Secrets of Hydration


Easy, free and inarguably essential to health. Staying hydrated is one of the ways to reduce pain, support healing and well, every other metabolic function (for instance, carrying nutrients to your cells and toxins from them). And yet we seldom drink as much as we need. Hint: if you only drink when you experience thirst, you’re not drinking nearly enough. Most relevant to us, when our muscles and connective tissue is insufficiently hydrated, we experience more PAIN. In my professional experience, many aches and headaches in particular are associated with mild and chronic dehydration.

This is undoubtably the cheapest and easiest of any recommendations on this site. And yet you likely have all kinds of reasons not to take this recommendation. Maybe you don’t like the taste of water (try filtering it, or adding ice). Or you don’t like going to the bathroom more frequently. Here’s the rub: Just because you feel like you’re peeing often doesn’t mean you’re drinking enough through the day. You could be peeing because you’ve had caffeine, or from dietary salt your body is trying to excrete.

Q: How much is enough?

According to the National Academy of Medicine, women need 2.2 liters (nine 8 oz glasses) and men need 3 liters (thirteen 8 oz glasses). But this assumes an average weight and level of physical activity. Camelbak has a nifty interactive water needs calculator that refines that recommendation based on your own details and a specific exercise activity. But the long and short of it is that we need a lot more water than we drink.

Try to sip/drink modest amounts throughout the day. Make it easy by placing water bottles in your path. Keeping water bottles full and convenient to your desk, car, home exercise area and dining table is the key to drinking more water.  Drink water before, during and after exercise.

Here are my water stations:

yes, Batman is guarding my tissues. And that’s my essential oil blend for scars.


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This is my computer setup. Your screen should be at a height such that you don’t have to look down (you lose the natural curve of your cervical spine that way, causing pain and dysfunction.)
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It’s especially important to drink WHILE you exercise, not just before and after. Why? Because even over a period like 30 minutes, your muscles become dehydrated and will not function as well.


Plus…Water in the car is essential because running around doing errands is a classic time to get dehyrdated. Essential to use glass containers so you don’t have water getting heated up in plastic, naturally.Q: Bottled water vs filtered tap water? 

An acquaintance who works at a public water utility pointed out to me that bottled water is less regulated than tap water, and thus less reliably pure. It may also have been stored at warm or hot temperature in plastic for unknown lengths of time, leaching chemicals. So my vote would be to skip the plastic bottles and use a point-of-use filter to fill your own glass bottles at the sink. If you do end up with plastic bottles, make sure they stay out of the sun.

Q: What about alkalinizers and other fancy water?

There are expensive devices on the market which claim to make water more absorbable or more alkaline. I have tried such waters and I can’t attest to any special effect, so I’d skip those and balance your internal pH by reducing animal protein in your diet, and adding alkaline foods like watermelon (yum!)

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