We all know by now that there are a few key elements to living a healthy lifestyle, like eating a balanced diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, and of course, drinking water. But have you ever felt like you were still dehydrated no matter how much water you guzzled throughout the day? Maybe your lips feel chapped or your mouth is dry or your skin doesn’t feel as supple. It’s not all in your head; there’s a scientific reason why water sometimes feels less hydrating.
Remineralizing is also important.
Dana Cohen, MD, who focuses on integrative medicine, recently made an interesting point on the mindbodygreen podcast. She said that often when people drink a ton of water, they don’t think about a process she calls “remineralizing.” Many people chug water throughout the day to stay hydrated, which isn’t necessarily a problem. However, some folks also use specialized water filters that strain out harsh toxins and chemicals. These filters also take out beneficial nutrients, like any underlying sodium, which may already be sparse in regular tap water.
Sodium is key to rehydrating your body.
When you don’t have enough sodium in your body in proportion to the amount of water you consume, your body’s sodium receptors aren’t able to pull those water molecules into cells to help them function. And if you have too much water circulating through your body, you might be dealing with something called water intoxication, which can make you feel groggy, nauseous, and sometimes even dehydrated. That’s why it’s important to replace the sodium that you’re flushing away with all of the water you’re drinking.
Of course, not getting enough sodium in our foods and beverages isn’t a common problem. Most of us consume too much sodium in a day. But for those of us who exercise often and rehydrate with plain water, paying attention to electrolytes is also important.
How can you fix it?
When it comes to remineralizing your water, you don’t need to take action with every glass you drink. But you can make one small tweak a few times per day, especially if you’re drinking a lot of water in between meals. The next time you pour yourself a glass, Cohen recommends adding a pinch of salt or a packet of electrolytes (Buy on Amazon, $19.99). It’s a tiny change, but it can make a huge difference!