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Hydration Magic: Part 2

hydration via tea in sweater cozy

In my last article, you discovered the science of hydration and the challenges of staying optimally hydrated as we grow older.

Today, you’ll learn how proper hydration can boost your overall well-being, reduce your risk for chronic diseases, and slow the hands of time.

You’ll also discover five hacks to boost hydration for vitality today… and great health tomorrow!

Hydration Magic: Part 2

By Kelley Herring

Sharpening Minds: Hydration’s Brain Boost

Your brain’s best friend? It’s hydration. A study published in Human Brain Mapping found that dehydration impacts both brain structure and function in adolescents1. As we age, this connection remains crucial.
In fact, research published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that even mild dehydration can lead to cognitive impairments, including reduced attention span and memory deficits2.
When well-hydrated, our brain’s functions hum along smoothly, enabling us to navigate life’s challenges with sharpness and acuity.

Flex and Thrive: Sip to Protect Your Muscles, Bones & Joints

Like a well-oiled machine, your musculoskeletal system functions optimally when properly hydrated. Dehydration, on the other hand, is like failing to oil the gears of an engine.
By maintaining adequate hydration, you’re providing the lubrication that helps your joints move smoothly and without discomfort.
What’s more, research published in Bone found that staying hydrated could potentially reduce the risk of falls and fractures3. This is critical because fractures are associated with increased mortality rates among older adults4.
While it’s easy to overlook the simple act of drinking water, it’s actually a direct investment in your future musculoskeletal health and longevity.

Mood Mastery: Hydration Harmony

Irritable, fatigued, moody? You may be dehydrated.
In fact, the Journal of Nutrition found that even mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women5. In fact, just a 1.36% dehydration resulted in degraded mood, increased perception of task difficulty, lower concentration, and headache in the women.
Another study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise confirmed these findings and reported that mild dehydration can lead to feelings of irritability and fatigue6.

woman drinking water

Supple, Smooth Skin Begins Within

Your skin is a reflection of overall health, and hydration plays a starring role.
Proper skin hydration is pivotal in maintaining its elasticity, texture, and appearance7. Studies suggest that ample hydration can have positive effects on skin health, helping our appearance to stay fresh, plump and youthful as the years roll on.

Hydration Hacks for Ageless Vitality

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggests aiming for an intake of about 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water daily for women and 3.7 liters (125 ounces) for men, including all beverages and moisture-rich foods8.

This recommended intake acts as an initial guide. Keep in mind your personal requirements will fluctuate based on factors like physical activity, climate, and health status.

Let’s take a look at 5 key strategies to help optimize your fluid balance:

Savor Water-Rich Feasts: Discover the refreshing power of nature’s hydrating bounty. Savor succulent watermelon, zesty oranges, and juicy berries – a few of Mother Nature’s most hydrating foods, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.9

Unlock the Magic of Electrolytes: The key to hydration isn’t just water—it’s also the balance of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium that your body craves. Sip on homemade electrolyte-rich beverages crafted from sources like coconut water, which research in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests can aid in rehydration.10 These natural elixirs not only quench your thirst but also replenish your body’s essential minerals.

Sip Sugar-Free Hydration Boosts: While sugary drinks may quench thirst momentarily, they often lead to a rollercoaster of blood sugar spikes and crashes. Instead, explore sugar-free alternatives to enhance hydration. Intriguing research in the Journal of Applied Physiology highlights glycerol—a sugar alcohol—as an effective aid in fluid retention and hydration11. Glycerol-infused beverages offer a sweet taste… without the negative effects sugar.

Plump with Kefir: Kefir, a probiotic beverage, has been found to be beneficial in human skin health, thanks to its ability to reinforce the skin’s barrier function. Researchers believe this benefit likely results from the activity of lactic acid bacteria during kefir fermentation. In a study published in Life, female participants who consumed 100 ml of kefir a day for 8 weeks saw significant improvements in transepidermal water loss (TEWL), resulting in the appearance of plumpness.12

Balance Fluids with Fluid Losses: In the intricate dance of hydration, consider the balance between fluids taken in and fluids lost. Listen to your body’s cues and adjust your intake based on factors like activity level, climate, and individual needs. Drink before you get thirsty to prevent dehydration.

Mastering the Healthy Hydration Habit

As you have discovered, staying hydrated is an overlooked factor that impacts your overall wellness.
Mastering the habit of hydration can go a long way to boosting your energy levels, protecting the integrity of your bones and joints, boosting brain health and mood, and even keeping your skin smooth and supple through the years!


Looking for some interesting and fun reads? Check out Kelley’s work and more on our US Wellness Meats Discover Blog. We are proud to be owned and operated by family farms. For over 20 years, our mission has been to provide nutritious, 100% grass-fed, and pasture-raised meats from cleaner, greener, and sustainable farms. Our farms do not use pesticides, herbicides, added growth hormones, GMOs, or antibiotics delivered right to your door! 

kelley herring

Kelley Herring

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  1. Kempton MJ, Ettinger U, Foster R, et al. Dehydration Affects Brain Structure and Function in Healthy Adolescents. Hum Brain Mapp. 2011;32(1):71-79.
  2. Benton D, Jenkins KT, Watkins HT, Young HA. Minor degree of hypohydration adversely influences cognition: a mediator analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016;104(3):603-612.
  3. Gaffney-Stomberg E, Lutz LJ, Rood JC, Cable SJ, Pasiakos SM, Young AJ. Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation Maintains Parathyroid Hormone and Improves Bone Density During Initial Military Training: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Trial. Bone. 2014;68:46-56.
  4. Haentjens P, Magaziner J, Colón-Emeric CS, et al. Meta-analysis: excess mortality after hip fracture among older women and men. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2010;152(6):380-390.
  5. Armstrong LE, Ganio MS, Casa DJ, et al. Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women. J Nutr. 2012;142(2):382-388.
  6. Pross N. Effects of Dehydration on Mood and Cognitive Functioning. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2017;49(12):2386-2397.
  7. Palma L, Marques LT, Bujan J, Rodrigues LM. Dietary Water Affects Human Skin Hydration and Biophysical Parameters. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015;8:413-421.
  8. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019.
  9. Armstrong LE, Ganio MS, Casa DJ, et al. Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2012;31(6):367-375.
  10. Kalman DS, Feldman S, Krieger DR, Bloomer RJ. Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012;9:1-6.
  11. van Rosendal SP, Osborne MA, Fassett RG, Coombes JS. Guidelines for glycerol use in hyperhydration and rehydration associated with exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2010;109(3):1036-1040.
  12. Alves E, Gregório J, Rijo P, Rosado C, Rodrigues LM. The Impact of Kefir on Epidermal Water Homeostasis in Healthy Human Skin. Life (Basel). 2022 Jul 19;12(7):1075. doi: 10.3390/life12071075. PMID: 35888163; PMCID: PMC9321187.