — and our brains — the right away to ensure proper functioning throughout the day. Easy, right? We’ll just pound a liter of water a few times a day, and call it even. Unfortunately, not so much.
Our modern world has been incredibly innovative in reimagining the ways we provide safe drinking water to populated areas. But it’s rarely a good idea to drink straight tap water, and our fancy filtration systems — while helpful at removing chlorine and other major toxins or particles — can also filter out crucial minerals that we need in order for our cells to hang on to our water.
Plain, filtered water, or “bulk water” as it’s often referred to, is severely lacking. If you’ve ever tried hard to hydrate only to notice you have to immediately pee all of the time, take note of that. Water passing through and out immediately post-consumption (or, okay, 10-20 minutes after) means that our bodies are not holding onto it, and not becoming properly hydrated.
This also means that our cells are not absorbing it, and we won’t reap the skin-glowing and plumping benefits, not to mention the basic hydration for our health. So what are we to do? In short, we need to mineralize, restore our pH, and be temperature aware. We’ll explain.
Warm Water First Thing
While some of us really enjoy an ice cold glass of water, it’s a #1 no-no in Ayurveda. The digestive system is thought of like a fire, and we need to stoke it as often as possible. Does this mean we can’t enjoy a frosty cocktail or beer, or chilly dessert occasionally? Of course not. But when making hydration an a.m. priority, make sure you’re drinking warm water on that empty stomach in order to stoke the fire, absorb the water without shocking your system, and get that engine purring.
Adding lemon to your morning cup of warm water won’t only make it tastier and easier to drink (pro tip: sip it through a reusable straw so as not to harm your enamel), it will also help balance your body’s pH and start your day at an ideal alkaline level. This is crucial for digestion, immune strength, clear skin, and detoxification. Lemons also contain vitamin C and natural phytonutrients, including minerals to help fortify your water.
It can be hard to get a ton of greens in each and every day, but chlorophyll drops are an amazing wellness hack, and are almost completely tasteless! Chlorophyll is the green pigment naturally occurring in plants, but is sold in liquid form to boost our daily hydration.
It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help stimulate the immune system, fight fungus, cleanse the digestive tract, provide energy, bring the body to an alkaline state, and clear heavy metals from our blood and organs. Studies show it has skin-healing properties against inflammation wounds and sun damage, and some studies say it can even help reduce body odors!
There are many liquid electrolytes on the market that can easily turn a glass of water into a high-powered sports drink for recovery and optimal hydration. Electrolytes are essential minerals that our bodies need, and they help our bodies hang onto water so that our cells are plump, nourished, and high-functioning. Think: minerals like magnesium bicarbonate, silica, calcium, sodium, zinc, and potassium bicarbonate — just to name a few. If you don’t have access to electrolytes, add in some sea salt in a pinch. The sodium in some water is great for hydration.
Eat Hydrating Foods
Having a green smoothie for breakfast is actually way more hydrating than drinking two bottles of water. That’s because water-filled berries, greens, and fruits and veggies like cucumbers, apples, melons, and more are loaded with nutrients and — you guessed it — water! The fiber in these plant foods helps our body hold onto the water like a sponge, making digestion easy peasy and our skin super glowy!
This may sound gross at first, but it’s actually a huge component of what makes hydrating veggies and fruits like cucumbers, berries, and melon so hydrating. When water molecules layer on top of each other and adhere, it makes them harder to pass immediately out your body — so they stay in your cells. Try adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to your water and letting it soak for an hour or more. Do this twice a day, and drink the gel-like water (it’s oddly satisfying, and not gross at all!) and notice the difference in your skin, hair, nails, and lips.