Why is hydration key to gut health and cellular function? Let’s talk about it.
Having healthy, hydrated plump and juicy cells makes a huge difference in whether or not your body functions optimally.
Well-hydrated cells allow hormones, neurotransmitters, and immune factors to activate cell receptor sites. Cellular health is key to all of your health. Hydration of your cells both inside and around each cell makes a big difference in the cell’s ability to get nutrients in and get waste products out. Your gut is especially sensitive to proper hydration. If you’re dehydrated, your gut cannot function normally. You don’t produce enough stomach acid. You don’t produce enough mucus in your stomach to protect you from the acid you do produce and you don’t produce enough bile to neutralize the acidic stomach chyme dumped into the small intestine.
Your pancreatic enzymes cannot function normally when you’re dehydrated, so you don’t digest your food and are not able to absorb nutrients properly through the dry cells lining your small intestine. And when the undigested food gets into your dehydrated large intestine, your bowel movements are hard and dry, and you become constipated. All your cells are sensitive to dehydration but especially your neurons. When your brain is dehydrated, you will experience headaches and brain fog.
Your hypothalamus controls your hydration through a hormone called antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Antidiuretic hormone is produced mainly at night to slow your kidneys down from making urine so that it preserves fluid in your bloodstream, in your intercellular spaces, and inside of the cells. If your hypothalamus is not functioning normally, and not producing adequate amounts of antidiuretic hormone at the right times, then you will be urinating in the middle of the night. Sometimes even wetting the bed. Without normal ADH production, you have trouble sweating appropriately to cool yourself down.
Another hormone that controls your hydration is aldosterone. Aldosterone is produced by the adrenals in response to what’s going on in your bloodstream. Aldosterone stimulates your kidneys to preserve potassium and remove sodium and water out of the bloodstream and into the urine. If you’re not producing enough aldosterone, you have a tendency to have orthostatic hypotension. Meaning when you change positions, you feel dizzy because your blood pressure goes down. If you have too much aldosterone, it gets converted into male hormone and for women that can cause acne. You can also have swelling and excessive urination.
How do you know if you’re consuming enough water to keep your cells and gut hydrated?
Most people need half an ounce per pound of body weight for just normal daily activities without excessive sweating or losing fluids through diarrhea or excessive urination. So a 120-pound woman would need about 60 ounces of water per day. What if you’re not even thirsty? Well, it’s not just about water, it’s about electrolytes. A good test you can do is the salt test. Take sea salt which has a variety of electrolytes in it besides sodium, and, put two teaspoons in a finger bowl. Consume it during the day and just drink water which you also need to measure.
During the day, just eat the sea salt and drink water all day long and keep licking the sea salt until you can’t do it anymore. It just tastes terrible to you. You can’t stand it. At the end of the day measure how much sea salt you have left. Subtract what you have left from the two teaspoons you started with. That’s how much salt sea salt you need in your diet in order to stay hydrated. Pay attention to how much water you drink that day to feel hydrated. One of the ways that I can tell I’m getting dehydrated is if water doesn’t quench my thirst. Or I’m craving mineral water which is rich in electrolytes. Since I do not eat any processed foods, I add sea salt to my cooking.
If you have any questions about staying hydrated, please join me in our Hormone Support Group, which you can access by signing up for my free Hormone Reboot Training.
I have found that when my patients support their hypothalamus with Genesis Gold®, they’re much better hydrated at a cellular level.