Healthy Hydration

JannaNewsletter Articles

If you live in the Pacific Northwest you may be feeling the effects of what will likely be our driest summer on record.  Warmer weather has come earlier than usual and we can already sense the impending drought.  And, we’re not the only ones.  As temperatures rise, water shortages are rampant all over the US and the world in general.  Our bodies do not differ from our environment, so it would be prudent to address any potential “internal drought” as well.    

Dehydration is a major factor in many of the common ills that we see at the Tummy Temple; constipation, indigestion, fatigue, muscle spasms, pain, toxicity, poor mood, brain fog, and dry skin.  Obviously there are other factors involved with many of these issues, but something as simple and beneficial as effective hydration is often overlooked.  

So how do we “effectively hydrate?”

1.    Drink enough pure water.  Our recommendation is to drink ½ your body weight in ounces.  For example, if you weigh 150 pounds then plan to consume 75 ounces of water daily, roughly 9 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water.  If you are using up your water supply with an intensive exercise or detox program, then add another glass or two to your daily intake.  

2.    Drink electrolyte rich water.  What is an electrolyte? Electrolyte is the term for a salt or ion that carries a charge.  Why does this matter?  Because in order for water to be absorbed into the cells of your body, it must have an ionic charge.  The cell wall has an ionic charge that serves much like a gate keeper.  Water molecules with an ionic charge are like the magic keys that open the gate and allow the water molecules to enter.  This is why electrolyte rich water is absorbed better and feels more hydrating.  If you feel like you drink water and it goes right through you back into the toilet, then you are likely in need of electrolyte rich water.  You can make your own by adding a pinch of sea salt, squeeze of lemon/lime, or a capful of raw apple cider vinegar to your water.  In more depleted individuals, a balanced electrolyte formula like E-lyte can be essential for reaching hydration goals.  
3.    Know the list of “dehydrators.”  Most people are aware of excessive coffee and black tea flushing valuable water from the body.  Don’t worry about an occasional iced coffee or iced tea this time of the year, as they actually have a lot of fluid to balance caffeine’s diuretic effect.    The key thing to avoid here is “excessive intake.”  Avoid sodas and high sugar drinks with additives.  Although these beverages contain water, they take a lot of water to process the sugar and additives.  And, surprisingly, potent nutrition powders can increase your need for water.  Protein powders, meal replacements powders, and detoxification powder supplements are highly concentrated and need to be heavily diluted to process.  Clients have reported feeling “stopped up” and dry from these nutrition packed supplements when they didn’t drink water before and after their health shake.

4.    Know your alternative hydrating options aside from water.  There are so many ways to hydrate outside of regular pure water, if you want to mix it up a little.  As well, those readers with children know the frustration of getting water into kids (and this applies to adults with an inner child that resists the “taste” of pure water.)  If you are feeling the need to diversify, then consider the following water packed options:
  •  Aloe Vera juice and gel.  You can feel this hydrating fluid all the way to your organs.  Use the juice for full body hydration and the gel for more concentrated intestinal soothing.  
  •   Shelly Shelly Coco Water. This refreshing blend of purified water, minimal amounts of antioxidant rich green tea and a hint of coconut essence is a favorite at the Temple and with kids.  It’s made by the loving, healing hands of our very own Shelly Shelley, LMP.
  •   Fresh Fruit and Vegetables.  Eat your water.  Many of Mother Nature’s best hydrators come in the form of foods such as melons, citrus, cucumbers, cabbage, celery, radishes, zucchini squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, and spinach!  These foods are high in minerals increasing your water absorption with each bite!
  •   Coconut Water.  This super hydrating beverage has helped many a Temple client after a bout of food poisoning and gut flu.  It can be one of the only things that you can get down after purging to the extreme.  Coconut water is full of electrolytes and slightly sweet to the taste, so even kids enjoy it.
  •   Fresh juice.  Lean more towards the vegetable choices with minimal amounts of fruit and you have a hydrating meal in a glass.  There are so many organic juice bar options in Seattle to give you a healthy, hydrating grab and go snack.  We love Blend, Juju Beet, Chaco Canyon and Thrive.  Or make a quart at home to enjoy throughout the day. 

5.    Absorb your water.  Consider bathing for water absorption.  This only works when you use bath salts to balance the water and don’t over soak (10 minutes works great).  There are many bath salts on the market now, but we love Shepard Moon Concoctions.  Founder, MaKenna Phillips got her start in a healing clinic much like ours creating effective formulas for addressing medical issues.  You won’t find any “fluffy” blends in her line.  Combine her formulas with Epsom salts for best results.  Epsom salt baths alone are excellent for sore muscles after summer hikes or gardening.  Still battling an internal drought?  Then opt for an internal bath and absorb plenty of water with an enema or colonic!

6.    Spritz your water.  Another absorption method is light spritzing of the skin throughout the day.  You will feel your skin drinking it up and looking refreshed.  We love Solar Recover for its effectiveness with healing up skin after sun exposure.  Or make your own spritzer with aloe vera juice and essential oils that stimulate your interest in hydration. 

How do I track my hydration efforts?  Outside of seeing a reduction in the symptoms mentioned above, you can also monitor your urine.  If you find relatively clear, odorless urine, then you are doing well.  If your urine is yellow, then you are heading toward dehydration.  Take into account that some vitamins create yellow urine (although the effects of these should pass after the first urination post vitamin intake.)  If your urine is very dark and smelly, then you are likely severely dehydrated and your body is suffering.  

So many bodily processes are fluid filled, with digestion being a major one.  It takes up to 2 liters of fluid per day to comprise the digestive fluids.   Your liver needs water to produce healthy bile and complete its detoxification work.  Your kidneys need water to effectively manage blood volume and avoid inflammation.  Your musculoskeletal system needs water to avoid cramping and soreness.  Your lungs need water to stay clear and expansive.  Your brain needs water to provide healthy moods and mental patterns.  Your skin needs water to be supple and create an effective barrier.  In general, your body needs water to buffer, dilute, absorb, release, expand, contract and be fluid in so many ways.  

A fun website to explore is Dr. Batmanghelidj, M.D.’s  “Dr. B” is pretty obsessed with hydration and very knowledgeable about all the ways water levels can impact the body.  

So avoid an internal drought this summer and stay wet inside!  Explore the many enjoyable ways that you can take an inner dip with foods and hydrating beverages.  Hone your water level tracking skills by monitoring bodily functions.  Stay juicy and refreshed with proper hydration!


In joyful service,

Kristi Zimmer, LMP

Co-Owner of Tummy Temple