We all know that we should be drinking more water. Dehydration is the most common nutritional deficiency, leading to symptoms like fatigue, headache, constipation, depression, anxiety, irritability, cravings (sugar!!), muscle cramps and period cramps in the short term, and can contribute to migraines, joint pain, heartburn, back pain, fibromyalgia, constipation, and colitis in the long term.
Most of us aren’t drinking enough water, and on top of that, the liquids we are drinking are often diuretic, meaning they actually make us lose more water: coffees, teas (even some herbal, like peppermint and dandelion root), sodas, juices, beer, wine, other alcoholic drinks.
Water plays such an important role in our body! It:
- Allows nutrients to be transported around the body
- Allows hormones to be transported around the body
- Keeps our lymph flowing smoothly, which helps our body move toxins for excretion
- Acts as a cushion or as shock absorption for joints, and keeps them lubricated
- Helps oxygen delivery to your cells
- Regulates body temperature
Instead of having a goal of how much water you should drink per day, start to tune into your body’s innate intuition. It will tell you when it’s thirsty. It’s a good idea to sip water throughout the day, rather than chugging a bunch of water at once.
Plain, filtered water is ideal. You can get something like a Brita filter for relatively cheap, or a Berkey water filter that sits on the countertop. The latter is a little pricey, but they are one of the best and will last for ages. With both, you just replace the filters.
Distilled water can be useful short-term for therapeutic purposes, but I don’t recommend drinking it long-term, because it can actually pull minerals from your body over time.
I also don’t believe it’s necessary to be drinking fancypants alkaline waters, though I will say that they are spectacularly marketed. The idea of your body having one systemic pH is a myth. Our body has many different pHs, all tightly regulated by the brain through homeostasis, for a variety of functions. For example, your blood has one pH range. Your stomach has another pH range. Your skin varies, but it’s normally slightly acidic. Drinking alkaline water isn’t going to “make you more alkaline”, it’s just going to make your body excrete the excess minerals through your urine. Your body is really smart (yay!), and it’s going to keep your blood pH between 7.2-7.4, no matter what, because it’s critical it stays that way to keep us alive.
We looooove having this “Natureade” on a super hot day for an extra hydration boost, and we often bring it along to barbecue potlucks in summer. It’s just so deeply refreshing! The minerals from the unrefined sea salt, assisted by the glucose from the citrus fruit juice, help the water actually get INTO the cells. Plus, it’s way healthier than conventional sports drinks, which are full of artificial food colorings and high fructose corn syrup.
There’s just something about the combination of the sweet + acid from the citrus + salt that makes your brain light up. Your body just goes, “WHAT IS THAT. GIVE ME ALL OF THAT. MORE.” Try to resist the urge to chug it all at once.
- 1/2 cup of citrus juice (any combination of grapefruit, lemons, limes)
- 8 cups water
- 1 pinch of sea salt per cup of water (can do more or less to taste)
- Raw honey to taste (optional)
- Lemon slices (optional)
- Mix the citrus juice, sea salt, and raw honey well in the bottom of a pitcher.
- Top up the pitcher with water and stir.
- Pour into glasses, garnish with some lemon slices, and enjoy! Alternatively, pour it into a water bottle and take it with you when you're doing outdoor activities on a hot day, like gardening, or sportsball!