3 Tips to Hydrate That Could
Save Your Life!
It’s all about the 3A’s...
Welcome to Month 2 of the SAVE YOUR LIFE blog series. I’m happy to get to share with you my 3 A’s for the top 3 ways you can hydrate to save your life! Here they are:
1. Always start with water
3. Add gelatin
1. Always start with water: First thing in the morning - a glass of water. You want this to be at least 8 ounces of the cleanest water you can find. In general, you want to drink filtered water that is alkaline and contains trace minerals. If you use a reverse osmosis filter remember it is rather acidic and you may need to add trace minerals. If you use distilled water you also need to add back the trace minerals.
I prefer spring water that has been filtered by the earth. In ways we do not completely understand, we know that this type of filtration works better than any invented means of purifying water. Another advantage is that it contains a wide variety of trace minerals that the human body desperately needs.
You want to drink at least 1.5-2 liters of water per day, not including what you drink in soups or smoothies. Drinking plenty of water helps you maintain your ideal weight and can actually help you loose weight. Drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal helps to prepare your stomach for food. However, be careful not to drink your water too close to your meal time because it will dilute your stomach acid and adversely affect digestion. For the same reason, do not drink too much during your meal. A few sips of water should suffice if any is needed.
2. Alkalize: Our general health and well-being largely depends on the pH value of our body. The ideal pH of blood is somewhat around 7.4, so a slightly alkaline constitution is healthy. Not surprisingly, we can affect the alkalinity of our bodies by the food we eat and particularly the liquids we drink. When our body is slightly more alkaline, our immune system functions better and helps protects us from viruses and infections. This is particularly important at this Autumn time of the year. In general, we are healthier when our bodies are alkaline.
So, how do we make our bodies more alkaline? One way is to add lemon juice to your water to increase the alkalinity. The lemon juice in the water interacts with digestive juices in our stomach to decrease the overall acidity of our blood and body. Drink one glass of water with the juice of ½ lemon per day. I personally like doing this first thing in the morning and I use warm water. This way I am fulfilling both my first and second point for hydration (getting enough water and alkalizing).
In addition, I suggest drinking a vegetable juice that you have made yourself as this further helps to alkalize your body. Green leafy vegetables and the cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are all particularly alkalinizing, especially as a juice. I like adding cucumber and celery for flavor and for the increased water content. The work of Dr Griesel and others (1,3) point to the fact that some fruits and vegetables may hydrate the body twice as effectively as a glass of water. That’s because they contain hydrating salts, minerals and natural sugars and work in a similar way to the isotonic drinks used by athletes. This research has been particularly helpful to my practice with patients that don’t like to drink water.
3. Add gelatin: Another extremely important aspect of hydration is making sure the water is being absorbed into our tissues; be it muscle, ligaments, tendons, bone or brain. We want our cells to be well hydrated. Fallon, and Enig, authors of the book Nourishing Traditions, believe that because of its ability to coat and heal the stomach, we should be adding gelatin to the diet to help alleviate food and other allergies (2). Optimally, we’d be able to consume high-quality homemade bone broth a few times a day and would be well balanced and have no need for extra gelatin. Since I’m not there yet, I’ve actually been supplementing with high quality powdered gelatin. Adding 1-2 TBSPs of a beef gelatin to your warm water or to your soups helps the water get into the cells of your body. This type of supplemental gelatin is NOT necessarily the same as Jell-o or similar brand products at the store. While these products do contain gelatin, they are also packed with sugar, artificial sweeteners and artificial colors! Do not eat these foods as part of a health regimen. Instead you can use gelatin that is sourced from grass-fed and humanely raised cows. You can also mix some in your daily smoothies or vegetable juices or you can make a tasty and healthy gelatin dessert.
One final word….
Overall, please remember that dehydration happens when the body eliminates more fluids than it absorbs. Not drinking enough hydrating fluids during exercise, hot weather, or daily activities, can cause the body to use up its stored fluid reserves. Therefore, you must watch the amount of fluids you drink on a daily basis, listen to your body, and drink more liquids during exercise and hot weather. Many people mistake hunger for thirst and will eat when they are actually thirsty. If we are well hydrated then it is much easier to differentiate hunger from thirst. Drinking plenty of water helps you maintain your ideal weight and can actually help you loose weight. Therefore, you must watch the amount of fluids you drink on a daily basis, listen to your body, and drink more liquids during exercise and hot weather.
I hope you can incorporate my 3 A’s of Hydration to save, extend and improve the quality of your life! Salute!
- Dr. Trindade
(1) Dian Griesel, Ph.D., and Tom Griesel, TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH).
(2) Fallon, and Enig (Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD. Copyright © 1999).