The summer can mean cruel, humid, and hot weather. Hydration is the key to ultimate success to enhance brain functions, physical performance, and mood.
Do you know that some people don’t even know when they are dehydrated? Brain performance, mood, and exercise ability change when you are dehydrated. But summer is not the only time we need to replenish our bodies. Here are some tips for staying hydrated all year long.
Water is the Most Important Nutrient for Your Body
On average, the human body is 60–70 percent water by weight, depending on factors such as age, gender, and body weight.
Most of our tap water has fluoride, chlorine, disinfection byproducts, and other toxic minerals like copper that are not good for our bodies – period. If you drink from the faucet, buying a filter that combats all of these is essential.
But one thing you shouldn’t overlook is the level of alkalinity in your water.
What is Alkalinity in Water?
In many places around the world, water contains volatile organic chemicals (also known as VOCs), byproducts, and harmful bacteria that are abundant in most of our drinking water — so it is very important to filter your water. You can also alkalize your water to balance its pH level. pH is a measure of how acidic or basic (alkalized) the water is. Water fit for human consumption has a pH between 6.5 and 8.
Research: Why Alkalinity is Important
- Normal, healthy cells die under extremely alkaline conditions. A study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found extreme rising cellular pH causes alkaline-induced cell death as a result of extreme pH, which altered mitochondrial function.
- A study conducted at Cornell University showed that antioxidants are not proven effective against neurodegenerative diseases due to the cell’s specific pH conditions. A cell’s mitochondria (its energy warehouse), may be damaged by pH conditions.
What is Dehydration?
Even a slight deficit of water can have a substantial impact on well-being, exercise performance, brain performance and mood. Defined, dehydration is the loss of body water and important ions (blood salts like potassium, calcium and magnesium). It means that your body doesn’t have as much water and electrolytes as it should have, which interferes with normal body and mental processes.
You don’t have to be in a triathlon to become dehydrated—it happens easily. Every day, you lose approximately 2–2.5 cups of water by going about your usual activities. Coffee, tea, and sodas are not ideal drinks because they have a diuretic effect (i.e., they trigger water loss) and actually increase your daily fluid requirement. It is very important to replenish fluid losses daily.
- decrease mental performance and short-term memory (see “Role of Dehydration in Heat Stress-Induced Variations in Mental Performance“)
- increase negative moods, such as irritability
- lower concentration
- increase headaches
- increase perception of task difficulty
(For these last four, refer to the article “Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women“)
Different Types of Water
By becoming water conscious, you are one step closer to achieving better health. Here are the different types of water you can find:
- Purified water — physically processed to remove impurities
- Distilled water — water that is boiled and then evaporated to remove good and bad minerals
- Bottled water — found in many convenience or grocery stores. Be sure to choose brands that source their water from natural springs, such as in Maine, or mountain springs like those in Norway.
- Alkaline water — enhanced through electrolysis (naturally occurring electrical charges found in nature)
- Electrolytes in water — water with electrolytes added (these are salts or ions, such as calcium and magnesium, which are naturally found in spring water)
- De-ionized water — water where most, if not all, mineral ions such as calcium, chloride, and copper have been removed by electrically charged resins that attract and bind to the salts
You can buy by the gallon, which I prefer because it’s cheaper than purchasing anything smaller. I would suggest deciding whether your main source of water needs to be changed, and then be aware of what and how much you are drinking on a daily basis.
5 Ways to Enhance Your Water and Prevent Dehydration
- Add electrolytes to water (naturally) with this recipe:
4 C water
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp organic maple syrup
1/2 tbsp sea salt
- Alkalize your water by mixing Himalayan salt with lemon and water
- Drink organic raw coconut water. It contains naturally occurring electrolytes and is alkalized.
- Try Rooibos (pronounced “roy-bus”). This legume has minerals such as magnesium (essential for the nervous system), calcium and manganese (essential for strong teeth and bones), zinc (important for metabolism), and iron (which helps the blood and muscles distribute oxygen). Rooibos also contains powerful antioxidants and polyphenols that simply helps enhance any water you are drinking. You can get organic powder or make a cold tea.
- Use trace mineral drops – these are drops you can put into your water to enhance the mineral content, including magnesium, zinc, potassium, and manganese.
Staying hydrated is a must for everyone and will help you stay invigorated and stay on point mentally. You might find it easier to handle emotions and stress.
Water is the most important nutrient for the body and should be your primary source of liquid. Let your body tell you when it’s time to have a break and drink water. You can also stay hydrated with fruits, vegetables, and foods like homemade broth, too.
If you have any questions about staying hydrated, or have some recipes to share, please comment below!
How are you going to stay hydrated this summer?