(our set up at home with spring water jugs and water dispenser at kid height!)
My husband came up with the little diddy "hydrate to feel great!" for the kids recently and I thought it would make a good post. Before soccer games he says "hydrate to play great!" With school, then soccer, and just feeling good in general, staying hydrated with clean water is so important when it comes to keeping our energy levels up.
Here are some examples of what happens when you don't:
1. I picked my daughter up from school yesterday and she looked like a wilted flower. She said "mom, I need water" and went to the bathroom to drink out of the faucet. I asked her if she had any at school and she said "I forgot." Classic.
After school, the kids will be bickering and whiny and then they get home, get a big cup of water in them and some hydrating fruit and some healthy fats and then they perk up right before our eyes. (Side note: the brain is 60% fat and we now know how crucial eating healthy fat is for brain performance and the nervous system in general - when my kids' (and my) emotions are all over I know we need water and fat).
2. I had a coaching client once 10 years ago who, to this day, was the most stubborn person I've ever met. It became almost comical. Out of that unwillingness to do anything, the gift she gave me and herself was how dramatic things could change by only changing one thing: drinking water.
She wanted to lose weight and feel great and all of these things but she told me upfront she wasn't going to exercise or change what she eats or do anything differently. The thing that stood out to me the most was that she would only poop 1 x week. (A healthy frequency is 1 x day). The only thing I could get her to do during our month together was add in drinking water. I surmised that she had to be incredibly dehydrated because she said she never drank water and she was all congested and dry.
So we were able to make it fun by setting an alarm on her phone to ding on the hour to remind her to drink a cup of water. And she did it! Within 1 week she had bowel movements 4 out of 7 days. The only thing she did was drink water. She said she had more pep in her step and didn't feel so tired. She was also incredibly inconvenienced by having to go to the bathroom more since she didn't want to change anything, but hey, I told her there were trade offs.
3. I had a loved one come to visit once and she did a big drive to get here. All she did was drink coffee the whole way (3 day drive) and barely ate any food, except a fast food sandwich in the evenings. When she arrived she looked like a wet rag. I nursed her back to health with glasses of water, soup, smoothies and a massage and within a day, she literally came back to life in front of my eyes. The next time she did the drive, she sipped on water the whole way and said she arrived feeling totally different.
4. A dear friend in his 60's said he hadn't had water in the better part of a year. He had a slough of health problems, on so many chemical drugs, incredibly overweight and bloated. We got him to drink water and soon his joints didn't hurt as bad and he said he had more energy and less pain. And all he did was add in drinking water.
Some people have that "I'm thirsty" look. They just look run down, dark circles, half wilted, low energy and I think to myself "I wonder how much water they drink."
The human body is 3/4 water, just like our beautiful planet. We're a microcosm of the macrocosm.
Everyone knows what a dry, trickling creek looks like. And everyone knows what a healthy flowing creek looks like. You can see and sense the level of health and balance in those two images.
So imagine the inside of yourself - all of your vessels, organs, muscles, bones, and everything else being dry and stagnant or robust and flowing. Which feels better?
An adult heart pumps 5 liters of blood per minute at rest.
Our bodies make 25 million new cells per second; cells are 70% water.
Lymphatic fluid is 96% water. The lymphatic system is responsible for making immune cells to ward off invaders and keep you healthy.
This innate intelligence is doing all of this for you without you having to lift a finger. Do you think you could at least help out these processes by maintaining your water intake?
A ball park formula to use for the "how much should I drink?" question is half of your body weight in ounces. I weigh 150 pounds so I aim for 75 ounces of water a day.
If I drink things that dehydrate me, like coffee or alcohol, or I exercise that day where I'm losing fluids through sweating (which is so good for you by the way) then I need a little extra intake to keep everything in check. I have a pint jar on my counter at all times and I aim to drink 6 of those per day.
Quality of water is also important. I am blessed to live in a place where we have incredibly alive, nutrient-rich spring water close by.
Dr. Jessie, my instructor from a recent cupping workshop, said that she used to live in the city, was diagnosed with cancer, was given 3 months to live and so she moved to the country. She said if she only had 3 months to live, she wanted to live on a farm with animals. So she went rural and bought a piece of property that had 4 springs on it. That was years ago and to this day she said she gives the credit for her extended years to the spring water.
We were in Alabama a couple of years ago and I just started feeling dehydrated. I was drinking water (tap water, highly chlorinated) and I just didn't feel right, taxed in some way. I was sensitive to this nuance, especially after coming from a place where I had been drinking spring water regularly.
So I hopped on www.findaspring.com and found the closest source to where we were staying. We started making regular trips to the spring, 30 minutes away, filling our jugs and I immediately felt better. Maybe it was mental, maybe it wasn't, but the act of getting pure water from the earth and drinking all of those trace minerals had me feeling so much better.
To me, it just makes sense.
In our kitchen we have a glass dispenser and my husband regularly goes and fills the jugs from our local spring. That's what we drink every day - spring water. The first thing I notice when we go other places is the quality of the water. Like our soils, much of it has been over-processed, stripped of its nutritional benefits and augmented by chemicals .
Still better to have it than to not have it - I am so grateful we have clean water in this country to drink and bathe in, to play in and swim in and enjoy.
Some other tips:
sipping on hot water is incredibly hydrating because the temperature is closer to your body temperature and easy to absorb.
ice water shuts off your digestion. Ice water with meals makes your body have to work harder so try ordering your water without ice next time you're at a restaurant.
a big cup first thing in the morning, before your coffee or whatever else, helps get your juices flowing - think of 7-8 hours of stagnancy being flushed out by a big drink to help wake up and bring all your systems back online, ready for the day.
when you feel your blood sugar levels bonking, drink a cup of water before grabbing the sugar. Often times being dehydrated is mistaken for being hungry.
hydrate with teas, congees, soups, and stews, to help you feel full and nourished.
my favorite place to donate is to charitywater.org : a water project whose mission is to bring clean and safe water to every person on the planet.
If you want to change your energy beyond drinking water then you can:
Take a bath.
Take a cold shower.
Swim in cold water.
Dunk your head.
Rub an ice cube on your face.
Microwave a wet towel and put it around your neck.
Take a steam bath.
Put your face over a bowl of steaming hot water and breathe.
Put your feet in warm water.
Mist yourself with rose water.
Sit by a creek, river, lake or ocean and lose track of time in the wonder and vastness of creation.
above science image by United States Geological Survey