HOLD THE BREAKFAST (for now)! You've got some rehydrating to do!
When you wake up in the morning, your body is naturally dehydrated from any number of hours of sleep! Upon waking, one of the most health-promoting habits you can enjoy is rehydrating your body! Furthermore, why not rehydrate yourself in a way that provides multiple health benefits, simultaneously?
First, let’s tackle the nature of the water you are consuming, followed by a few ways in which we may amplify it!
The human body very tightly regulates the pH of our blood, so as to keep us in a living state. This narrow pH range is 7.35-7.45, on a pH scale where 1-6 indicates Acidic, 7 to be Neutral and 8-14 Alkaline.
While we cannot influence our blood pH, we are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the acidity and alkalinity of our dietary choices, including that of the large volume of water we consume on a regular basis. Via dietary choices, we have the potential to influence the pH of our urine (a means of excreting toxins and waste from the body). The pH of our urine provides us a glimpse of our internal environment.
There are a few easy ways in which you may gain insight about the pH of your main water source, which I would highly recommend to be filtered water:
Simply fill the plastic vial provided about ¾ full of the water to be tested, and add 5 drops of the pH test solution to the vial. From there, match the resulting colour of the water to the corresponding colour on the pH scale imprinted on the side of the box.
First thing in the morning when you wake up, tear off a strip of this paper from the roll and use it to test your urine, mid-stream. Within minutes, it will provide you an indication of the approximate pH of your urine. Repeat periodically, as desired, so as to monitor how the acidity/alkalinity of your urine performs over time.
This filtration system supports the filtration of chlorine, alkalizes water, and re-mineralizes with the addition of calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals. A digital countdown on the handle alerts you as to when it is time for a replacement filter. I have enjoyed using this pitcher for years, as it has been the most economical option without investing in a reverse osmosis system and not having a water filtration system installed within all the taps in our home.
After I have filtered this water using the pitcher, I pour the filtered water into a glass jug not containing a lid. This allows the chlorine to evaporate out of the water, as it sits. I prefer to have this open air-exposed water sit for 12-24 hours, so having a couple of glass jugs is ideal so there is always chlorine-free water available. Something to consider!
Chlorine completes with iodine for uptake by the thyroid gland - the small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of our neck in the front of the body. This small-yet-mighty gland regulates our metabolic rate, body temperature and energy use and expenditure. Therefore, any ways in which we can reduce and eliminate chlorine from the body (i.e. via our water, filters on our shower heads, etc.) is ideal! Given iodine is one of the key minerals that supports thyroid function, it is ideal to not have it be displaced by lesser-desirable minerals in the body.
To use this stick, add it to your glass of water or eco-friendly, BPA-free water bottle, allowing it to be submerged for about 30 seconds. Shake or stir the contents together, depending on the container you are using. As a result, your water will reach a more optimal pH within a few minutes. The stick may then be removed from the water and air-dried when not being used.
Now, onto how we may further amplify your morning hydration!
Commencing your day with fresh lemon-infused water, or, raw/organic apple cider vinegar-infused water is an excellent way to start! Both of these multi-impact ingredients are naturally acidic; their uniqueness lies in the fact that once metabolized by the body, they become alkaline-forming. Leaving an alkaline residue in the body, they contribute to the reduction of inflammation and can contribute to influencing the pH of our urine.
Due to the acidity of these ingredients, I would highly recommend using an environmentally-friendly (reusable) straw with this hydration, so as to help preserve the enamel on your teeth. Beyond that, a tall glass or mason jar is all you need!
Consider creating this beverage and leaving it by your bedside the night before. Ideally this water is consumed approximately 30 minutes or more prior to your first meal of the day, as high volumes of water consumption with a meal will dilute your highly-acidic stomach acid, which then hinders digestion. If you were to consume this full glass of water upon waking, by the time you shower, get ready and prepare your breakfast, such a time period has likely elapsed!
Option: Fresh Lemon-Infused Water
Wash and slice one lemon in half, adding the juice of half of this lemon to a full glass or full mason jar of room-temperature, filtered water. Place a straw in the glass, and enjoy!
The health benefits of lemon are plentiful! To note a few, lemon has the ability to:
Cleanse (purify) and detoxify the bloodstream and liver, including stimulation of liver function[i]
Aid digestion (including activation of your metabolism!) and boost the Immune System[ii]
Help reduce both blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressure[iii]
Help balance the body’s pH (level of acidity) in the colon[iv]
Act as a natural antacid[v]
Provide high amounts of vitamin C (a critical antioxidant nutrient in the body)[vi]
Provide anti-bacterial properties to help keep undesirable bacteria at bay[vii]
Shop for lemons possessing a vibrant yellow colour, smooth skin and slightly glossy appearance
Roll the lemon on your countertop (using the palm of your hand) to stimulate the release of more juice
Freeze fresh lemon juice in ice cube containers; thaw in a cup of hot tea or defrost in advance, when needed!
Fresh lemon water may also be enjoyed warm, if you're desiring a more soothing effect! Simply boil a mug's worth of water and let it cool to the desired temperature. Or, warm the water on the stovetop to the desired temperature. Upon obtaining the water you need, add the freshly-squeezed lemon thereafter.
Option: Apple Cider Vinegar-Infused Water
If trying this combination for the first time, I would highly recommend starting with 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar, gradually working up to 1 tbsp., if desired!
Be sure to use raw, organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar (i.e. BRAGG Organic Raw-Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar), in order to reap the full benefits of this health-promoting ingredient!
Add 1 tsp. ACV to a full glass or full mason jar of room-temperature filtered water and stir. As with fresh lemon, the acidity of the ACV needs to be diluted with such a volume of water, prior to consumption. Place a straw in the glass, and enjoy!
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are also plentiful! Apple cider vinegar provides anti-bacterial properties (due to its Acetic Acid content), helps reduce blood sugar levels, cholesterol and triglyceride (fatty acid) levels and supports weight loss.[viii]
*Note: ACV is a great alternative if you are sensitive or allergic to citrus. Please do your due diligence with researching whether ACV is appropriate for you, given any particular health challenges or medications you may be taking. The taste can be challenging for some!
The Beauty of Infused Water!
Infusing your daily drinking water (beyond your morning-specific hydration) with various fruit and herb combinations (i.e. fresh herbs and other fruits) is an easy and creative way to make water intake more appealing!
My favourite infused water combinations?
Blackberry and sage
Lemon and lime
Lemon and cucumber
Rosemary and lemon
Strawberry and basil
How Do I Know How Much Water to Be Consuming?
Since every individual body is different, the best way to discover how much you should be is by:
1. Dividing your body weight (in pounds) in half.
2. The resulting number is how much water (in ounces) you should aim to be obtaining daily.
Example: 160 lbs./2 = 80 lbs. (80 oz.)
3. Divide the number of ounces you should be obtaining by 8, as there are 8 oz. in a cup.
Example: 80 oz./8 = 10 cups
4. Aim to consume the indicated number of cups!
*Additional water will need to be accounted for in the event of exercise and in the event of coffee consumption, as coffee is dehydrating.
There you have it! Fundamental education about quality hydration and economical ways in which to possess greater awareness about your fluid intake!
I hope this blog post supports in you one way or another! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out!
[i] Balch, Phyllis A. (2003). Prescription for Dietary Wellness- 2nd edition (p. 65). New York, NY: Avery.
[ii] Balch, Phyllis A. (2003). Prescription for Dietary Wellness- 2nd edition (p. 65). New York, NY: Avery.
[iii] Balch, Phyllis A. (2003). Prescription for Dietary Wellness- 2nd edition (p. 65). New York, NY: Avery.
[iv] Balch, Phyllis A. (2003). Prescription for Dietary Wellness- 2nd edition (p. 38). New York, NY: Avery.
[v] Balch, Phyllis A. (2003). Prescription for Dietary Wellness- 2nd edition (p. 38). New York, NY: Avery.
[vi] Balch, Phyllis A. (2003). Prescription for Dietary Wellness- 2nd edition (p. 38). New York, NY: Avery.
[vii] Balch, Phyllis A. (2003). Prescription for Dietary Wellness- 2nd edition (p. 38). New York, NY: Avery.
[viii] Gunnars, K. (March 15, 2018). 6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, Backed by Science. Retrieved April 16, 2018 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinega