Eat Your Water

Did you know that fatigue and brain fog can be early signs of dehydration?

Even the smallest amount of dehydration can have a big impact. 2% dehydration can cause cognitive impairment. That’s about 33 ounces of water. By mid-afternoon low-grade dehydration causes energy to slump.

Water is the most important nutrient your body needs. If you feel foggy or unfocused, water can provide immediate help. Studies show that even mild dehydration lowered women’s concentration levels and they performed poorly on tests that measured cognition and focus. When they were fully hydrated, they were able to perform the same tests well. Dehydration also lowers mood. Research shows that neurons in your brain can sense early warning signs of dehydration and alert other neurons that regulate mood.

Repeated dehydration accelerates aging. Chronic dehydration is also linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

Staying hydrated helps your brain by

  • transporting oxygen to your cells
  • improving cell-to-cell communication
  • flushes toxins
  • empowers your body’s natural healing processes

Cut back on coffee, skip juices, sodas and artificially flavored waters.  Drink filtered water. Make your own flavored water with fresh fruit, or herbs. How much water to drink? Pay attention to your body. Symptoms of early dehydration – besides fatigue and brain fog – include

  • headaches
  • constipation
  • irritability, mood imbalances
  • stiffness

Getting hydration from water and food is the best strategy to absorb water.

How to best absorb water

Water locked in plants hydrates more efficiently and more fully than plain water.  Water in plants is already purified, alkaline, mineralized, full of nutrients and easily absorbed into your cells. And plant fiber helps you absorb all that liquid and keeps it in your system longer because you absorb it more slowly.

Water-rich foods are nutrient-rich, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals; calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium are activated by the electrical charge in water, hello  electrolytes. Water conducts electricity not only for fuel but for cognition, judgment, and mood. Aim to get more veggies than fruit.

Top 12 Hydrating Veggies

(percent water)


Top 12 Hydrating Fruits

(percent water)

Cucumbers  96.7% Starfruit  91.4%
Romaine  95.6% Watermelon  91.4%
Celery  95.3% Strawberries  91%
Radishes  95.3% Grapefruit  90.5%
Zucchini  95% Cantaloupe  90.2%
Tomato  94.5% Pineapple  87%
Peppers  93.9% Raspberries  87%
Cauliflower  92.1% Blueberries  85%
Spinach  91.4% Kiwi  84.2%
Broccoli  90.7% Apples  84%
Carrots  90% Pears  84%
Sprouts  86.5% Grapes  81.5%

When you get more water from plants, you are also giving bacteria in your gut the nutrients, fiber and water they need. Your gut is part of your central nervous system and is often referred to as the “second brain”. Many neurotransmitters are produced by your gut such as

  • Serotonin which contributes to feeling happy
  • GABA which helps control feelings of anxiety and fear

The “second brain” in your gut is in communication with the brain in your head, and plays a key role in diseases and in  overall mental health.

What to do?

  • After waking up drink 8 – 16 ounces of water with 1 spoon of lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt
  • Front-load your hydration early in the day, it will be easier for your body to stay hydrated this way
  • Drink water before each meal (rather than during your meal)
  • Get more water from food – eating foods high in water content keep you hydrated longer
  • Listen to your body – fatigue (especially afternoon crash) and brain fog are early signals of dehydration
  • Limit water/liquid one hour before bedtime

Fruit infused water – The Free Range Life

How to make the healthiest green smoothie – Downshiftology

Cold Soup Recipes – Love and Lemons

Cohen, Dana, Bria, Gina. (2018). Quench: Beat fatigue, drop weight, and heal your body through the new science of optimum hydration. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group.

Popkin, Barry M., D’Anci, Kristen E. and Rosenberg, Irwin H. (2010). Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition Review. 68(8); 439 – 458.

Riebl, Shaun K, Davy, Brenda. M. (November/December 2013). The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance. ACSMs Health Fit J. 17(6); 21 – 28.

Hydrate for Health’s Sake!

Did you know water is the most common nutritional deficiency in the U.S? About 60% of our body is water.  We can go 8 weeks without food but only days without water.

[su_expanding_quote_web alignment=”full” source_site=”U.S. National Library of Medicine” source_url=”” full_quote=”Mild to moderate (body water loss of 1 – 2 %) levels of dehydration can impair performance on tasks such as short-term memory, perceptual discrimination, arithmetic ability, visuomotor tracking and psychomotor skills. Reintroduction of fluids can reverse dehydration-induced cognitive deficits.” short_quote=”Mild to moderate dehydration can impair performance on tasks such as short-term memory, perceptual discrimination”]

Quick look at some functions water performs for physical and cognitive health:

  • Improves oxygen delivery to the cells
  • Transports nutrients
  • Enables cellular hydration
  • Moistens oxygen for easier breathing, it’s easier on our windpipes and lungs
  • Cushions and lubricates bones and joints; there’s an important relationship between hydration and cartilage because they are not vasculated so they dehydrate slowly and rehydrate slowly. It can take months to completely rehydrate joints and bones
  • Absorbs shock to joints and organs
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Prevents tissues from sticking, dehydrate makes you stiffer and you have less flexibility –
  • Improves cell communications – we are electrical beings, part of our communication system depends on electrical potential of our body which requires hydration
  • Helps body’s natural healing power
  • Provides hydration for digestion, without water we cannot properly digest
  • Removes waste thru urination, through cellular level to kidneys
[su_expanding_quote_web alignment=”full” source_site=”National Library of Medicine” source_url=”” full_quote=”Dehydration has been linked with urological, gastrointestinal, circulatory and neurological  disorders. There is a growing body of evidence that links states of fluid imbalance and disease.” short_quote=”Dehydration has been linked with urological, gastrointestinal, circulatory and neurological disorders”]

If body water content drops by as little as 2%, it causes fatigue. Chronic dehydration can cause:

  • Joint pain — drink water and electrolytes for a long time to rehydrate
  • Back pain – the discs in our  back are composed of cartilage
  • Migraines – because of the relationship between fluid in the blood and dilation/constriction of blood vessels in brain
  • Colitis – the colon is poorly vasculated (meaning it does not get blood flow). It gets hydration and energy supply through a process of reabsorbing water material in the colon and recycling nutrients from the fecal material. Chronic dehydration of the colon leads to inflammation, chronic inflammation leads to disease
If the body’s water content drops by 10% it will cause significant health problems:
  • Digestive
  • Cardiovascular
  • Immune
  • Musculoskeletal

Water intake is impacted by the foods we eat. Ancestral foods (what humans ate for  millennia) were water-rich: tubers, grasses, fruits, vegetables, etc. Modern foods are very dry. And instead of drinking water, most beverages consumed are:

  • Juices – which are dehydrating
  • Tea – which is dehydrating. Green tea is not as dehydrating as black tea
  • Coffee – also dehydrating; consumption is about half a gallon per person per week
  • Alcohol – this moves water into the cells and out of the blood to detoxify
  • Carbonated soft drinks are the worst offenders –59.9 gallons/person/year!
  • People who don’t drink sodas, are probably drinking carbonated fake sugar water, 2 – 3 gallons/week .
  • Original Gatorade consisted of electrolytes, but today’s Gatorade lacks adequate electrolytes, is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, and has artificial dyes. Most sports drinks are junk.
[su_expanding_quote_web alignment=”right” source_site=”National Library of Medicine” source_url=”” full_quote=”Mild to moderate (body water loss of 1 – 2 %) levels of dehydration can impair performance on tasks such as short-term memory, perceptual discrimination, arithmetic ability, visuomotor tracking and psychomotor skills.” short_quote=”Mild to moderate (body water loss of 1 – 2 %) levels of dehydration can impair performance on tasks such as short-term memory”]

What to Do?

  • Drink water. In general, we need a minimum 2 oz per pound/day
  • Drink a glass or two of water after waking up. Our bodies detox while we sleep, drinking water helps flush those toxins out
  • Sip throughout the day
  • Get a high-quality water filter and drink filtered tap water. Unfiltered tap water often contains fluorine, chlorine, and even lead. It’s best to You’ll save money, drink water that’s purer than tap water and help solve the global glut of plastic bottles
  • If buying spring water, look for spring water bottled at the source, ideally in glass bottles
  • Find a natural spring near you (visit
  • Avoid drinking out of plastic bottles. They leach BPA, a toxin that is hard on endocrine systems, especially female hormones
  • Never drink from a plastic water bottle that got hot in a car
[su_expanding_quote_web alignment=”full” source_site=”Environmental Working Group” source_url=”″ full_quote=”When you shell out for bottled water, which costs up to 1,900 times more than tap water, you have a right to know what exactly is inside that pricey plastic bottle. The bottled water industry fails to provide information to consumers about the water’s specific geographic source, purification methods and the results of purity testing. Only two of 188 bottled water brands provided the three most basic facts about their water — source name and location, treatment and purity. Bottled water companies enjoying massive commercial success may suspect that their customers would turn away if they knew that most of them draw their product from municipal tap water, or that the plastics used to make the bottles can be laced with chemical additives that leach into the water” short_quote=”When you shell out for bottled water, which costs up to 1,900 times more than tap water, you have a right to know what exactly is inside that pricey plastic bottle. “]