Traditional Wellness Wisdom

Does drinking water hydrate and provide minerals to our bodies?

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Does water hydrate and provide us with necessary minerals?

If you have been dutifully drinking 8 eight-ounce glasses of water daily, here’s why you still may feel dehydrated:

Tap water and bottled water are purported to contain some minerals, varying in content from source to source.

However, most bottled water is expensive and may not be any better than tap water. Tap water can also contain harmful substances such as remnants of pharmaceutical drugs and other chemicals, herbicides, heavy metals including chromium, lead, and arsenic, plus the added chemicals fluoride and chlorine.

Federal scientists have found traces of 18 unregulated contaminants in 1/3 of samples taken from 25 U.S. municipal utilities from recent testing.  This finding was reported in a December 2013 issue of Scientific American:

“Included are 11 perfluorinated compounds, an herbicide, two solvents, caffeine, an antibacterial compound, a metal and an antidepressant…‘The good news is the concentrations are generally pretty low,’ said Dana Kolpin, a research hydrologist with the USGS who participated in the study. ‘But,’ he added, ‘there’s still the unknown. Are there long-term consequences of low-level exposure to these chemicals?’”

According to this report from ABC News:

“20/20″ took five bottles of national brands of bottled water and a sample of tap water from a drinking fountain in the middle of New York City and sent them to microbiologist Aaron Margolin of the University of New Hampshire to test for bacteria that can make you sick, like e. coli. “There was actually no difference between the New York City tap water and the bottled waters that we evaluated,” he said.

According to Body Ecology:

  • Tap water is municipal water that comes out of aucets and has been treated, processed and disinfected. It is purified with chlorine and generally has added flouride. One of the byproducts from using chlorine in our drinking water is linked to cancer.
  • Distilled water can be any kind of water that has been vaporized and collected, leaving behind any solid residues, including minerals. Distilled water has no minerals in it at all.
  • Reverse osmosis water has been forced through membranes that remove larger particles, pollutants and minerals. Reverse osmosis water is usually acidic.
  • Deionized water has had ionized impurities and minerals removed from it but not bacteria or pathogens.

Most municipal and commercial water available lacks essential minerals we need for health. Mineral deficiencies can contribute to our cause a number of diseases and symptoms including rapid heartbeat, headaches (including migraines), muscle cramping, digestive issues, immune system disorders, fatigue, loss of appetite, frequent infections, poor concentration or memory issues, arrested development in children, and many others.

If you do not have access to the following, you may want to consider a good filtration system:

  • Well water – comes from a hole drilled in the ground that taps into a water source. A pump brings it to the surface. If you do not have access to city water, then you would need a well.
  • Natural spring water – flows up from a natural spring and bottled at the source.
  • Artesian or spring waters – from a natural source, bottled off-site, and are processed and purified.
  • Mineral water  – natural spring water or artesian water sourced from underground. Contains at least 250 parts per million (ppm) of dissolved solids, including minerals and trace elements.

If you are chronically dehydrated, you may have symptoms of adrenal exhaustion and mineral depletion:

  • Sugar cravings
  • Salt cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling thirsty or dehydrated, and need to drink a lot of water at one time
  • Sleep issues: falling asleep, wake in the night or wake early in the morning
  • Tension, nervousness, anxiety or panic

Adrenal glands are found just above your kidneys, and in combination with your thyroid, work to generate energy for your body. Together, these organs secrete critical hormones for health including something called aldosterone.  According to Stop The Thyroid Madness, this hormone is secreted by your adrenals and regulates the concentration of minerals and water levels in the body – such as sodium and other minerals – to keep you hydrated.

Another important job your adrenal glands have is to regulate the body’s response to stress. In modern life, stress is frequent and acute, thus creating a constant state of adrenal fatigue. This issue is so rampant, in fact, most people suffer from it – especially women. The more stress you have, the more hormones like aldosterone and salt circulate in the body.  As stress levels begin to fall, aldosterone tapers off and sodium must exit the bloodstream. Your kidneys process salt, and as it leaves your body in the form of urine, water goes with it.

So, the more stress you experience, the weaker your adrenal glands will become, which means the more you will have to rehydrate. That’s why even if you are drinking water all day long, you may not be getting the rehydration through adequate mineral repletion your body needs for good health.

How can we get enough minerals in our diets?

  • Drink nettles infusions. I recommend dried organic nettles from Frontier via Amazon affiliation.
  • Make and consume bone broths from the bones of pastured animals and birds (cattle, bison, lamb, poultry, fish).
  • Eat foods from pastured animals and birds – meat, eggs, poultry, raw and cultured dairy foods such as raw milk, yogurt, kefir, cream cheese and sour cream.
  • Eat cultured vegetables including sauerkraut and its juice, cultured vegetable juices including beet and other types of kvass.
  • Use cells salts tablets or liquid minerals – add the liquid minerals to your filtered water and stocks and soups you make at home. I have been using trace minerals as recommended by my ND, and I’m noticing a huge difference in the way I feel. I recommend Morter  HealthSystem Trace Minerals, Hyland cell salts, and Nigey Lennon Homeopathic Cell Salt Remedies via Amazon affiliation.
  • Drink mineral water or filtered water with added minerals, fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, or unsweetened cranberry juice. I recommend Lakewood Organic cranberry juice via Amazon affiliation.

14 ways to rehydrate and nourish your adrenal glands:

  1. Avoid over-consumption of water. Make sure to consume plenty of liquid gradually throughout the day, and  don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink a large amount.  If you drink too fast, you risk diluting your blood, which may cause faster excretion of water by the kidneys. Everyone needs different amounts of liquid, but the standard rule of drinking half your weight in ounces may be too much. Concentrate on getting enough minerals through mineral-rich foods and liquids.
  2. During meals, consume 4 ounces of liquid or less. Drinking more than this dilutes the hydrochloric acid and other stomach juuices your body produces to properly digest your food.  Small amounts of warm or hot liquid such as bone broths, or cultured vegetable juices, or other fermented drinks like water kefir or kombucha will help you to digest your food better.
  3. Avoid processed, packaged, and junk foods. Make sure you are eating a real food with plenty of traditional fats and proteins.
  4. During and after you exercise, make sure you replace lost fluids with water with added sea salt. When we exert ourselves and sweat, our bodies lose salt and minerals, so replacing them is critical. Recommended are the following real sea salts via Amazon affiliation: Real Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, and FunFresh Foods Himalayan Pink Salt.
  5. Avoid beverages and chemicals such as alcohol, soda, and coffee. Consuming these substances can cause mineral depletion.  Coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol are diuretics and cause the body to release liquid and minerals.  The kidneys are triggered to excrete water but  by triggering the kidneys to excrete pure water without releasing toxins stored in the body.
  6. Use liquid trace minerals in water with sea salt. Dr. Morter’s Trace Liquid Minerals or Fulvic acid are excellent choices. Salt recommendations.  
  7. Consume safe-source seafood.  As well as being a rich source of fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, and E, and Omega 3 essential fatty acids, these foods are some of the best sources of important minerals available: especially calcium, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
  8. Make and consume mineral-rich broths from the bones of animals and birds raised on pasture.  These easy-to-digest foods are a staple in my family’s diet and we add them to many foods we prepare including soups, stews, casseroles, sauces, marinades, and for reheating leftovers. As well as adding flavor and nutrients to the foods you eat, they are economical to make when you use the bones from meats and poultry you buy including whole chickens and cuts of beef that include bones.
  9. Consume plenty of proteins and fats from animals and birds on pasture. Grassfed meats and poultry, eggs, raw dairy foods like butter, milk, yogurt, and kefir, pork, lamb, bison, and other meats and animal products from healthy animals raised on pasture or range. These foods are naturally higher in minerals than their conventional counterparts, as well as Omega 3 essential fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, an important antioxidant).
  10. Consume homemade fermented foods and beverages. These foods are easy-to-digest and provide higher levels of all nutrients, including minerals.  Sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables, beet and other kvass beverages, kombucha, and water kefir are all recommended.
  11. Use topical magnesium oil, gel, bath flakes, or lotion.  I recommend Ancient Minerals or Life-Flo oil , flakes from Ancient Minerals and Collective Wellbeing,  and magnesium lotion from Ancient Minerals and Life-Flo via Amazon affiliation. The transdermal oil is a great way to obtain enough magnesium, especially if you have compromised digestion. It bypasses your digestive system by soaking directly into the skin and into the bloodstream, and can help avoid one of the main side-effects of magnesium supplements:  mal-absorption and diarrhea.
  12. Use a water filter.  Our family uses this Big Berkey water filtration system with fluoride filters, which we love. These are easy to assemble and use, and if for some reason there is a situation where water supplies are cut off, you can use your system to filter out pond or river water. If you use reverse osmosis water as we did in the past, be aware that this process removes all minerals. An alternative is to add fulvic or liquid ionic minerals to RO water. I recommend fulvic minerals from Optimally Organic.  We are renting at the moment and don’t plan to purchase a whole house system,  but have friends who use iSpring whole house filtration system and love it, recommended via Amazon affiliation.
  13. Control blood sugar levels by eating regularly throughout the day. Elevated blood sugar causes osmotic diuresis, where the sugar exits through your kidneys and carries water out with it into the urine. As a result, your kidneys are unable to reabsorb the water. Body Ecology once again provides you with an excellent solution. Fermented foods and beverages that are naturally sour take away cravings for sugars. You’ll find yourself feeling quite satisfied with the natural sugars in foods like carrots and fruit.
  14. Manage stress and get to bed at an early hour. Sleep gives your body a chance to repair and is critical for nourishing the adrenal glands and allows for repair and restoration.

Drinking water to support your adrenal glands is only part of the whole equation.  Everyone needs adequate amounts of water to live, and we need healthy adrenals to maintain fluid and mineral balance in our bodies, but a healthy diet and lifestyle are also essential to keeping the mineral levels in your body to help you stay hydrated too. If you are drinking a lot of water and still feeling dehydrated, or if you have symptoms of adrenal exhaustion, replenish your adrenals with these recommendations.

What steps do you take to stay hydrated and consume enough minerals?

 

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  1. Pingback: Eating healthy while on-the-go: real food for travel! | Traditional Wellness Wisdom

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