To stay cool this summer, you need to know how to stay hydrated.
To properly hydrate you need to hydrate your body’s cells. In order to do this you need to make sure you are getting needed electrolyte minerals that allow your muscles and cells to function properly.
For example, purified water or ionized water has had all of its minerals removed so I would stay clear of these if you want to properly hydrate. Alcohol such as a cold beer or a Margarita and soda’s high in sugar or sports drinks, energy drinks, etc., will dehydrate you more and will deplete your body of important electrolytes in addition to the depletion that naturally occurs through perspiration and urination.
Sodium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, calcium and magnesium are important electrolytes with the kingpin being “magnesium”. And yet most of these drinks and fancy spring or mineral waters do not contain magnesium or enough magnesium to make a difference to aid in hydration and muscle relaxation and recovery.
When you sweat you don’t just lose water but you deplete your body of minerals. Drink at least 1/2 your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water. Put several pinches – up to 1/2 tsp of sea salt or Himalayan salt in each liter of drinking water and add magnesium citrate powder – 300 mg per liter. Magnesium performs hundreds of functions in the body – one of them is producing energy, another is as a natural detoxifier for skin health. It is one of the key electrolytes that keeps your cells hydrated.
Additionally, the sun’s job is to create Vitamin D in our body. However, that activity requires magnesium – so when your body uses up magnesium to make Vitamin D work, that’s when you end up feeling tired, headachy, your muscles twitch and you feel irritable.
Magnesium is known as the anti-stress, recovery mineral. Numerous studies have shown its effectiveness in relaxing muscles, promoting recovery and reducing stress levels as well as helping with deeper more restful sleep. This mineral has been depleted from our soils and foods due to modern farming methods and food processing so it is difficult to get enough from diet alone. Over 75% of Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance of this mineral which is a co-factor in 700-800 enzyme reactions in the body.
Not all forms of magnesium are easily absorbed. As a supplement, one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium is magnesium citrate powder that can be mixed with hot or cold water, with a squeezed lemon it can make for a refreshing, re-hydrating drink that can be sipped throughout the day.
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND