The se­crets to deeper hy­dra­tion

New Zealand Listener - - FRONT PAGE - By NICKY PEL­LE­GRINO

Sharper mind Health­ier gut Bet­ter sleep

Celebri­ties were the early adopters. Elle Macpherson drinks three litres of it a day, so does Bey­oncé. Ev­ery­one from Vic­to­ria Beck­ham to Ju­lianne Moore be­lieves it vi­tal to swig lots of the stuff. Cindy Craw­ford even says drink­ing it makes her body happy. We’re not talk­ing about some elixir here, just wa­ter, plain old H₂O that gushes from the tap. Con­sum­ing it is meant to be the key to ev­ery­thing from smooth­ing wrin­kles to pu­ri­fy­ing the body. These days, you can’t move for peo­ple tot­ing wa­ter bot­tles and sip­ping from them con­stantly: in the gym, on the street, in of­fices, parks and shops. It is a trend that has fu­elled a bot­tled-wa­ter in­dus­try worth bil­lions.

So, it seems pretty hard to swal­low (pun in­tended) the claims made by Gina Bria and Dana Cohen in a new book, Quench. They say many of us are suf­fer­ing from low-grade de­hy­dra­tion and that this is con­tribut­ing to a host of mod­ern ills in­clud­ing headaches, brain fog, fa­tigue, lack of en­ergy, pos­si­bly even type 2 di­a­betes and heart dis­ease.

Bria is an an­thro­pol­o­gist whose work has in­cluded look­ing at indige­nous tribes from the world’s desert re­gions and how they sur­vive drought con­di­tions. Cohen is a doc­tor who takes an in­te­gra­tive, or holis­tic, ap­proach with her pa­tients. Both are evan­gel­i­cal about tack­ling what they see as an epi­demic of de­hy­dra­tion.

Our grand­par­ents weren’t clutch­ing wa­ter bot­tles at all times and it didn’t seem to do them any harm. So what is go­ing wrong? Bria says mod­ern life is to blame.

“We live in a com­pletely new en­vi­ron­ment, mostly in­doors, in cars, of­fices and sealed homes, all very de­hy­drat­ing,” she points out. “We eat less fresh food and sub­sti­tute foods that de­hy­drate us, we take med­i­ca­tions that de­hy­drate us fur­ther and we are sub­ject to hot light­ing and ever-more-present elec­tronic


The an­swer isn’t to drink more and more wa­ter. Bria says all we are do­ing is flash flood­ing our bod­ies. “We’re guz­zling wa­ter that is not ab­sorbed by our sys­tem, which de­pletes our elec­trolytes and nu­tri­ents,

“We’re guz­zling wa­ter that is not ab­sorbed by our sys­tem, which de­pletes our elec­trolytes and nu­tri­ents, de­hy­drat­ing us even fur­ther.”

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