Coming up to getting my tattoo, my artist told me to drink a lot of water to ensure my skin was properly hydrated. I usually don’t drink a lot of plain water. I’ve always preferred other drinks, like milk and tea and juice. The funny thing was, after those two weeks of going hard on the aqua, I noticed I was always thirsty. Like so intensely thirsty. Imagine drinking more water than you ever have and never feeling quenched. This brings us to the topic of today’s conversation: ’empty’ water. The key to hydration is this: drink water that is accompanied by minerals.
Hyperhydration is just a fancy word for excessive water intake. When we consume too much water, because we’re told that it’s healthy, we actually end up flushing out essential electrolytes from our body. Water is important – but balance is just as important. Here are two ways to determine your hydration levels:
- Urine colour & output: this is an easy one to monitor and it will tell you whether you are hydrated, dehydrated, or over-hydrated. If we’re going off colour, then a hydrated sample should look like a straw-coloured pale yellow. Dehydrated urine will look a slightly darker yellow / amber colour, and over-hydrated will be completely clear. In terms of output, if you are needing to go every hour (unless you have a kidney condition), then you are probably over hydrating yourself.
- Thirst: naturally, you will feel thirsty after exercise or a hardcore night of drinking, due to dehydration. But you can also feel thirsty if you are not hydrating properly (even if you’re drinking a lot of water) – you’re drinking ’empty’ water (water lacking minerals).
The importance of minerals
Minerals are very essential to the functioning of a healthy body. Among other things, minerals are in charge of maintaining the optimal fluid balance in your cells. If you drink too much water, and disrupt the balance of water to minerals, your cells actually swell. This imbalance can lead to symptoms like headaches, brain fog, and bloating. Because of this, incorporating mineral-rich food and drinks into your diet is pretty essential.
Key hydrators for your body
When it comes to minerals, there are a few drinks that I personally love, and are ideal for maintaining that harmonious balance. As well as drinking plain water (which we do still need btw), it’s a good idea to also drink the following:
- Fruit juice (check ingredients – look for 100% fruit, no additives)
- Milk (ideally, raw grass-fed / organic cow’s milk. If you can’t get raw, try to aim for grass-fed / organic and un-homogenised)
- Coconut water (check ingredients – look for minimal additives)
All of the aforementioned drinks contain natural sources of essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. My inner child is brimming with joy (my mum used to call me a calf). You’re telling me I can drink milk every day? Hell yeah. Also, if you’re on the lookout for a home-made hangover remedy, try mixing up some orange juice, coconut water, and a pinch of salt. That’s one water and mineral-rich bomb – and the real key to hydration.
Cover photo by Solod Sha