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The Plan Podcast Episode 029: How to Achieve Optimum Hydration | By Dani Bruflodt of Thyme is Honey

 

In Episode 029 we’re talking about one of my biggest passions and favorite topics ever in the history of topics: hydration, and let me promise you this: today’s episode could change the trajectory of your entire life. And not just your health. It could change the way your brain functions. The way you work. How productive you are. How well you communicate or process information. Your life expectancy. It could literally impact every aspect of your life and if you don’t believe me just press play.

MY JOURNEY TO HYDRATION

I’ve talked quite a bit in past episodes about my personal experience with kind of hitting a rock bottom with my health and needing to make major changes in my life, one of which was hydration. Back in 2010, at the suggestion of a nutritionist, I started drinking at least 80 ounces of water each day and eating a more plant-based, whole foods diet.

I lost weight and my weight stabilized. I had more energy than I ever knew was possible. My skin looked great. My digestion improved. But perhaps most importantly, my brain felt awake and I was amazed by the rate at which I could come up with and execute my ideas. I never looked back, and water is still one of my favorite topics.

I immediately started singing the praises of water. Being hydrated has quite literally become part of my brand and overall message. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I was leaving out an entire piece of this puzzle. It wasn’t just my increase in water consumption that had me energized and feeling great: it was also the plants I was eating.

I realized this while reading the book Quench (see my full book review here), which explains that new research has emerged that shows us that water actually has a fourth phase: liquid, ice, vapor….and gel! If you’ve ever soaked chia seeds, had a chia pudding, or perhaps had a kombucha with chia seeds floating in it, you’ve seen gel water firsthand. Gel water is what forms around the chia seed when it comes in contact with liquid, but gel water is present in a lot of our food. This gel state of water is 10% more viscous than the liquid state. Not a major difference, but the way this water benefits our bodies is pretty significant.

UNDERSTANDING GEL WATER

Gel water has two major benefits: it is more hydrating than plain water, and it conducts electricity more efficiently. The health benefits of being optimally hydrated are obvious: it prevents disease. Conducting electricity is also vital because it is how our brains send signals to every other part of our body. The more efficient this system is, the faster and clearer we are able to think and function.

Understanding gel was is what helped me realize that the benefits I felt back when I started trying to improve my health weren’t only because I was drinking more water, it was combined with the fact that I had also shifted towards a diet focused on whole foods — which meant I was eating significantly more plants. Or gel water! And I realized that I was doing a total disservice to anyone who follows me if I am only encouraing you to drink more water — because you really need to combine it with eating more plants, as well. Because — and this is important: True hydration isn’t about how many ounces you can guzzle in a day, it’s about how much water your body absorbs.

The Plan Podcast Episode 029: How to Achieve Optimum Hydration | By Dani Bruflodt of Thyme is Honey

ACHIEVING OPTIMUM HYDRATION

The Quench Method is based around these three basic principles:

  1. Drinking for maximum absorption -this means drinking water at key times throughout the day, such as first thing after waking up, before meals, or after exercise. Knowing when to drink water helps you replenish your body before it has the chance to feel the effects of even the mildest dehydration.
  2. Getting more of your water from food -this one is pretty self-explanatory, but it means increasing the number of plants you are eating each day because plants are the best source of gel water.
  3. Using movement to distribute hydration throughout your body – this doesn’t mean that you need to start a rigorous exercise program, quite the opposite. When we are sedentary our body can struggle to distribute hydration to the areas that need it, so making sure we are moving throughout the day is really important. The authors encourage you to integrate “micro-movements” into your day and the book gives great recommendations for simple little movements you can do at different points of the day, but this might also be as simple as removing the trash can from your desk at work so that you start getting up more frequently even for just a short jaunt across the room. More than anything this third point is really to help you be more aware of the fact that you are a body of water — that water is found in basically every single cell in your body, and that it doesn’t just happen magically…regular movement throughout the day helps this process.

FOUR SIMPLE TIPS

Thinking about reading Quench but want to start implementing better hydration practices right away? Here are 4 simple tips you can add to your daily routine to help your body stay hydrated:

Tip number 1 is to drink a glass of warm lemon water every morning, within 20 minutes of waking up. If you add just a small pinch of sea salt this also adds electrolytes and will help prime your entire system for a day of absorption. So that means that any other water you consume throughout the day is more likely to be absorbed more deeply and not just passed through your system. You can also add a small scoop of chia seed to add fiber and even more absorption power.

Tip number 2 is to drink a green juice or smoothie every day. This is a fast way to get several doses of fruits and vegetables along with plenty of gel water. You should, of course, also be consciously choosing to eat more plants with each meal, but incorporating a green juice into your daily routine will help ensure that you always meet this mark. (Here’s my recipe for a Super Hydrating Green Juice).

Tip number 3 is to make water accessible throughout the day. It’s better to sip water consistently and if it’s there we are more likely to drink it. So, get a great tumbler or water bottle and keep it with you. Take it in the car during your commute. Keep it at your desk. Take it into meetings. Keep it next to your bed when you sleep. (This is my favorite water cup).

And finally, tip number four is to move more. Remind yourself that the more we sit, the less all this water is able to move around our body and reach the places we need it to. Do what you need to do to help yourself get up regularly throughout the day. Take a few minutes to stretch or massage your shoulders. Picture that layer of fascia that exists beneath your skin and take care of it through regular, gentle movement.

SHOW NOTES

If you thought this information was interesting I’d encourage you to read the book Quench by Dr. Dana Cohen and Gina Bria.

If you want more helpful tips along with daily hydration reminders follow my little side project account @HeyYouDrinkWater on Instagram.

I did the 5-day Quench Plan that is outlined in the book and shared every step of it in my Instagram Story. I have it saved on my Instagram profile under QUENCH if you’d like to see more.

I have a favorite green juice recipe that I make every day and the recipe is on my blog.

My favorite water cup is this 24 oz Bubba Tumbler. I love the size, the fact that it has a lid, and the oversized straw.

Want to read my Q+A with the Authors of Quench? Find it right here.

Download my free Weekly Water Tracker to help stay on top of your hydration.

Plan Podcast Episode 029: How to Achieve Optimum Hydration

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