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Reconsider Your 8 Glasses of Water Per Day

Authored by Alexandra Yiachos, Health Care Policy '24

Art by Kaylah Nicholson, Human Biology, Health, and Society '24

We’ve all heard the saying “8 glasses of water per day”: the recommended amount of water each person should be drinking of liquid water per day. Groundbreaking research shows that water contained in plants hydrates more efficiently and effectively than plain, liquid water alone. Chronic dehydration is a condition that can aid in a plethora of health issues including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. 75% of Americans are reported to be chronically dehydrated, with 11.3% of Americans suffering from diabetes, 41.9% struggling with obesity, and 10.7% fighting Alzheimer’s disease [1,2,3]. For dehydrated adults, signs of increased neuronal activation when performing cognitively engaging tasks were present, indicating that their brains are working harder than normal to complete a task [4]. In the elderly, prolonged cellular distress due to dehydration could promote brain pathology and continued cognitive decline [4]. Could these relatively common health concerns, especially Alzheimer’s Disease, be remedied by proper hydration?

Water contained in plants hydrates the body more efficiently because of plant fibers that help humans absorb water. It has always been known that fruits, vegetables, roots and seeds have been good for our nutrition, but the water contained inside these plants can be even better for our hydration than drinking water alone. The water in vegetables is already purified, at the perfect pH level, alkaline, mineralized, and energized to be better absorbed into our bodies [5]. But the most special facet of the water contained inside plants is actually its structure, which helps to explain why it is a better hydrating source.

It is widely accepted that there are three phases of water: solid, liquid, and gas that each play an important role in our health and environment. However, Gerald Pollack, Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, introduced the idea of a fourth phase of water he dubs “exclusion zone” or “EZ” water [6]. EZ water is found in fruits and vegetables and could provide a better source of hydration than liquid water alone. The structure of EZ water is viscous and gel-like in consistency due to exposure of water molecules to infrared light, becoming vibrationally excited. This excitation causes water molecules to situate closer to each other and form a dense structure that is able to store energy in the form of a negative charge [7]. This negative charge can be used to deliver energy to cells that need it the most.

How did ancient desert tribes survive in extreme heat and very few sources of liquid water in their environment? The Incas and the Aztec tribes of South America would not ingest liquid water for weeks at a time; in fact, they survived solely on chia seeds and cacti which are loaded with EZ water [8]. Anthropological studies of these tribes prove that liquid water is not crucial to proper hydration and survival, and better yet, plants can hydrate you even more.

Plain water alone is not the best source of hydration due to the lack of electrolytes which are naturally prevalent in EZ water. One study from the St. Andrew’s School of Medicine in Scotland proves that electrolytes like sodium and potassium contribute to greater hydration; calories (energy from electrical charges) in beverages result in slower gastric emptying and decreased urination [9]. Furthermore, plant sources of hydration are chock-full of fiber, nutrients, vitamins, electrolytes, and EZ water that contribute to the most fulfilling hydration.

Another study focused on neurocognitive disorders and dehydration in older adults, which illustrates how dehydration can lead to early expression of neuronal dysfunction in the brain, brain shrinkage, and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and related dementias [10]. Research suggests that for some people, brain changes, such as beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease begin a decade before onset of symptoms [11]. Because the brain is 75% water and is protected and nourished by aqueous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), it is important to ensure that individuals remain properly hydrated to avoid brain atrophy and neurodegeneration. CSF is generated in the choroid plexus of the brain, situated in the lateral ventricles of the brain. Beta-amyloid that is able to penetrate the protective blood brain barrier (BBB) is able to be metabolized and eliminated in the brain due in part to healthy CSF, although the exact mechanism of this process is unclear [12]. With lower amounts of aqueous CSF and dehydration, patients can be more prone to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

With that said, it is imperative that individuals keep up with their proper hydration, avoiding chronic dehydration that can negatively impact their internal organs, especially their brains. Utilizing the knowledge of EZ water and proper ways of hydration could curb the effects and lessen the suffering of those with Alzheimer’s disease.

Works Cited

  1. Adult Dehydration - StatPearls. (n.d.). NCBI. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

  2. Diabetes Statistics - DRIF. (n.d.). Diabetes Research Institute. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

  3. Alzheimer's Facts and Figures Report. (n.d.). Alzheimer's Association. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

  4. Mills, B. (2020, January 10). Can dehydration impair cognitive function? | Cognitive Vitality. Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

  5. Cohen, Dana, and Gina Bria. Quench: Beat Fatigue, Drop Weight, and Heal Your Body Through the New Science of Optimum Hydration. Hachette Books, 2019.

  6. Pollack, G. (n.d.). Water Isn't What You Think It Is: The Fourth Phase of Water by Gerald Pollack. Biodiversity for a Livable Climate. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

  7. Asprey, D. (n.d.). What Is EZ Water and Why Do I Have to Get Naked In the Sun to Make It? Dave Asprey. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

  8. The Hydration Trick You've Never Heard Of. (n.d.). DuPage Family Wellness. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

  9. Drayer, L. (2019, September 25). Which drink is best for hydration? Hint: It isn't water. CNN. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

  10. Neurocognitive Disorders and Dehydration in Older Patients: Clinical Experience Supports the Hydromolecular Hypothesis of Dementia. (2018, May 3). NCBI. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

  11. What Are the Signs of Alzheimer's Disease? | National Institute on Aging. (2022, October 18). National Institute on Aging. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

  12. The Choroid Plexus Removes β-Amyloid from Brain Cerebrospinal Fluid. (n.d.). NCBI. Retrieved April 20, 2023, from

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