Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to The Dr. Gundry Podcast, the weekly podcast where Dr. G gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.
Dr. Gundry (00:14):
Hey, everybody. It’s Dr. Gundry here and I’ve got some very exciting news. Right now, you can sign up for Dr. Gundry’s newsletter. As a subscriber, you’ll get updates about new episodes of the Dr. Gundry podcast, where we talk about all things health. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out. I’ll also keep you in the loop of all the things I’m up to, from news to events to special appearances. Visit www.drgundry.com to sign up.
Dr. Gundry (00:45):
Welcome to The Dr. Gundry Podcast. Now, I talk a lot about the optimal foods for human health, but there’s one thing I’ve failed to talk to you about. In fact, it may be the most essential thing you can put into your body and if you don’t get enough of it, you could die in just a matter of days. What could be so important that I devote an entire episode to it? Water. That’s right. On today’s episode, I’m going to dive deep into a subject most of us don’t even think much about, hydration. Strap in to hear my thoughts on tap versus bottled water, the benefits and dangers of water fasting, how much water you should drink every day, trendy waters, and much, much more.
Dr. Gundry (01:39):
Okay, so let’s start with one of the most basic questions out there. Do I really need to drink eight glasses of water every day? Well, the answer is no, you don’t. That idea that you need eight glasses of water a day is one of those wonderful myths, just like the 10,000 step pedometer myth, which was actually invented by a Japanese company to sell pedometers. You don’t need to walk 10,000 steps every day for perfect health, you actually need maybe 2,000 or 3,000. It’s the same way with eight glasses of water.
Dr. Gundry (02:17):
Most of us don’t realize that if you’re following a Plant Paradox compatible diet, you’re hopefully going to eat large amounts of leaves as a part of your daily diet. Quite frankly, most animals get most of their water by eating the water in leaves and on leaves. In fact, gorillas eat 16 pounds of leaves every day and they’re not sitting near a stream half the day drinking water. That brings me to important point that I’ll talk about a little bit later, in that plants are probably the best filtration system that’s ever been designed to filter your water. If you’re eating organic vegetables, that plant is filled with filtered water, not only filtered water, but you actually are getting what’s called structured water. I’ll have more to say about structured water towards the end of the podcast, so stay tuned. If you really want to get the genuine article in terms of structured water, get it by eating leafy greens and you’re going to get a bunch of it.
Dr. Gundry (03:40):
Now having said that, there are other forms of getting water into your system, and that includes coffee and tea and, no, caffeine does not dehydrate you. It will not make you lose water. Sorry about that, it’s just not true. Believe it or not, wine is mostly water. These other forms of hydration, not taken to excess, are perfectly acceptable ways of adding to the amount of H2O you’re going to get in your body.
Dr. Gundry (04:17):
Now, what does dehydration do? Now, I treat dehydration in the hospital. We do see people that come in profoundly dehydrated and it, among other things, dramatically shrinks the amount of blood that you can successfully pump around your body. Most people who we see with dehydration actually present with low blood pressure, for instance. One of the better ways, which is an old way of doing to take a look at your hydration status, is to take the back of your hand and pinch the skin on the back of your hand, lift it up for about five seconds and then let it drop. That should disappear in a matter of seconds, and mine’s gone. If it doesn’t disappear, the odds are that you are dehydrated. It’s a pretty doggone good test.
Dr. Gundry (05:13):
Now, some of my older patients who are really quite skinny, it may take a little bit longer for that to happen, but quite frankly, we see dehydration much more frequently in older patients than we do in younger patients simply because many of my older patients have an interesting name called the anorexia of old age. Simplistically, that’s you don’t eat or drink very much at all, and it’s actually a natural phenomenon.
Dr. Gundry (05:48):
Can you ever drink too much water? The answer is absolutely, and I see it perhaps more than I see actual dehydration. Most of the deaths you hear about during marathons are from over hydration. What happens is people hit these water stations and they’re constantly sweating out sodium and chloride, which is salt, they’re then drinking water, which doesn’t have any salt in it, and they dilute out their sodium and chloride, and to a lesser extent, potassium, in their blood. Low sodium is really one of the biggest causes of cardiac arrhythmias in marathon runners. So when you hear about someone suddenly dropping dead on a marathon, it’s usually from over hydration. That’s why there’s a warning to marathon participants. Number one, don’t drink too much water. Number two, try to hit the sports stations where they actually have electrolyte fluids for you to consume. Interestingly enough, the less fast runners who are out there for four or five, six hours are far more likely to suffer from this than the guys who are finishing in two hours. Of course, I’m up there with those guys finishing in two hours, so I’ve never had a problem. Just joking.
Dr. Gundry (07:21):
Now, let’s get a little controversial. Tap versus bottled water. Bottled water, are there any dangers? Is it really cleaner than tap or simple filtered water? Well, bottled waters span the gamut of how these are produced. As many of you know, many of the large corporations, many of the large beverage corporations, have bought up bottled water companies. For instance, Nestle, for an example, probably owns more bottled water brands than anyone in the world. Coke and Pepsi and other bottlers have simply joined in the fray. A lot of these systems use normal tap water that has undergone some form of filtration and each company uses a different form of filtration.
Dr. Gundry (08:21):
The other, I think, important thing about bottled water is we’re mostly through with the BPA scare, the plastics than most bottled waters were contained in. It’s still possible to get a BPA bottle, most of them have been replaced with BPS bottles. But now the evidence is that BPS acts exactly like BPA, so my opinion is try not to drink a bottled water that comes in a plastic container. Now luckily, there are a number of bottled waters that come in glass. I personally drink, and I’ve said this before, San Pellegrino, which is a sparkling water, and we’ll get into sparkling water towards the end. Their still water is called Panna, P-A-N-N-A, in a glass bottle. There are certainly other excellent forms of glass-bottled natural mineral spring water that you should look for, but try to avoid a bottled water in a plastic container.
Dr. Gundry (09:35):
Tap water, is it really safe to drink? Well, a lot of times it depends on where you live and the filtration system that’s used in your municipality, and quite frankly, the amount of fluoride and the amount of chloride that’s being put into your water. Also, the hardness of the water can have a huge effect, and fun fact, the amount of lithium in your local water may have a positive benefit on your brain health through the years. People who live in hard water areas, interestingly enough, have better heart health than people who live in soft water areas. If you use a soft water system in your house, please, please, please make sure it’s a potassium chloride soft water system, not a sodium chloride soft water system. Potassium chloride softeners may actually have some health benefits, but absolutely not the traditional sodium chloride soft water system. So the answer is check with your local municipality.
Dr. Gundry (10:54):
The other worrisome thing about tap water is most of the filtration systems used in municipalities do not get rid of antibiotics in water and I can guarantee you that they are in almost all of our commercial water systems. Personally, my wife and I drink bottled water at home, from glass, but both of our homes, in Santa Barbara and Palm Springs, have a reverse osmosis whole-house water system as well. There are very reasonable priced ones available, there are really ridiculously priced ones available. The other option is get yourself a disposable pitcher. Many are on the market, many are actually very reasonable to use, but check with your local municipality before you say, “Well, I’ve got great tap water.”
Dr. Gundry (11:54):
Also, we’re going to talk about alkaline water, but the alkalinity of your water varies greatly by municipalities, some will have actually very high pHs. Desert Hot Springs, which is the community next to Palm Springs, is always voted as the best water in the United States. That’s because their water comes from an underground aquifer that drips off a 10,000 foot mountain. It’s filtered water and always gets wins the best taste award and highest quality water in the annual water competition.
Dr. Gundry (12:34):
I’ve talked about water fasting on this podcast before, but I keep getting questions about, so let me set the record straight. Water fasting has been around since a recorded history and certainly it’s been around since prerecorded history. Quite frankly, we often did not have food, but thank goodness we had water. We can go without food for months and months and months. There’s been human experiments and human beings who’ve gone over six months without eating, but you can only go without water for approximately seven days. That’s how important water is. Now, water fasting, because of its long historical significance and because fasting is associated with all the great religions, people assume that water fasting is natural and it’s safe. Whereas if this was a hundred years ago and I’m doing this podcast, probably from a soapbox in the town square, water fasting would be very different than it is now.
Dr. Gundry (13:50):
That’s because in our modern environment, we take heavy metals and organopesticides and other toxins, which are now ubiquitous in our environment and in our food, and we store them in our fat cells. Believe it or not, when they’re stored in our fat cells, they don’t have a huge effect on us. That’s why I use the example, a giant tuna or a giant swordfish, which is full of energy and full of life, may have toxic amounts of mercury in their flesh, in their fat, but it’s not affecting them. You eat that mercury and you store that mercury in your fat. When we do a water fast, we virtually immediately start using up our fat for energy because we’re not eating. The problem is as we use that fat, the heavy metals, the pesticides, all the other toxins are released into our bloodstream.
Dr. Gundry (15:00):
Now, our liver is appointed to detoxify these compounds and we have phase one and we have phase two detoxification enzymes that do a pretty reasonable job, but the liver actually has no ability to detoxify heavy metals. So it says, “I’m going to spit these heavy metals out into bile, and the bile will be squirted into the intestines and I’m rid of it and everything’s fine.” Unfortunately, we reabsorb those heavy metals from our intestines, so that many of us doing a detox are actually increasing the level of toxins in our bloodstream because they come out into our bloodstream and we immediately recycle them back into our bloodstream. Many people, including Dr. Joseph Mercola, who was a big fan of water detox, have really stepped back and said, “Wait a minute. That’s probably not what we should be doing in the modern age.” As many of you know, I developed a product that I use on myself to deal with this issue and I’ve written about if you want to detox heavy metals properly, here’s the steps to do.
Dr. Gundry (16:32):
Is there a safe way to water fast? Yes, and just in The Longevity Paradox, I show you how to do this. You need to complex heavy metals and the best way to do that is the use of chlorella and the use of activated charcoal. I also think you need to rev up your liver enzymes. Milk thistle is a great way, a compound called D-limonene is a great way, dandelion greens are a great way. This is all in The Longevity Paradox. So please don’t just say, “I think I’m going to do a seven-day water fast.” Peter Attia has backed off on his seven-day water fast and is now this year only going to do three-day water fast, which I think is a much more reasonable approach.
Dr. Gundry (17:21):
Okay, time for a lightning round of quick questions and answers. Let’s go. Is alkaline water healthy? We’ve had one of the world’s experts on alkaline water on my podcast and I do suggest you listen to it. Here’s the hilarious thing about alkaline water, everyone thinks that we need to have an alkaline environment to be healthy. In fact, where capillaries deliver blood and nutrients to the cells, it’s actually a slightly acid environment and that’s how things actually happen. Alkaline water has actually less ability to alkaline you than, for instance, baking soda. If you really want to have a benefit of an alkaline environment, you’re much better off dissolving a teaspoon of baking soda in some water and drinking it rather than having alkaline water. Alkaline water will not change your pH one bit. There aren’t enough ions dissolved to change your pH.
Dr. Gundry (18:35):
As you know, my colleagues at the Medical College of Georgia, where I went to medical school, recently published a paper that having a teaspoon of baking soda a couple of times a day improves athletic performance, it’s actually an old hack of professional athletes, and actually may protect kidneys from inflammation. So no, alkaline water. If you want to have an alkaline water machine, knock your socks off. A lot of the reverse osmosis machines will give you alkaline water, I have one, but don’t be confused by what benefit you’re going to get from that alkaline water. It’s actually the reverse osmosis that’s probably doing the trick.
Dr. Gundry (19:23):
Is there anything wrong with ice water? Well, first of all, it depends on where the ice is being made. Number two, ice water is incredibly good for you. Think about this, you have to cool the ice water down to normal temperature, and in doing so you use heat from your body and that heat requires energy. Interestingly enough, the more ice water you drink, the more energy you use up to cool off or heat up that ice water. So you actually can have a benefit by drinking ice water rather than warm water.
Dr. Gundry (20:09):
How healthy is hydrogen-infused water? Well, we’ve had a podcast about this, and I can tell you, I think that the discovery of the benefits of molecular hydrogen is going to be one of those ground shaking changes in how we understand how hydrogen works in our body for health. Just a little teaser from my next book, The Energy Paradox, which will be out in the fall of this year, people with Parkinson’s disease have been discovered that their gut microbiome does not make hydrogen out of the food they eat, whereas normal people’s gut microbiome makes hydrogen gas out of the food they eat. I’ll leave that teaser, because there’s more on hydrogen to come. I think hydrogen water, and I drink it daily, is really one of the game changers if you’re interested in brain health and if you’re interested in longevity.
Dr. Gundry (21:21):
Should I drink water with a meal? Why and why not? You need gastric acid to digest protein. We use acid for one purpose and one purpose only in terms of the food we eat, and that is to digest protein. If you dilute the gastric acid with water, you’ll actually slow the protein digestion. Now, that may be, believe it or not, a good thing if it slows gastric emptying. But here’s a crazy fact. There is a little valve at the end of your stomach called the pyloric valve, the pylorus, that senses when gastric acid goes away, and that means that your protein has been digested and it’s ready to empty the protein or the stomach contents into the small intestine for further digestion and absorption.
Dr. Gundry (22:23):
If you dilute out the acid with too much water, you inadvertently open the gates too soon and your stomach contents empty into the small intestine soup too soon. This can do two things. Number one, it can actually spike your blood sugar inadvertently, and it can lead to protein that’s not fully digested and that protein will actually undergo fermentation. You may actually get the gas and bloating that you associate with irritable bowel syndrome, but it may be because you had too much water with your meal and you’ve started the process that way.
Dr. Gundry (23:05):
Can I drink sparkling water as a replacement? Yes. Here’s the proviso. Most sparkling waters merely bubble up carbon dioxide into the water and that actually makes for an extremely low pH in those waters. They also can increase the phosphorus content. Italian law requires that all Italian sparkling waters, which quite frankly are in glass, have to be pH balanced. It has to be neutralized. San Pellegrino, by the way, has the most neutral pH of any of the sparkling waters. On the other hand, if you guys are sitting around drinking LaCroix or something like that, as a wonderful sparkling water, you may be getting a pretty impressive acid load if you’re having several of these a day. And please make sure your can is BPA-free, make sure you found a can that doesn’t have a liner that has BPA in it. Glass has no BPA. Are there any people shoot who should avoid sparkling water? Yeah, if you can’t burp, it’s probably a good idea to avoid sparkling water because that gas has got to go someplace and if it doesn’t come out the top end, I guarantee you it’ll come out the backend.
Dr. Gundry (24:35):
Are there chemicals in water we should worry about? You betcha there are. I already really kind of talked about this, I am very suspicious, as are many others, particularly Dr. Mercola about the fluoride content in water. Most of the good-quality water filters that you can purchase will get fluoride and chlorine out of your water, as well as some of the other chemicals, in addition to getting the antibiotics out of your water. That’s one of my big fears. I don’t have any data to share with you yet, I’m trying to find it, on whether these filters filter out glyphosate, the ingredient in Roundup, which quite frankly is in most of the things we eat and probably in our groundwater as well.
Dr. Gundry (25:26):
What do you think about testing your water? What pH should it be at? Well, again, that’s going to vary from municipality to municipality. It’s not a big deal to check the pH of your water, but for fun, check the pH of your sparkling water and you’ll probably be pretty shocked about what you’re drinking.
Dr. Gundry (25:49):
What’s structured water? Is it better? Structured water is basically six water molecules that are arranged in a hexagonal shape. What’s interesting is, in the human body, most evidence is that we change the water we drink into structured water. We know that structured water is what is in plants, as I mentioned before. Should we drink so structured water to get structured water in us? Well, it’s not going to hurt you, but I’d much rather eat plants to get structured water. Quite frankly, as you’re going to learn in The Energy Paradox, the reason you have structured water in you already is because of the way you actually absorb water from your intestines, and there’s another teaser for you.
Dr. Gundry (26:52):
Raw water trend, is it dangerous to drink untreated raw water? It depends on where it comes from. If you’re on a camping trip to Thailand and you’re going to drink water out of a creek, I would highly not recommend it. In fact, when I do mission work in Africa and India, I always bring water treatment tablets and filtration systems with me, because the idea that that raw water is good for me is not a good idea. It’s a loaded with parasites, some of which can infect you for the rest of your life. On the other hand, long ago I invested in a company in Utah that brought water up from a glacier from 10,000 feet below a mountain that they had tapped into. That glacier formed millions of years ago. It’s sterile, it has no organisms in it. Is it great stuff? Yeah, unfortunately it went out of business and that’s too bad. So it depends, but the idea that water should be raw, most spring water is by definition a raw water, but you’ve got to be careful. A stream is not necessarily raw water that you want to drink.
Dr. Gundry (28:18):
Okay, now it’s time for our review of the week. Our review of the week comes from iTunes user rwithe1, who writes, “So informative. I was introduced to Dr. Gundry recently through seeing him on Tom Bilyeu’s podcasts. After watching, I knew I had to subscribe to his podcast. Dr. Gundry educates me and makes me want to learn even more. Thank God for him.” Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate you writing that review. I love hearing feedback from you, the listeners, so please rate and review us on iTunes.
Dr. Gundry (28:55):
That’s it for The Dr. Gundry Podcast. I hope you’ve learned a few of my opinions on water. I know I’m going to get a lot of feedback on this one, but I’m Dr. Gundry and I’m always looking out for you.
Dr. Gundry (29:12):
Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Dr. Gundry Podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind you that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you want to watch each episode of The Dr. Gundry Podcast, you can always find me on YouTube at youtube.com/drgundry, because I’m Dr. Gundry and I’m always looking out for you.