You’ve probably heard this before…
You need to drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day to stay healthy.
Ever wondered if it’s really true?
I’ve thought about it a great deal, and I can tell you it’s NOT true.
During my research, I made a few discoveries about water, thirst, and dehydration that may surprise you.
First, we can’t always rely on our body’s natural “thirst signal” when we’re getting dehydrated.
Back in Paleo times, our bodies let us know when we needed water and we responded, but today there are conflicting signals that interrupt this process. With high levels of toxins in our environment, we need more water to help clear out these poisons, and our bodies have not had time to adapt and evolve to that need.
Second, we are constantly distracted by thousands of stimuli, and that makes it hard for us to “listen” to our body’s call for water. This is compounded by drinking other beverages throughout the day like coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol. Even as coffee and alcohol pull water out of our bodies and increase our dehydration, we’re tricked into feeling like we’re taking care of our thirst. i ii
There’s a third reason our thirst signal gets overlooked or ignored. Turns out, many of the symptoms of dehydration can be confused with the effects of aging.
Many of my patients over the age of 50 don’t realize dehydration can also cause symptoms they often blame on aging, like aching joints, memory loss, brittle hair and bones, and fine lines and wrinkles.
The remedy isn’t as simple as you think.
Most doctors will tell you to just drink more water. But you could drink the recommended eight to 10 cups of water per day and still be dangerously dehydrated.
That’s because your cells have trouble absorbing water as you age.
And that’s why I’m writing to you today.
As you get older, your cell membranes get stiff. This blocks essential nutrients and oxygen from entering the cell and waste products from getting out.
This damages the health of your cells. They become more sensitive to disease-causing free radicals and more susceptible to viruses and autoimmune disorders.
The fact is your health, vitality and youthful appearance are directly linked to not only how much water you drink but how well your body gets water into your cells.
Fortunately, there’s a simple and inexpensive way to improve your cell hydration while providing a host of additional health benefits.
Omega-3s are Essential for Treating Dehydration
Your cell membranes are made up primarily of fatty acids, which help keep the membranes supple so that the cells can absorb water.
As these membranes become stiff as you age, you need to give them a steady supply of essential fatty acids to keep them malleable and healthy. And the best way to do that is to increase your intake of omega-3s.
Groundbreaking research shows that omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in keeping your cell membranes supple and your cells hydrated so they can function properly.iiiiv
But that’s not all. Omega-3s can also help increase the cell membrane surface area so that more water and nutrients can pass through.v
Little-known benefits like these are why I call omega-3s “super-nutrients.” Most doctors will tell you to take them for cholesterol and heart disease. But they can also fight off a host of age-related disorders, including arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and even cancer.
Their wide-ranging health benefits are why they’re one of the core supplements I recommend to virtually all of my patients.
Here’s How to Hydrate…
With a combination of proper water intake and omega-3s you can ensure that your cells get all the hydration they need to keep you looking and feeling young. vi
Start by drinking plenty of water. If you know your body composition, drink one ounce of water for every pound of lean body mass. If you don’t, shoot for six to eight glasses of water a day. vii
- If you choose tap water, get a water quality report from your water supplier. Then, test your water. Water kits are available to test for bacteria, lead, pesticides, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, pH, hardness and arsenic. Kits are available at amazon.com and Home Depot.
- If your tap water fails the test, use a carbon-block filter. Look for a filter that will remove particles that are less than or equal to 1 micron in diameter for protection from parasites.
- If you choose bottled water, choose glass bottles. If glass bottles aren’t an option, avoid toxic plastic bottles with recycling codes #3 and #7.
Aside from eating grass-fed beef and wild fish, your best bet to keep your cell membranes supple is to take an omega-3 supplement containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) …
- Supplements are the best way to boost your EPA-DHA levels. I recommend krill oil and squid oil to my patients.
- Krill are small crustaceans with a short lifespan, which means they don’t ingest a lot of pollutants. Krill oil’s omega-3s are stored in phospholipid form instead of triglyceride, which helps DHA cross cell membranes better. A squid’s lifespan is also short. Plus, they live deep underwater, far from the toxins found closer to surface water. viii
- Take at least 500 mg of DHA and 60 mg of EPA daily from a combination of squid oil and krill oil with astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that protects phospholipid cell membranes from damage caused by free radicals. Ideally, you want to take 1,500 mg to 2,000 mg of combined omega-3s daily.
With these simple nutritional adjustments, you can live better and disease-free by making your cells hydrated and healthy.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
iv Jing Cao, Incorporation and Clearance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Erythrocyte Membranes and Plasma Phospholipids. Clin Chem. 2006; 52:12; 2265-2272.
v Frédéric Darios1 & Bazbek Davletov1. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids stimulate cell membrane expansion by acting on syntaxin 3. Nature 440, 813-817 (6 April 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04598; Received 30 November 2005; Accepted 21 December 2005
viii Bazan N, Musto A, Knott E. “Endogenous signaling by omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid-derived mediators sustains homeostatic synaptic and circuitry integrity.” Mol Neurobiol. 2011;44(2):216-22.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.