From Dr. Daryl Gioffre
Here’s something you probably already know: Many of your everyday ailments might be a result of dehydration. Here’s something you probably don’t already know: Drinking water can actually make you dehydrated, if you’re drinking the wrong kind.
Water is a naturally detoxifying drug that can curb your appetite, eliminate acid reflux, decrease inflammation, improve sleep, prevent headaches, fight stress, aid in weight loss, fight common illnesses and chronic diseases, prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis and keep muscle cramps at bay. Yet, 90 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated!
The Institute of Medicine recommends 13 cups (3 liters) for men and 9 cups (2.2 liters) for women per day. However, the kind of water you’re drinking can be keeping you dehydrated, despite how much of it you’re consuming every day.
Bottled water is contaminated with BPA from the plastic in which it’s packaged, making it highly acidic and carcinogenic to your body. Alternatively, the water from your faucet has 316 known contaminants (says EWG) and almost definitely comes from a plant that uses chlorine to “purify” it. While you’re likely filtering your tap water at home through a Brita or some other kind of purifier, you don’t realize that the same technology that’s taking out potentially harmful chemicals in the water is taking out the beneficial minerals, too.
Even distilled water from the grocery store is stripped of good minerals. Spring water, despite your vision of a rushing, fresh and clear spring, comes from an underground source that may or may not have been treated and purified.
The best way to guarantee your water is helping more than it’s hurting is to drink pure alkaline water. What makes water pure alkaline?
- It has a pH of between 8.0 and 9.5
- It’s filtered
- It’s ideally room temperature
- It isn’t bottled in a plastic container
Fortunately for New Yorkers, there’s as much of a supply of alkaline water as there is of smoothie bowls and black coffee these days. Unfortunately for others, alkaline water isn’t as easy to find in other cities and can be more expensive — but worth the money, considering one glass of alkaline water will keep you equally hydrated as — or more hydrated than — two glasses of tap water.
Even so, making your own may be the most convenient, trustworthy, budget-friendly and sometimes the only option available. Here’s how to do it:
1. Filter your water with an ion exchange filter. I’ve found this to be the best filtration method for optimal alkalinity, eliminating as much bad and keeping as much good as possible. Other systems, such as reverse osmosis, carbon filtration (i.e. Brita water pitchers) and distillation either strip too many minerals out of the water or not enough. Ion exchange filtration exchanges natural-forming mineral ions in the water with its own ions, and in doing so, neutralizes the harmful contaminants in the water. It gives you clean, filtered water with a pH that you can select (I keep my water always default at a pH of 9.5).
2. Add lemon. Although lemons and limes are classified as citric acid, they are actually very alkaline-forming once consumed. Adding a squeeze of either helps to stimulate digestion, flush toxins and neutralize acids in the water. Tip – don’t drop the entire slice in your water, because you don’t know what chemicals could be on the peel – instead, squeeze the fresh juice into your water glass.
4. Drink at room temperature. Considering our internal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees, it takes vital energy to warm up cold beverages in order for our bodies to assimilate. Room temperature water requires the least amount of energy.
5. Check your progress. Measure your results by testing your pH through urine or saliva with test strips.