Hydration is the name of the game for optimal health and well-being. Pretty hair, pretty skin, pretty nails, and pretty much everything else depend on being super hydrated. And, it affects how you feel. This is because every cell in your body relies on water to survive and thrive. But three out of four Americans are dehydrated—this means you’re probably dehydrated reading this right now! It happens easily when our standard is eating a highly acidic diet and drinking water with low pH levels. Then, not only do we feel crappy, we look the part too.
Dehydration causes dull, dry, listless-looking skin, as well as fatigue, moodiness and irritability, muscle soreness, brain fog, headaches, and even weight gain as it slows your metabolism.
The opposite side of the coin is that being properly hydrated can increase lean muscle, prevent jet lag, burn more calories, enhance mental clarity, and reduce signs of aging. Let me repeat, REDUCE SIGNS OF AGING. Your skin is one of the first things to benefit from proper hydration, which is supported by an alkaline body pH.
The good news is there’s an easy way to manage your pH levels through what you eat and drink. Of course you’ve heard, drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to stay hydrated, but let’s take it one step further. What type of water you drink actually matters. A pH level measures a substance’s alkalinity or acidity, ranging from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline). Alkalinity increases hydration while acidity decreases it—and creates a whole slew of other problems like inflammation, which some research suggests is the root cause of chronic pain, funky energy levels, and even autoimmune diseases. Regular drinking water has a neutral pH of 7. Alkaline water is around an 8-9 pH level and provides the minerals that you need for proper hydration.
If you want to take care of your whole body from the inside out, drink alkaline water and reduce your intake of acidic foods. Not sure how to do that? Here’s a cheat sheet with 10 of the top acidic foods you might want to limit or avoid, plus a low-acid alternative:
Processed foods – Eat real, whole foods. Less crap equals less acid. More plants than animals.
Alcohol – It’s terrible news for our social lives, but the truth is it wreaks havoc on our systems. Try Kin Euphorics for a blissful, healthy high.
Artificial sweeteners – These are full of chemicals that create acidity in our systems. Try Manuka honey instead, since it has a bajillion health benefits.
Caffeine beverages – Try tea with a purpose, like nettle tea for mental grounding.
Cereal – Try a green juice instead. Less sugar, less acidity.
Cold cuts – Crudités like carrot sticks instead will create a more alkaline atmosphere in your body that helps balance your pH and creates lower risk for heart disease.
Eggs – Stir-fried morning veggies can be a great sub.
Peanuts – Walnuts are better, and though they’re still acidic, they provide more nutrients that your body wants and needs.
Wheat products – These are all processed anyway—stick to real food whenever possible.
Oats – Get your morning superfood smoothie on instead.