Andrew Huberman – How to Optimize Your Water Quality & Intake for Health
Huberman Lab Podcast, discussing science and science-based tools for everyday life. We discuss water and its intake in detail.
Not all water is created equal. Tap water can vary in quality depending on where you live, and bottled water may not be any better. Look for water that has been filtered to remove contaminants and minerals that can affect taste.
The cold shower
- Deliberate cold exposure can increase the release of catecholamines, leading to increased mood and focus.
- Cold showers do not disrupt the adaptations to strength and hypertrophy training.
- The deliberate cold exposure protocol used in the study involved one session per week of cold immersion in cold water up to the neck and five cold showers per week of two minutes each.
- Positive changes observed in the study included improved mood, regulation of anxiety, and reduction in waist circumference and abdominal fat in men.
What is water made of?
- Water is made up of two hydrogens and one oxygen (H2O).
- Water molecules are polarized, allowing them to bind to one another through covalent bonds.
- Water can exist in three forms: liquid, gas, and solid.
- Water is unusual in that it is less dense in its solid form (ice) than its liquid form.
- Temperature affects the arrangement of water molecules and the spacing between them.
Properties of water
- Water has a particular structure and can change its conformation.
- Water can dissolve certain substances like sugar or salt due to their hydrophilic nature.
- Water is one of the best solvents on the planet.
- Temperature and pH can impact the tendency of hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances to dissolve in water.
- Different types of water can change the ways that our cells function for better or for worse.
Hydration and sweat
- Sweating is an adaptation that helps cool the body
- Increase fluid intake by 50-100% when exercising in a hot environment or sweating a lot
- Consume 8-16 ounces of fluid for every 20-30 minutes in a hot sauna
- If feeling parched, consume fluids without caffeine or other diuretics
- For every volume of caffeine, consume 2-3 times the amount of non-caffeine fluid
Hydration and physical performance
- Even slight levels of dehydration can impair cognitive and physical performance, leading to fatigue and brain fog.
- Quality hydration can enhance clarity of focus and overall energy.
- Hydration triggers elevated levels of alertness through two pathways: mechanical and chemical.
- Being well hydrated can improve physical and cognitive performance.
Filtering the water
- Everyone should know how much fluoride is in their drinking water and ideally filter it
- Depending on health, some may not need to filter their water
- Filters range from low-cost pitcher filters to more expensive whole house filters
- Berkey filters are a popular intermediate option
- Filters use both mechanical and chemical processes to remove contaminants while allowing beneficial minerals to pass through
- Boiling tap water is not recommended as a method to decontaminate it, as some contaminants can be made worse by heating
- Higher quality water sources than tap water can be used for cooking and making beverages, as long as it is not consumed in large volumes
- Debate exists as to whether cold or room temperature water is better for you, but it is best to drink fluids at the temperature that is desired in the moment
- Cold water can slow absorption and can alter the sensation of the gut lining, so it is best to avoid excessively hot or cold food and beverages
Drinking water with meals can help with digestion and prevent overeating, but it’s also important to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.