Lessons Learned: The Water Secret by Dr Murad

I’m a huge Dr. Murad fan. Aside from my Clarisonic, if there’s one beauty product I can’t live without, it’s his Clarifying Spray and there are countless other stellar products he’s launched over the years. So when I learned of his latest book about how water can help us look and feel younger, I knew I needed a copy.

A great deal of the book may be common sense for anyone who has even a slight interest in health and nutrition — we pretty much all know that we should be eating fruits and vegetables — but given how few greens and fruits most of us eat, it's clear that we need to be reminded of their importance! Further, Dr. Murad follows his recommendations with insight into what exactly is going on inside our bodies allowing with a better understanding of the aging process. I found it particularly interesting to learn that you can drink gallons of water and your body can still lack proper hydration. In the same vein, you can drink next to no water and still be hydrated; being hydrated is about more than just drinking water. The book underscores the powerful effect that making small changes can have on not only our health, but our skin. In addition to his tips on getting more water into your diet with food (and why it's important), Dr. Murad offers a number of recipes and discusses the benefits of supplements. I picked up a number of interesting factoids though reading the book; here are the ones I think are worth sharing:

  • By the time you reach 50, your lifestyle determines 80% of your aging process — the difference between a 60 year old who looks 40 years old and a 40 year old who looks 60 is maintenance. That said, it's never too late to turn back the clock physically and from a cellular standpoint.
  • Hormonal aging begins as early as our 20s for both men and women — not at or right before menopause which I found very shocking.
  • As we age, we all experience cellular water loss.
  • Inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's usually a warning sign that the body is trying to heal itself and is considered key to survival.
  • The best way to eat your vitamins is to spread them out between your meals.
  • Hydration should be defined by the water you keep, not the water you drink.
  • When you eat your water through raw fruits and vegetables, you not only hydrate, you also give your body antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and roughage.
  • According to the USDA, most people get about 70% of their calories from animal products, processed food, and junk food. Only about 30% of their calories come from plants. Nearly everyone in nutritional science believes that these percentages need to be reversed.
  • Fewer than 10% of Americans consume two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables per day.
  • Fruits and vegetables contain an ingredient that can help flush excess calories away from the body naturally, curb appetite, lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugars, streamline digestion, and improve immunity.
  • When we consume foods that are high in water, our bodies don't have to expend water to digest and process those foods. The water eaten goes toward replenishing our cellular water and maintaining optimal cellular functions.
  • Eat the skin of your fruits and vegetables as they contain the bulk of fiber.
  • Don't trust labels — any product can say that it's high in fiber as long as it has 2.5g of fiber (only 10% of the recommended 25g, which in and of itself is a low requirement).
  • Organic foods routinely test higher on the nutrient meter as compared to their conventionally grown counterparts.
  • Hydrate with supplements that contain cell-fortifying ingredients (multivitamin, lecithin, fatty acid supplement, and glucosamine).
  • Exercise is important to maximize cellular water through muscle.
  • Cancer cells love sugar and they thrive in the acidic environment created by meat-based diets, which is why it's so fantastic for your health to have an alkaline diet based on fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
  • Foods usually become more acidic when cooked, which explains the rise of the raw food trend.
  • Cancer cells feed on mucus, which the body can produce in response to dairy. Opt for soy and almond milk instead.
  • When you do eat red meat, opt for grass-fed beef, which has been shown to have lower levels of unhealthy fats and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Eggs have the highest quality protein of any food.
  • The more muscles you have, the more calories you're burning throughout the day — whether you're vacuuming, walking, or sleeping. This is because muscle is metabolically active (versus stored fat).
  • In most people muscle strength peaks at about 20-30. Without training, most people experience a 30% loss in overall strength by age 70.
  • Everyone — regardless of skin type — needs to moisturize. Even people with oily, acne-prone skin need to hydrate to restore the barrier function of their skin.
  • It's important to "feed your face" with skincare products because you can get a high concentration of a number of valuable ingredients in the skin by smoothing them directly on rather than ingesting them. Mushrooms, apples, durian (tropical fruit), pomegranates, and licorice are all beneficial in skincare products (yes…mushrooms).
  • The average American has about 50 brief stress attacks a day.