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Was drinking more water one of your New Year’s resolutions? It was for us, and the more we learn about the prevalence of mild dehydration, and what this means for our health, we’re committed to anchoring in this new habit. With brands like Madefor using knowledge and techniques from neuroscience and psychology to help us engrain pro-health habits—including hydration—into our lifestyles, nourishing our minds, bodies, and souls with wellness has never felt more achievable. Keep reading to hear what the experts say.
The Signs of Mild Dehydration:
“Mild dehydration is a fairly common condition,” explains Serena Poon, CN, CHC, CHN, celebrity chef, reiki practitioner, and nutritional energy practitioner. “You are made up of about 60% water and every cell and system in your body needs ample hydration to operate well.” The most common causes of dehydration include not drinking enough, drinking too much caffeine or soda, and eating too much sodium and processed foods. Signs of mild dehydration may show up as a mood slump, dark urine, and increased thirst.
James Mayo, the founder of SOS Hydration, notes that “Dehydration can also be attributed to tiredness, loss of cognitive focus, headaches, decreased sports performance, and dry skin.” He cites statistics indicating a 25% loss in physical and mental performance due to poor hydration, which also translates into dehydrated skin. “A simple rule of thumb is that if you are thirsty, you are 2% dehydrated,” he says.
How Much Water Should We Drink?
“I usually advise that people drink a bit more than the recommended amount,” Poon tells rē•spin. “I find that a good goal is to consume at least your body weight in ounces of water each day, so long as you don’t have any kidney or electrolyte deficiency issues.” Because this can feel daunting at first, she recommends making your goal 75% of your body weight in ounces and building from there.
When trying to build the habit of drinking more water, it can be hard to adjust to a “bland” beverage if you are used to more flavorful options. To address this, Poon recommends making iced, decaffeinated herbal teas and infused water to make them more enticing. “I love making infused water with peppermint, hibiscus, or dandelion tea,” Poon adds. “Lemons, cucumbers, and watermelon also make wonderful infusions.” Of course, you can always infuse your water with crystals, too.
What Type of Water is Best?
To optimize hydration, know that minerals matter. “Research has shown that mineral water has real benefits that could include digestive support, bone health, and even hormone balance,” Poon continues, naming calcium, magnesium, and potassium as crucial minerals that are not created in the body and must be consumed. This makes naturally-sourced Spring water preferable to distilled water that has been stripped of its mineral composition.
Poon also prefers alkaline water. “Though the benefits are not backed by a ton of scientific evidence…an alkaline diet will keep your body operating optimally and your energy feeling enlivened,” she says. She also recommends drinking from BPA-free, glass water bottles in favor of plastic in order to avoid chemical leaching.
Hydration and Emotional Healing:
Whether you happen to be a fan of energy healing modalities like reiki, or you have been committed to inner, emotional healing, you might find yourself extra parched after sessions. “Hydration is very important in energy healing,” Poon assures us. “Your brain is made up of more than 70% water, so it definitely makes sense to encourage hydration during mental activities and healing.”
She explains that water helps with the flow of energy, which is why she encourages her clients to drink plenty of water before and after sessions. “If you are fully hydrated, energy can move through your body more effectively in numerous ways, including transmitting vitamins and minerals through blood flow, toxin release, and fascial connections,” she says. “In the same way that we can help move out energetic toxins that are released during healing and energy work with the flow of energy, [this process is] supported by the movement of water.
Expert Hydration Hacks to Increase Your Intake:
- Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
- Try herbal tea or infusions if you need a little flavor.
- Eat plenty of veggies and fruits to help your body stay hydrated.
- Avoid distilled water in favor of naturally alkalized spring water and mineral-rich sources in glass bottles.
- Consider added electrolytes to support rehydration.
- Minimize caffeine in your diet.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to keep hydrated.
Flow Alkaline Spring Water, $29.99 for a pack of 12 1-Liter boxes
Flow provides an eco-friendly way to incorporate naturally alkaline, mineral-rich spring water into your diet. Each BPA-free, recyclable paper bottle was designed with 68% renewable materials and features a plant-based cap.
Anine Bing Pia Water Bottle, $59
Hydrate—but make it fashion. The chicest way to stay hydrated and keep your water chilled is this minimalist-friendly, stainless steel, thermal decanter from Bing’s Cool-girl-beloved fashion line.
SAKARA Beauty Water + Detox Water Drops, $39
The clean, nutritional program sells drops to make your water more functional. The Beauty Water adds 72 ionic minerals harvested from the Great Salt Lake into your beverages, while their Detox Water Drops contain antioxidant-rich chlorophyll.
SOS Lifestyle Hydration Variety Powder, $19.95
For a pre-made sport’s drink designed to optimize hydration, consider SOS Hydration’s variety pack of electrolyte mixes that are doctor-recommended, keto-approved, and allow the body to absorb three times as much hydration as water alone.
Just Add Water 7-Day Rebalance Kit, $40
Poon’s own company created these single-serving drink mixes that provide you with superfoods, adaptogenic herbs, power greens, and vegan protein that will give your water a functional boost.
Berkey Filter Sport Berkey Water Bottle, $34.95
For filtered water on-the-go, look no further than this BPA and BPS-free water bottle containing a replaceable filter with ionic adsorption microfiltration technology to keep your agua pure.
OFFIELD Enhanced Hydration, $39.99 for 12 Sticks
Enhance your hydration with anti-inflammatory, soothing CBD, CBG, and L-theanine added into the mix. This is an especially great option for pre-workout.
VITAJUWEL Inu! Crystal Water Bottle, $55
Crystal fans can keep hydrated with this BPA-free, glass water bottle with a chamber that infuses your water with a customizable blend of crystals to suit your ethereal needs.
LARQ Self Cleaning Water Bottle, $95
If you’re a germaphobe, check out this BPA-free, insulated water bottle that uses UV-light to neutralize 99.9% of germs and microbes every two hours.
Madefor 10-Month Program, $750
This ten-month subscription program developed by neuroscientists, behavioral experts, life coaches, and more, supports you in incorporating pro-wellness habits into your life. Their segments focus on everything from breathing to, you guessed it, hydration.