My last blog and newsletter were about hydration and why it is so important. While it is more problematic right now with our heating systems blasting and drying us out, optimizing hydration is always a linchpin of good health. If you don’t have access to my bio-impedance testing for hydration levels, here is another indirect yet excellent way of improving your hydration and your overall health.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, hydration is about not just how much you drink, but how much gets into your cells,. You can be drinking 12 glasses of water a day and still be bloated and under-hydrated if the water is extra-cellular. And, as I mentioned, that is also an indication of how successfully other nutrients get into the cells, as well as the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar. If insulin is not getting into the cells, you are “insulin resistant” which can lead to diabetes. I have worked with many diabetics and pre-diabetics who have improved their insulin sensitvity and overall health by using these methods.
One of the things you can do to improve hydration capacity and insulin sensitivity is improve your acid/alkaline balance. Most of us are way too acidic, because of our diets, stress, and lack of sleep. Diets heavy in animal products, sugars, refined foods, and coffee will make us more acidic. Limiting or eliminating these and increasing plant foods, especially greens, will help make you more alkaline. A simple way to test is with pH paper. You can pick up a roll in my office, or I can send you one. Test your first morning, mid-stream urine, after sleeping at least 6 hours. It should be between 6.4 and 7.2. If it is too low (I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone test too high) here are some tips to make your system more alkaline.
- Try eating more plant foods and fewer or no animal foods (meat and dairy) in the evening. When we sleep is when the body does repair and recovery, and you will benefit the most from being alkaline at night.
- Add a green drink once or twice a day. In the spring and summer I’m a big advocate for juicing, but this time of year I am more likely to rely on green powders. I have several, including a freeze dried organic wheat grass powder, on my shelves. (If you are gluten-sensitive, watch out for gluten in other green drinks. But just fyi, there is no gluten in wheat grass.)
- Add some alkalinizing potassium at night. If your pH strip is yellow (too acidic), start with a low dose before bedtime, and increase by one capsule each night until you are “in the green” the next morning.
- Take a hot bath before bedtime, and empty in a container of baking soda and 2 cups of white vinegar. It is great for your skin and your sleep as well as your alkaline balance.
Why is alkalinity so important?
- Many researchers and clinicians believe that being more alkaline makes us less susceptible to diseases from colds to cancer.
- Being alkaline encourages your body to build up muscle, bone and other valuable tissue; being acid encourages breaking down.
- And, coming full circle, it helps get water and all other nutrients into our cells. We function and feel better when our system is at the correct pH.