Daily fitness tip: advanced hydration

We all know that we have to drink water to survive.  Even a drop by 1-2% in hydration levels leads to measurable decline in cognitive and physical performance.

Its estimated that 70% of people are dehydrated at any given time.  Translated, this means there could be as much as a 70% chance that you are dehydrated as you read this email!

Many people are aware of this and do what they can to drink plenty of water.  But is this the secret, or is there more to hydration?  Here are some quick tips to become better hydrated.

1) Eat more fruits and veggies - As if there's not enough reason for this already.  But did you know that plants (and fruits come from plants) act as natural water filters?  When we consume hydrating fruits like berries and apples, as well as watery veggies like cucumber and tomatoes, we are getting vitamin and mineral-rich water in our diets.  This is much more hydrating than just drinking tap water.  

2) Eat more healthy fats - Pretty much every cell in the human body is surrounded by what's called a "phospolipid bilayer" which just means that there is a fatty outer and inner wall of the cell with a phosphate molecule in the middle.  This means there is a fat-soluble membrane separating the inner and outer cell.  Needless to say, if our diets and lifestyle's are not conducive to creating a healthy cell membrane, then we will have "leaky" cells and poor fluid transport.  Essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA create strong, optimally functioning cells, better able to control hydration levels.  

3) Put some lemon in your water - Not all the time, this can cause breakdown of tooth enamel.  But lemon water is very popular do to the alkaline characteristics of lemons.  This helps to balance the pH levels in the body, which control so many enzymes and processes its impossible to list here.  But proper pH is essential for hydration as well.  As a side note, acidic foods tend to do the opposite.  And all the crap in the American diet leads to acidic environment.

4) Get more electrolytes - Gatorade isn't going to cut it.  Hydration is more than about water, its about regulating the electric current in the body.  This is a big reason we are made of 70% water.  We are electrical beings.  Dehydration messes with the current - not good.  Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, iodine, magnesium, calcium and others regulate hydration and electrical current.  No need to overdo this one.  Just make sure you're getting quality supplements and again, fruits and veggies which contain natural and bioavailable electrolytes.  My product of choice is Herbalife CR7 Drive which is created for, you guessed it, inter-workout replenishment of electrolytes, a cornerstone of sports nutrition!

5) Switch from coffee to green tea - Coffee is very acidic, and in America it is very common to drink multiple cups per day.  The energy trade-off is big: lost vitamins, minerals and electrolytes through the urine.  Coffee isn't necessarily bad and has many health benefits, but should be drank in moderation.  If you need coffee to operate daily, this is a sign of other health issues and nutritional deficiencies!

So I hope we can start the week off right with some hydration!  

Ben Hetzel

Health Coach / Nutritionist