It’s the elixir of life. The fountain of youth. More than 60% of our body weight and quite frankly the most important thing we put into our bodies. Water isn’t just the key to hydration, performance, and better health. It is literally responsible for keeping us alive! However, the hydration paradox isn’t as simple as just drinking from the tap. And although the tap water in B.C. is high quality, there are plenty of things you can add to your water to make it taste better, and be better for you!
Hydrate or Die…drate, It’s That Simple
We all know that fresh water is crucial to our survival. The worst stages of dehydration can kill, but to get there you will also be put through fevers, exhaustion, incredible headaches, muscle and joint pains, digestion problems and many other issues.
That is because every cell, organ, tissue and fibre of our being requires water to operate efficiently. Not only does it allow vitamins and minerals to dissolve and be absorbed by the body, but water also:
- Lubricates our joints
- Allows our cells to reproduce and survive
- Forms saliva, which not only helps us to eat but also aids in digestion
- Regulates body temperature (through perspiration)
- Delivers oxygen all over our body
You would think that something so important to our health and wellbeing would be priority number one! For most adults, however, even consuming the recommended 8 glasses per day is a challenge.
Moreover, in order to keep our tap water safe in Vancover, chlorine is added to manage pathogens. Whilst this may be ‘safe’ to drink from a molecular standpoint, chlorine does not distinguish between good and bad bacteria, killing them both.
Then, a lot of the naturally occurring minerals which we, as humans, used to receive when drinking water from streams and creeks are removed simply through the purification process. Sadly, the end product, although considered ‘safe’ is no longer as hydrating, or useful, to our health and wellbeing.
** Note: We are not suggesting that you go and drink from the local river, as this will most likely lead to even worse consequences. However, there are a number of things you can add to your water to boost your hydration, and improve your wellbeing!
5 Ways to Make Your Water Better for You!
1. Water for Digestion
There are a number of natural additives that can help your body with digestion. Adding a slice of lemon or lime can help you to achieve your daily vitamin C requirements. Adding mint can improve your waters taste, whilst also stimulating digestive enzymes in our saliva that help to break down food. Ginger can help to reduce gas, bloating and cramps. Apple cider vinegar can increase our body’s production of hydrochloric acid, which breaks proteins down into amino acids, and helps to absorb the most nutrients from our diet.
2. Water for Performance
If apple cider vinegar isn’t your thing, there are plenty of branch chain amino acid (BCAA) additives that will optimise your bodies:
- Nutrient absorption
- Nutrient delivery (to muscles, joints, tissues, etc…)
When it comes to exercise or any physical activity, being able to better provide your body with the nutrients it needs can boost your performance, energy, stamina, recovery, and focus. Hit this link to see which one we recommend, or for more information about BCAA’s please get in touch with our dedicated team- we’ll be happy to make other recommendations depending on your needs.
3. Eat Your Way to Hydration with Gel Water
This may come as a surprise to some, but scientists have recently confirmed that water has a fourth state- liquid, solid, gas, and now gel.
“Gel water, also called structured, ordered, liquid crystalline, or living water is a newly identified phase of water that’s not quite liquid, vapour, or ice.”
-Gina Bria, Founder, Hydration Foundation
Although conventional wisdom would have you drinking 8 glasses of water per day, there are plenty of dessert dwelling tribes that have survived for thousands of years on much less. Their diet largely consisted of foods that contained gel water, like chia seeds and cacti. You know the silky layer that forms around chia seeds when you soak them? Or the slightly slimy substance that comes from cacti or other succulents? That’s gel water.
Although this is only a new field of research, gel water is now believed to be the primary form of water in the human body.
“The water in our synovial fluid, joint fluid, and, importantly, our cells, is gel water. Think of your cells as tiny ziplock bags full of jello-like gel water, which keep our cells and tissues in the proper shape and buoyancy.”
–Dr. Gerald Pollack, bioengineer and author of The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor
Foods containing electrolytes, like coconut, citrus fruits, avocados and vegetables release an electrical charge in the body. Unlike ordinary tap water, gel water has a unique electrical charge that allows our bodies to operate more efficiently, and better absorb vitamins and minerals. In turn, when foods/drinks that are high in electrolytes begin to dissolve, the unique conductivity of gel water kick-starts a process of hydrogen bonding, which causes the body to create more gel water, and can, therefore, lead to better hydration.
4. Remineralise Your Water
Although our modern city water is lacking in minerals, there are plenty of ways to remineralize your water. Some water filters/dispensers will actually do it for you. But if that isn’t your taste, there are a number of natural things you can add to your drink bottle to get the micronutrients and hydration your body so desperately needs:
- High-quality sea salt, or Himalayan rock salts
- Trace mineral additives
- A powdered greens blend
5. Don’t Limit Your Imagination
For most of us, ‘water’ comes out of the tap and is our only way to get it. However, we actually obtain between 10-20% of our daily water intake from food. This is because water is a byproduct of the metabolic process, which can then be reabsorbed by the body. It also means that certain foods can impact and enhance our body’s ability to absorb- and create- H2O.
One food, in particular, is making a comeback and that is bone broth. Although we tend to use the quick and easy ‘stock’ solution found on supermarket shelves, bone broth was once a staple of our diets and a throwback to the thrifty nature of our ancestors. Put simply, bone broth is just the homemade version of chicken or beef stock. It is full of collagen, which coincidentally is full of gel water.
It is a cheap, simple and low-calorie way to add nutrients to your diet, and the glycine content (a BCAA) can also help your body to detoxify. The best part? Not only do the vitamins and minerals help you to hydrate, but the main ingredient of bone broth is- you guessed it- water!
When it comes to hydrating, water is obviously the key element. However, that shouldn’t limit your imagination! There are plenty of ways to enhance your water intake (many of them are foods!) to not only make it taste better but to also make it better for you.
Of course, if you need any help or advice in optimising your nutrition, hydration, or exercise regime the Turnfit family is here to help!
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