If you’ve been struggling with weight gain, fatigue, and unwholesome cravings, may I suggest a strategy of drinking more? Sounds like fun, right? But I should make it clear that it’s water, not alcohol, that I have in mind!
Staying well hydrated is the easy road to certain medical and cosmetic benefits, among them:
- It helps the liver more-effectively metabolize fat.
- It reduces the chance of urinary tract infection.
- It helps prevent constipation.
- It sharpens your ability to think through complex tasks.
- It makes you feel less hungry (those pangs of hunger often are really just thirst).
- It assists the kidneys in flushing toxins from your body.
- It provides the plump, radiant skin we all strive for.
- It energizes you, because water is used to make energy on a cellular level in your body.
Clearly, frequent swigs of H2O can help ensure you’re in top condition to tackle your day and that you look great while doing it. But hold on! There’s more to proper hydration than you might think.
Here’s my five-point hydration guide
1. Drink the right amount of water daily.
The golden rule of hydration traditionally has been to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, or to take half your weight and drink that number of ounces of water. But this advice may not be appropriate for everyone all the time. (If you currently weigh 200 pounds, for example, under the “half your weight in ounces” guideline, you’d have to gulp down 100 ounces of water a day – that’s nearly thirteen 8-ounce glasses!) Your minimal daily water requirement depends mostly on your activity level and your environment.
My rule of thumb is to drink 60 to 70 ounces of pure water daily. Use common sense, though; if you’re a marathoner competing in the heat, you obviously need more water, and if you’re a sedentary worker sitting indoors all day, you probably need less.
And no, you don’t get water credits for the tea, coffee and other liquids you drink during the day. Sorry! The required quantity has to come as pure, filtered water.
How can you tell if you’re drinking enough water? A good gauge is the color of your urine. A pale, straw color is what you want. Darker urine suggests you should drink more water.
Another way to determine if you’re drinking enough water is to measure the elasticity of your skin: Pinch up a fold of skin and release it – if it bounces back fast, you’re well hydrated. And if you’re checking the pH of your urine daily (as suggested by my Keto-Green Diet in my new book, “The Hormone Fix”), “acid-y urine” is another clue that you need to drink more agua.
2. Drink from the right containers.
It was once popular to carry around a plastic bottle of water as if it was a permanent extension of your arm. But now we know that plastic bottles contain the industrial chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which is recognized as a hormone disruptor and has been linked to breast cancer. So those bottles should be avoided.
But did you know BPA-free plastic containers may be just as harmful? Animal studies have found that bisphenol S (BPS), a replacement compound for BPA, may disrupt a cell’s normal functioning, which could potentially lead to diabetes, obesity, asthma, birth defects or even cancer. So let’s just forget plastic water bottles altogether!
Always drink your water from glass or stainless-steel containers!
3. Know what’s in the water you drink and where that water comes from.
Drinking water comes from a variety of sources, including public water systems and private wells. All sources of drinking water may contain contaminants. According to the EPA and the CDC, those possible contaminants include:
- Organic material from soil erosion that is suspended in the water of lakes, rivers and streams.
- Chemicals such as nitrogen, bleach, salts, pesticides, heavy metal substances, toxins produced by bacteria, hormones, and human or animal drugs.
- Biological substances such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.
- Radiological elements such as cesium, plutonium and uranium.
- Sewage releases.
- Fertilizers and pesticides from farms.
The presence of contaminants in water can lead to nasty health problems, including gastrointestinal illnesses, hormone disruption, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. You probably heard about the catastrophic contamination of the water supply in Flint, Michigan, where increased levels of lead in the drinking water were discovered. This was the result of improper water treatment and water pipe corrosion, which caused even higher levels of lead in the affected children. High lead amounts are known to increase incidences of mental illness, attention deficit disorder, irrational behavior, and anger. Not coincidentally, Flint has been one of the most-violent cities in the United States. Certainly, the water supply has played a role in that.
I know this all sounds scary, but you can easily avoid contaminated drinking water by purchasing a water filter. But what kind? A filter for a pitcher? One for under the sink? A so-called “carbon block”? A filter mechanism for the whole house? If you’re not sure, the best course of action is to get a solid carbon block filter certified to NSF/ANSI 42, 53 and 401 – and also 58, if you would like to add reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis uses a partially permeable membrane to remove ions, molecules and larger particles from drinking water.
4. Drink up at the right time.
Advice about when it’s best to drink water is notoriously vague. Sip water throughout the day? Just drink it with meals? Actually, neither of those pieces of advice is optimum.
I advise people to drink a glass of water upon waking, followed by 24 - 32 ounces (or 4 cups) at midmorning and another 24 - 32 ounces at midafternoon.
It’s a bad idea to drink more than 4 ounces of water with meals. Here’s why: Drinking fluids dilutes important digestive juices, as well as the enzymes required for good digestion. Saliva is all the water you need at meals. Alternatively, you can drink water up to 20 minutes before you eat a meal, and then wait 1 to 2 hours afterward to drink more. This really is critical for good health! So many people suffer from digestive problems and indigestion because of this!
5. Go alkaline.
I typically drink filtered alkaline or spring water. Recent studies suggest that alkaline water is the best liquid to drink. Rich in alkalizing minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium, alkaline water offers many benefits:
- Better hydration
- Balance of pH
- Antioxidant support
A 2016 study published in the medical journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine revealed that people who drank alkaline water demonstrated a lower incidence of heart disease and cancer, as well as lower total mortality rates. Alkaline water may also prevent osteoporosis and protect insulin-making cells in the pancreas.
It’s easy to make alkaline water right at home. Simply add together ½ teaspoon of lemon juice (which will make the water tastier), ½ to 1 tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Drink this right after waking up in the morning. There also is a wide range of water filters that can alkalize your water. Mine is from vollara.com.
If you want more information on hydration, alkalinity and health, detoxification from contaminants, hormone balance and related topics, make sure to get your copy of “The Hormone Fix” from major booksellers or my website, drannacabeca.com.
Let’s drink to your health!
In addition to your daily intake of water, another great way to stay hydrated and maintain alkalinity is with my favorite Super Keto-Green Shake. It’s a quick and delicious drink that will get you alkaline in the morning, because it’s full of greens, healthy fats and other alkalinizing ingredients. You also can infuse it with other great-tasting alkaline additions, for more flavor and health benefits.
Dr. Anna’s Favorite Super Keto-Green Shake
- 1 scoop Dr. Anna’s Keto-Alkaline Protein Shake powder
- 1 tablespoon MCT oil (medium-chain triglyceride oil) or coconut oil
- 2 scoops Dr. Anna’s Mighty Maca Plus
- Handful of kale
- 1 stalk celery
- ½-inch-thick slice of fresh ginger
- 1/4 avocado
- Dash of cardamom or fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds and flaxseeds (or pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
- 8 ounces water with 3 to 4 ice cubes
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- That’s it! Delicious!
Optional: Include some other great-tasting alkaline additions in this smoothie. (Choose one or a few from the list below – you can mix and match to come up with your own delicious recipes.)
- Fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or chia seeds, and/or freshly ground flaxseeds
- Almond or cashew butter
- Kale, spinach and/or other greens
- Collagen/protein powder
- Coconut water, coconut milk or coconut flakes
- Vanilla extract
P.S. My Keto-Alkaline Protein Shake powder is a comprehensive dietary supplement designed to support gastrointestinal function and balanced detoxification.
It’s a great way to help burn fat, optimize your hormones, and regulate your metabolism.