Are you curious about the best ways to stay hydrated? Honestly, so are we! That’s why we’ve partnered with Phoebe Lapine, author of The Wellness Project, to find out the best ways to stay hydrated. As Phoebe struggled with how to heal from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, her desire to change her health made her look at how she was staying hydrated. We’re excited to bring you this excerpt from her book on all the ways you’ll want to stay hydrated. Read on!
6 Things You Might Not Know About Hydrating Right
In the winter of 2015, after struggling for years to heal my body from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I decided to try a radical new approach to my health.
Instead of resolutions, which had always left me feeling guilty and overwhelmed, I came up with a list of short-term monthly experiments that would help me tackle each one of my problem areas, one by one.
The challenges that I laid out were meant to force me to recommit to all the self-care practices that fell by the wayside when I left the corporate world to become a professional chef and food writer, and tame some of my more unfortunate symptoms of autoimmune disease (ahem, adult acne).
The goal was to explore my limits, in order to find a more sustainable middle ground going forward. Because without experiencing small changes with awareness (what works for you, what doesn’t) there’s no way to design your own Goldilocks life of wellness that feels just right—something I call healthy hedonism.
This year-long pursuit of the sweet spot between health and hedonism became my debut memoir, The Wellness Project.
In it, I chronicle the many practices I tried and researched the hell out of in the process. I distill which strategies improved my life and which, despite the best scientific and spiritual intentions, just didn’t. And I help those who feel like they’ve bitten off more kale salad than they can chew, hone in on simpler, more effective habits.
One of my most important learnings was that it was often the smallest changes that allowed me to take the biggest strides towards better health. And that was certainly the case when it came to my month of hydration.
“Drink more water” is not the sexiest of wellness manifestos. For many people, it falls under the category of common sense. Yet many experts site chronic dehydration as one of the biggest barriers to good health (75 percent of Americans fall far below their daily quotas) — and it also happens to be one of the easiest and cheapest to fix!
Read on for some of the strategies I developed for drinking better, cleaner water and making sure your body absorbs every last drop.
1. Drink half your body weight in ounces.
The general rule of thumb to stay hydrated is to drink half your body weight in ounces daily — and even more if you live in a dry place or exercise a lot. You can also take cues from your pee and drink until it’s a nice clear mellow yellow. If you’re at home or the office, you can just measure with a designated water receptacle (see below).
2. Put a pitcher or water bottle on your desk.
Having a designated water bottle or pitcher, not only helps you measure your daily intake, but it is also a powerful reminder to drink. Don’t underestimate what having a bottle physically in front of you will do for your hydration. If you don’t want to count bottles, you can get a pitcher that holds your exact quota. This is a more fun strategy for getting add-ins involved like flavored ice cubes or sliced lemon. If using a smaller bottle, place rubber bands around the base (as many as the refills needed to meet your quota) and move them up or down as you finish each round.
3. Avoid guzzling during meals.
One key tip for maximizing absorption and retention is to avoid drinking water at meals. You’re supposed to stop 30 minutes before eating and wait an hour after until consuming more. I’ve tried this, and it’s a struggle. Especially when you accidentally eat the ghost pepper in your Thai curry. But it also helps with digestion. Water dilutes your saliva’s natural enzymes that help break down food. Instead, think about getting your “water meals” in between your actual meals. Your body’s appetite for water is similar to food. Just because you’ve had a big breakfast doesn’t mean you’re not going to be hungry again by dinnertime. So sip slowly and regularly throughout the day
4. Don’t forget about fiber.
While it’s best not to drink while you eat, it’s good to have some lingering fiber in your gut to help slow down absorption. This means that instead of washing straight through your system, your body has more time to take in all the water it needs over time. The best way to do this is to get some extra fiber in the morning. Think hemp seeds in your oatmeal, almond butter in your smoothie, or veggies in your scrambled eggs.
5. Add a pinch of sea salt.
Salt is in the makeup of virtually all our bodily fluids, which means we’re constantly losing it in the form of sweat, urine, and tears. Add a pinch of pink Himalayan or unprocessed sea salt to your “water meals.” These salts are less processed and thus retain important minerals that also aid in absorption and support electrolyte balance. I like adding a dash to my morning lemon water or smoothie.
6. Invest in an at-home filtration system.
Sadly, the regulations on our tap water are incredibly outdated. The list of chemicals that are banned in drinking water has not been majorly updated since the 1980s, which means rocket fuel additives and dry cleaning solvent can still legally flow from our tap under The Clean Water Act!
Home filters are better for your wallet, and better for the planet. But finding the right one can be tricky. Unfortunately, anything that’s cheap, space-efficient and easy to use, like your standard Brita, does not do an effective job at filtering most of the big offenders. Pitcher filters also require you to buy new cartridges every few months, which can add up. My recommendation is a solid carbon block filter that attaches directly to your sink and only needs a new cartridge once a year.
Need more help finding lifestyle changes that last? Let’s work together to find your path forward. My 4 Weeks to Wellness Course might just change your life. With a month’s worth of make-ahead meal plans that are gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free, not to mention tasty AF, it’s a perfect way to explore your food sensitivities, clear troubled skin, and improve your digestion for the long haul. FIND OUT MORE HERE and make sure you enter for a chance to win the Fabletics giveaway!