At the heart of enhancing cellular energy and health with my clients, lies the symbiosis of mineral balance and hydration.

Through Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) we gain deep insights into your body’s unique mineral blueprint and how it influences your cellular function, energy levels, and hydration.

Water, a key player in your mineral balancing journey, is essential for every bodily function from regulating temperature to aiding digestion and circulation.

When your body is truly hydrated, it flows and functions optimally, yet so many of us overlook hydration, especially when we fell fatigue, foggy headed, or sluggish.

In this blog I’ll delve into some often overlooked aspects of adequate hydration and the connection between our drinking water and energy levels.

I’ll explore how the quality of water can unexpectedly impact your health and share practical strategies to ensure the water you consume nourishes your body in all the right ways.

If you’ve ever struggled with hydration–whether it’s not feeling thirsty at all, or feeling unable to quench your thirst–and you’re intrigued about how this relates to your energy levels, keep reading!

 

Signs of Dehydration

Recognising the signs of dehydration is crucial for maintaining optimal health. Here are some symptoms to watch out for:

  • Fatigue: Feeling excessively tired or lethargic.
  • Anxiety: Experiencing heightened feelings of nervousness or unease.
  • Irritability: Feeling easily agitated or short-tempered.
  • Depression: Experiencing feelings of sadness or low mood.
  • Cravings: Having strong urges for specific foods, often salty or sugary ones.
  • Cramps: Experiencing muscle cramps or spasms.
  • Headaches: Feeling persistent or throbbing head pain.
  • Heartburn: Experiencing a burning sensation in your chest or throat.
  • Joint pain: Feeling discomfort or stiffness in your joints.
  • Back pain: Experiencing discomfort or stiffness in your back muscles.
  • Migraines: Suffering from intense headaches often accompanied by nausea or sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Fibromyalgia: Experiencing widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue.
  • Constipation: Having difficulty passing stools or experiencing infrequent bowel movements (i.e. less than one complete void per day).
  • Colitis (inflammation of the colon): Experiencing abdominal pain, diarrhea, or bloody stools.

Many of these symptoms are common and may be attributed to various factors. However, dehydration can exacerbate these issues or even be the underlying cause. That’s why it’s essential to prioritise hydration as a foundational step when it comes to maintaining your overall well-being.

 

The Importance of Hydration

The importance of hydration cannot be overstated, as water serves as the foundation for life itself. Our bodies are comprised of over 60% water, and every cell, tissue, and organ relies on water to function optimally.

Consider these stats:

  • 80% of the mass of your lungs is water.
  • 85% of blood is made up of water.
  • 80% of your skin is water.
  • 75% of your brain is water.
  • 75% of muscles are water.
  • 24% of human bones consist of water.

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi sums it up pretty well, saying “Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”  

So, hydration is kind of a big deal!

Adequate hydration is vital for various bodily functions. It supports proper digestion, helps regulate body temperature, and ensures the smooth functioning of our cardiovascular system. It also plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin, joints, and muscles.

One of the most immediate and noticeable effects of dehydration is fatigue.

When we lack sufficient water, our hormones, chemical messengers, and nutrients struggle to circulate effectively, resulting in decreased energy levels. Even mild dehydration can lead to feelings of lethargy, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating. Over time, chronic dehydration can contribute to more severe health issues, including kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and kidney failure.

When I learnt that for digestion alone, our body requires daily water consumption to make the 1-2 litres of gastric juice and 2.5 litres of pancreatic juices needed to adequately breakdown food and assimilate nutrients, the importance of proper hydration really hit home.

But before you go turning the tap on to grab for that much-need glass of water, there are some essential considerations to keep in mind.

 

The Downside of Tap Water

You may consider we live in a country that has a clean water supply and not think twice about downing a glass straight from the kitchen faucet, but sadly that’s not quite true.

Whilst our tap water is considered safe by the authorities it’s not the best for your body if you are truly invested in your health and energy levels.

If you’re drinking unfiltered tap water there’s a good chance that you’re consuming many of the 300+ chemicals and pollutants the Environmental Working Group has found in our water supply.

This includes numerous toxins including fluoride, chlorine, chloramine (a secondary disinfectant in municipal water), pharmaceuticals, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, hormones, pesticides and herbicides from agricultural runoff, heavy metals, VOCs (the result of chlorine reacting with organic matter) and THMs (by-product predominantly when chlorine is used to disinfect water for drinking).

These contaminants not only affect the taste and odour of tap water, but all add to our body’s toxic load, making us more at risk of diseases, hormonal imbalances, and gut issues to name a few.

Of particular note are halides like the chlorine, fluoride, and chloramine in tap water, added to water for dental and disinfection purposes. These attach to iodine receptors in our body and therefore block iodine from doing it’s thing.

Iodine is essential for thyroid hormone production, so any disruption in its uptake can impact thyroid function.

When halides like fluoride and chlorine bind to iodine receptors, they can interfere with the thyroid’s ability to produce thyroid hormones properly, leading to imbalances and potential thyroid dysfunction. This interference can contribute to issues such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), which can manifest as fatigue, weight gain, and other symptoms.

There’s an ongoing debate around fluoride with respect to dental health, which is beyond the scope of this blog, however, I believe Dr. Axe’s blog HERE is a great start and good overview for each side of the debate in more layman terms, if you’d like more information on this topic.

So, whilst tap water is a readily available resource, its contamination with various pollutants underscores the importance of investing in a water filtration system or seeking alternative sources of clean drinking water.

In a world where toxic exposure is ever more unavoidable and overwhelming, don’t underestimate the difference drinking clean water can make to your short- and long-term health.

 

Choosing the Right Water

We’ve determined the importance of optimal hydration and minimising our exposure to contaminants when it comes to the water we drink, so, now water straight out the tap is off the menu, here’s some alternative options:

  1. High-quality spring water: Spring water sourced from natural springs is often considered one of the best options for clean drinking water. Look for reputable brands that provide high-quality spring water, free from contaminants and pollutants (for Asia/Pacific regions these are Fiji, Hawaiian Springs, Waikea, Ka-Vita, Eternal (from New Zealand))

    If you are buying spring or bottled water, check the calcium and magnesium content – you want more magnesium. If calcium is higher, I recommend you seek another.

    You may also like to research Find A Spring.
  1. Proper filtration: if spring water is difficult to source, you may like to invest in a water filtration system. I recommend looking for filtration systems that effectively remove contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, drug residues, and chlorine, while preserving essential minerals for optimal hydration and health.

    I don’t use reverse osmosis (RO) systems, as they strip water of minerals and result in overly acidic water that often dehydrates rather than hydrates. Even if the RO water is remineralised, the mineral profile is often still far too low to be hydrating for your body.

    Tank water can contain heavy metals so also needs adequate filtration.

    I personally have invested in a Berkey here in Australia, and if I were in the US I would be investing in a Pristine Hydro but I invite you to do your own research.
  1. Avoid plastic bottles: Whenever possible, choose water packaged in glass or other non-plastic containers to minimise exposure to harmful endocrine-disrupting chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. These chemicals can leach into water, especially when bottles are exposed to heat or sunlight.

    These chemicals are also obesogens that can cause your stem cells to form into fat cells, whilst also increasing the size of already present fat cells! How does this stuff get to market hey!?

If you are in the US, you can access the EWGs Tap Water Database to see what’s in your tap water.

Radiant Life also has a free water assessment to give you some suggestions relative to your budget and situation, which you may find useful.

Enhance Hydration with Salt

Sodium and potassium, essential electrolytes found in salt, play crucial roles in maintaining fluid balance, supporting cellular function, and regulating blood pressure.

While sodium was historically vilified as a major contributor to high blood pressure, recent research has shed new light on its role in our health. Contrary to popular belief, only a minority of individuals are negatively affected by sodium intake in the form of natural salt, and for the majority, moderate sodium consumption is not only safe but also crucial for maintaining optimal health.

In fact, studies show that diets overly restrictive in sodium can have detrimental effects on various aspects of health and can raise LDL cholesterol levels, decrease libido or sex drive, and heighten insulin resistance.

However, not all salts are created equal, and choosing the right type of salt is essential for maximizing hydration and overall health.

  1. Improving Water Absorption: Sodium and potassium are the body’s primary solvents, which essentially means they allow other minerals to be dissolved and used by the body. The sodium potassium pump across our cell membranes is also what allows nutrients and water into our cells (hydration) and wastes out of our cells.

    The water we drink nowadays is recycled through the system which strips the water of natural minerals, making it more acidic. This in turn can impact the ability of our cells to hydrate effectively.

    By adding a high-quality mineral salt to our water, we can improve it’s mineral profile greatly and help our cellular permeability.
  1. High-quality mineral salt: Opt for unrefined, high-quality white mineral salts, which contain a spectrum of trace minerals essential for health. These minerals, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium, contribute to proper hydration by enhancing fluid absorption and promoting cellular hydration. Additionally, the balanced mineral profile of these salts supports overall electrolyte balance and helps prevent dehydration.

    I only recommend white sea salts to my clients as rock salt sourcing can be hard to determine and they can be high in heavy metals like iron and lead, which give them their colour.

    Even with sea salts we run the risk of microplastics, so I tend to opt for dessert lake salts, and Icelandic salts. I love Crucial Four Icelandic Sea Salt, Mizzi, or Baja Gold).
  1. Not table salt: Table salt is usually a mix of chemically extracted pure sodium and toxic aluminium anti-caking agents. Pure sodium can cause excessive thirst, cellulite, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones, and gall stones.

Water and salt form the basis of our gastric juices, our enzymes, stomach acid, and bicarbonate from our pancreas so by improving your water and salt intake, you not only improve your hydration, but also your digestion!
 

Start the Day Hydrated

When we wake, our body is acidic and struggles to push our potassium levels down and our sodium levels up causing strain on our adrenals.

By drinking a quarter of a teaspoon of mineral salt in a litre of room temperature or slightly warmed water in the first hour of waking, your energy in the morning can be greatly improved.

You should not feel thirsty after drinking such balanced salts.

Make sure you go slow with both the salt and water increase, starting with just half to one cup of water with a tiny pinch of salt.

If you experience bloating or loose stools as you increase, then back off the amount of salt until you don’t experience these symptoms, then gradually increase the salt amount over several days. It likely means you’re dehydrated and need to rehydrate slowly.

I love to use a dry sponge analogy here. Put a dry sponge under the tap and the water will run off the surface, however, slightly dampen the sponge and it gradually starts to absorb more water. Think of your body in a similar way…introducing the water and salt bit by bit, increasing slowly allowing you body to absorb effectively and not have you on the loo every 5 minutes!

If you notice fluid retention, then you likely need to back off with the salt and first work on increasing your potassium level. This can be done with things like cream of tar tar or coconut water.

Practical Tips for Optimal Hydration and Improved Energy

By now, you’ll see the importance of optimal hydration for overall health and well-being, so to help you get hydrated, here are some of my top tips summarised for you:

  1. Drink an adequate amount of water: It’s generally advised to drink half your body weight as pounds, in ounces of quality water daily e.g. If you weigh 132lbs (60kg), drink 66oz of water (132 ÷ 2), which is 1.8L daily.

    However, we are of course all individuals with different metabolic rates, activity levels, external temperatures and humidity, eating different amounts of fruits and veg and other water-filled foods.

    If you sweat a lot and workout, then you will need more water and minerals.

    If you are breastfeeding, it is generally advised to drink 128oz of water (around 3.6L) daily.

  2. Limit dehydrating beverages: Reduce your intake of dehydrating beverages such as caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and sugary sodas, as these can increase fluid loss and hinder hydration. Instead, opt for water, herbal teas, and electrolyte-rich beverages to support hydration.

  3. Start your day with hydration: Kickstart your morning by drinking 500ml to 1 litre of water with a little pinch of sea salt or a few drops if minerals like Aussie Trace Minerals.

    I like to set this up at my sink the night before, so I don’t forget, and drink after scraping my tongue and washing out my mouth to remove the toxins excreted overnight.

    This simple ritual can help rehydrate your body after sleep and support digestion and metabolism throughout the day.

  4. Stay hydrated throughout the day: Make a conscious effort to sip water regularly throughout the day, rather than waiting until you feel thirsty. Fill a pretty pitcher, jar or water bottle (ideally not plastic) to encourage you to do this, especially during periods of physical activity or exposure to hot temperatures.

  5. Drink between meals: to avoid diluting your stomach acid at meals times, hindering digestion.

  6. Eat hydrating foods: Incorporate hydrating foods into your diet, such as fruits and vegetables with high water content, including watermelon, cucumber, oranges, and strawberries. These foods not only contribute to your overall fluid intake but also provide essential nutrients for hydration and health.

Remember! Please don’t go from 0 to 100!

Titrate your way up if you haven’t been drinking much and observe how your body responds, to avoid water retention, and continuous peeing.

Signs of Overhydration

Whilst much of the population doesn’t drink enough water, drinking gallons of water each day isn’t the answer either. Don’t you just love how biology can appear so contradictory?!

Drinking heaps of water can place an increased strain on your adrenals and actually leave you dehydrated as the water just passes through (remember my dry sponge analogy above).

Here’s some things to watch out for:

  • Increased Urination: Typically we should pee 4-5 times a day. More than 5 times a day could be a sign of overhydration.
  • Clear or Pale Urine: Ideally, urine should have a light yellow color.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Experiencing sleep disturbances, such as waking frequently to urinate or feeling the urge to urinate disruptively during sleep.
  • Feeling Cold: Overhydration can lead to a decrease in body temperature, resulting in feelings of coldness, particularly in the hands and feet. If you notice persistent coldness despite being in a warm environment, it could be a sign of excessive fluid intake.
  • Persistent Thirst: Paradoxically, feeling excessively thirsty all the time may indicate overhydration rather than dehydration. This sensation of thirst could be a signal that your body needs more electrolytes, such as salt and sugar, to maintain proper balance.

It’s essential to listen to your body’s cues and adjust your fluid intake accordingly to maintain a healthy balance of hydration. If you experience any of these signs of overhydration, consider reducing your fluid intake and consulting with a healthcare professional if symptoms persist.

My Challenge to You

My challenge, should you accept, is to just focus on introducing then increasing your morning glass of water with salt for 14 days, then for a further 14 days add in the sips throughout the day.
Just commit to 28 days then let me know what happens to your energy levels and brain function and if I’ve got you hooked on hydration!