Have you heard the saying ‘eat your water’? As it turns out, a piece of fruit or green smoothie may be more hydrating than plain h2o.
What your body really needs to function optimally might be gel water, which has an extra hydrogen and oxygen atom, and therefore a molecular structure of h3o2. Also known as ‘structured water’, gel water has been charged by electrolytes and is the same as the water in our cells. This means that when you consume gel water—h3o2—it passes more readily into your cells than h2o does, and hydrates you more effectively. It is also more dense than h2o and less likely to leak out from damaged or ageing cells.
Gerald Pollack, the head of the University of Washington’s Pollack Water Lab, says that gel water (or as Pollack describes it, the ‘fourth phase of water’) operates as fuel 'for every action of every cell'. Check out this Discovery Channel video of Pollack talking about the fourth phase of water.
Here are some easy ways to boost hydration with gel water:
- Put a pinch of salt in your water. The electrolytes help with hydration, as demonstrated by this 2015 study.
- Add a teaspoon of crushed chia seeds to water and then let it soak for at least 15 minutes (overnight is ideal) before drinking it or adding it to smoothies or other drinks. (The gel that forms around chia seeds after you soak them is water in the gel phase.)
- Eat as many raw fruits and veggies as you can: most are at least 70% water. The great thing about the gel water in plants is that it comes with skin‑loving nutrients. When you eat your water, you are also getting vitamins, minerals and fibre, all of which helps your body absorb water.
To hydrate at a cellular level it also helps to get moving. Your fascia, the spongy connective tissues around the muscles and organs, push water molecules throughout the body and this is activated by movement. Twisting movements—like those in certain yoga poses and stretching exercises—are especially good. Fidgeting can also help: tilting your head, wiggling your toes or circling your ankles are easy to do, even if you are stuck at a desk for 8 hours a day.
Our bodies are around 70% water, so being properly hydrated is important. It helps with brain function, cellular processes, keeping your joints and muscles healthy and much more. If you find yourself struggling with headaches, low concentration or fatigue, try increasing your intake of gel water and moving a bit more until you feel good again.