We’ve all heard we need to drink more water, but is it really that simple?
And do we actually need to drink more? Besides the fact that your body is made up of mostly water, proper hydration is needed for almost all functions in the body. From staying mentally sharp to reducing your risk for heart disease, making sure your body’s cells are well hydrated is one of the best ways to maximize your health.
What if I told you there is so much more you could do to make your water intake actually work for your body? Plain old water is a good place to start, but being intentional about the fluids you take into your body can make an enormous impact on how you function throughout the day. Whether you’re working on healing a dis-easement in the body or just looking to improve your health, strong hydration is one of the best ways to take your health to the next level.
Sometimes, our cells are not able to absorb the water we drink – so we can keep drinking and drinking and drinking without much impact. Here are my favorite secrets to optimize how your body can receive and use the fluids you put into your body – but for even more info, you can sign up here for free tips & a hydration challenge!
How To Optimize Your Water Quality
When your body is thirsty, tap water won’t cut it – and in fact sometimes can do more harm than good. The first step I would suggest is to choose a water filter that works best for you. I wrote extensively on how and why to filter your water in this post.
Once your water is pure and clean, here are some ways you can make sure your cells get satisfied.
ADD A SQUEEZE OF LEMON OR LIME.
Did you know that lemons and limes are ultra-hydrating to your cells and produce electrolytes? Because they are full of mineral salts, these citrus sisters help carry the hydration directly into your cells. Not only this, they are full of easily absorbable Vitamin C and calcium. Lemons and limes create more alkalinity in the body, which prevents the onset and growth of dis-easement in the body. They are also powerful detoxifiers, purging the body of toxins such as plastics, synthetic chemicals, radiation, and a poor diet. When you are sick, lemons and limes help cleanse the body and expel mucus, as well as nourish the immune system with their Vitamin C and other trace minerals.
Right after you wake up, I highly recommend drinking at least 16 ounces of water with half a lemon’s juice squeezed into it. This lemon (or lime) water helps flush out toxins and waste that your liver worked to purge overnight, and helps rehydrate your cells after several hours of no fluid intake. To add even more minerals, you can stir in a spoonful of raw organic honey.
ADD CUCUMBER SLICES.
Cucumbers are amazing for maximizing your hydration! They are able to hydrate your cells on the deepest level possible. Letting cucumber slices soak in your water not only adds in the minerals and vitamins they contain, but it also helps reduce bloat and reverse liver damage.
PUT IT IN THE SUN.
The sun is incredibly healing, and its rays provide hundreds of nutrients – not just Vitamin D. (Read more about the power of the sun here.) You can easily infuse the sun’s energy and nutrients into your water by leaving a glass of water in the sun for 4+ hours. I usually cover the top with a screen to keep out bugs and debris. It is best to have the sun’s rays be able to directly fall onto the water, which a lid could prevent. However, putting your water in the sun with a lid is better than keeping it inside! Watch the video below to see more sun water tips:
How Much Water Should You Actually Be Drinking?
We always hear “8 glasses a day” – but how much is that, actually?
The recommendation is actually eight 8oz glasses a day – which roughly comes out to half a gallon, or 64 ounces. This can be a good starting point, but often your body will need more than that – especially depending on many other factors, including how dehydrated you are, what kind of climate you live in, how much movement or sweat you’re generating in a day, the kinds of foods you’re eating, etc.
My general rule of thumb is the minimum you should drink a day is half your body weight in ounces (for example, 200 pounds = 100 ounces). It’s even better if you can get in your entire body weight in ounces of good quality fluids. The amount each person needs will vary based on their health needs, but what I’ve found from working with a variety of clientele is that people are much more dehydrated than they realize, with more far-reaching effects that they would expect. For example, this study found that the effects on your heart from even mild dehydration is the equivalent of smoking a cigarette.
It’s best to drink the ounces throughout the day, rather than in a few settings, so that your body can easily regulate your fluid levels. What I’ve found to work best for me is to start hydrating early – otherwise, you can end up drinking too much before bedtime and needing to disrupt your sleep to use the bathroom at night.
My Favorite Ultra-Hydrating Drinks
What are my go-to drinks? Here are some of my favorite recipes below:
A powerhouse combination to pack in the minerals, nutrients, detoxification, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties of lemons, honey, and ginger! This drink is great for every day hydration or for when you’re feeling sick to rehydrate, nourish, and empower your immune system to fight off illness. Super easy and flexible to make it to your taste, this drink is a must-try and a perfect twist on summer lemonade! Add a chunk of fresh turmeric for even more anti-inflammatory power and a host of other amazing benefits.
- 50-60 ounces of clean water
- Juice of 3 lemons
- 4 Tbsp of raw organic honey
- ½-1” chunk of ginger
- ½” chunk of turmeric (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute.
- Optional – strain through a nut milk bag to remove the ginger “hairs.”
Is there anything parsley water can’t do? This is one of my all-time favorite drinks! Packed with nutrients and benefits such as detoxification, ultra-hydration, and super-alkalization, parsley water is a powerhouse that can’t be missed. Read more about the benefits of each ingredient here.
- 1 bunch organic flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp raw organic honey*
- Juice of 3 limes or lemons*
- 5-6 cups water
- Place all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend for 1-2 minutes. Enjoy!
*Note: You can add more honey to make the taste sweeter, or more lime/lemon to make it more sour to your preference.
You all know how much I love my cranberries! Drinking them is one of the easiest ways to get in a lot of cranberries. Here’s a simple but powerful way to bring in more of these incredible berries into your life! Read more about cranberries here.
This recipe is originally by Anthony William. I adapted the method slightly.
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes.
- Strain with a nut milk bag or a mesh strainer.
Is it possible to over hydrate? Yes, in rare and unusual instances. If one drinks an extremely large amount in a single setting, or is drinking water without proper mineral salts, one can encounter side effects such as low electrolyte levels. This can be avoided by spreading out your ounces throughout the day and using the tips above to improve the quality of your water.
Are you up for a challenge? How about 30 days of super hydration? Let’s commit to 30 days of drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of clean, nourishing fluids – and see how amazing you can feel!
Want more tips on hydration? Want me to cheer you on? Sign up here and let me know on social media @amberbodilyhealth that you’re up for the challenge!
I love talking about hydration, and there are so many amazing ways to get in your healing fluids throughout the day. Which one are you going to try first?