1. The eight-by-eight rule is a myth
Somehow, the notion that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day became gospel. But according to Dana Cohen, an integrative medicine physician and co-author of Quench “Eight glasses of water a day – it comes from nowhere,”. Because let’s be honest: How can two people with completely different body types, environments, and lifestyles require the same amount of water? It doesn’t make any sense.
So how much water should you actually be drinking? Well, it’s impossible to give everyone the exact same rule of thumb, as diet, environment, and activity levels can affect how much water you need (example: those following the keto diet or those who simply eat more meat may need to drink more water to match the dehydrating diet). But for some general guidance, Cohen recommends drinking half of your weight in ounces. So, for instance, someone who weighs 150 pounds would want to drink around 75 ounces of water, which is about 9 cups.
However, at the end of the day, it’s important to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. “The only way to know is to live in your body and know what it feels like,” Cohen adds.
2. Hydration is huge for brain health
In case you needed another reason to meet your daily water quota: Dehydration can affect brain fog. It is said that even if you have a 1 to 2% drop in hydration, you can start to have feelings associated with brain fog like tiredness, headache, and poor concentration.
Water is going to help keep your blood pressure normalised; it’s going to help flush out waste from your cells; it keeps your cells metabolically active and healthy, all of which are important functions for brain health. Another study even showed that when a group of young, healthy women restricted their water intake to no more than 6 ounces in one day, they performed worse on cognitive tests that required visual and working memory; after they drank enough water and repeated the tests, their executive function went back to baseline.
3. You may need to remineralise your water
If you drink water all day long and still feel like you need more, it’s not you; it may be your water filter. Specifically, reverse osmosis filters: These filters are great, as they clean your tap of potentially harmful contaminant's ad by-products, but they weed out everything, including healthy minerals and electrolytes.
If you’re drinking all that plain bulk tap water that has nothing in it, you’re flushing out electrolytes, not replacing those electrolytes. Without those electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and magnesium, to name a few), you may not feel aptly hydrated throughout the day.
To remedy the situation, add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt to your glasses to remineralise your water. Not every single glass of water, but in a couple of those glasses do a pinch of salt with some lemon to replace some other minerals.
4. Add chia seeds to your water
Chia seeds may not be high on your list of hydrating foods (cucumbers and watermelon tend to receive much more hype), but Cohen says, don’t sleep on these thirst-quenching superstars.
See, when you add water to chia seeds, it forms into a gel; that slime happens when H2O molecules layer upon one another and turn into ‘structured’ or ‘gel’ water. It’s an incredibly hydrating glob; in that form that’s found in nature, and it’s also in that form that’s found within our cells.
Chia seeds are also chock-full of fibre. In fact, they can absorb up to 10-12 times their weight in water. The fibre is what really acts as a sponge. Chia seeds can hold on to that hydration much better than just plain bulk water alone.
5. Or make a green smoothie
A fibre-rich green smoothie may be more hydrating than gulping down glasses of water.
6. Hydration can help you sleep better
According to behavioural sleep doctor Shelby Harris, hydration is huge for quality sleep. In fact, many people who do not prioritise hydration during the day tend to wake up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, sometimes multiple times. “Some of these people are not drinking enough during the day, so come nighttime, they’re super thirsty. They chug a glass or two of water, and then they pay for it with trips to the bathroom. I encourage people to really try and hydrate throughout the day so that you’re not backlogging it at night,” she says.
Not to mention, a lack of sleep can cause you to be thirsty, too. A 2019 study even found that adults who had a short sleep duration (six hours or less) also had inadequate hydration levels. “So I encourage everyone in the morning, if you’ve had a rough night of sleep, start your day with a big glass of water,” says Harris. “I always have water with a lemon slice in it.”
7. Know that you can drink too much water, too
We’d be remiss not to mention drinking too much water – which is most definitely a thing. Too much water dilutes the electrolyte concentrations in the blood, causing imbalance throughout the body’s many systems.
The bottom line? Make sure you drink enough water, but not too much. One way to check your baseline is to peek at the colour of your pee. A light yellow is the ideal hue. If your urine is a really dark yellow, you’re probably not drinking enough. But if your urine is clear, that’s a sign you’re drinking too much. At that point, your body is just dumping water.
The Vintage Salon Team x