Author: Joan Haynes, NMD

Why Boise Natural Health Clinic Has a Fragrance-Free Policy

by Joan Haynes

You may have noticed this sign in our office:

FRAGRANCE-FREE POLICY

To protect the health of our

chemically sensitive patients and staff,

we ask that while visiting

Boise Natural Health Clinic, you do not wear any

fragrance that is perceptible to others.

 

Fragrances Can Have a Negative Effect to Yourself and Others

You may not realize you are making yourself or other people sick by your fragrances.  Because people do not want to offend you or are afraid of being accused of being “sensitive”, your friends or family may not tell you that they get sick from your laundry detergent, lotion, hair products, or perfume.  We commonly get people in the office who have no idea that their overpowering fragrance can be perceived even in the back office as soon as they walk into the building or that we need to air the building out as soon as they leave.

People can develop headaches, brain fog, dizziness, nasal congestion or sneezing, nausea, or even pass out when exposed to fragrance.  Studies have been done linking some of these chemicals to health problems with the immune, nervous, detoxification, and hormonal systems as well as cancers.

What is a Fragrance?

Perfumes, colognes, and deodorants obviously have fragrance.  But so do most seemingly harmless personal care products.  Even those marked “fragrance-free” or “unscented” may contain a fragrance along with a masking agent that prevents the brain from perceiving odor.  There are over 3000 chemicals that are used as fragrance most of which have not been tested for toxicity alone or in combination.  The industry is unregulated – fragrances are considered “trade secrets”.  Just because it is on the market, do not assume it is safe.

How to Avoid Exposure

We get exposed to dangerous chemicals in our environment all the time over which we have no control, but we have complete control over what we use on our body and in our home.

  1. Stop using scented laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets. It can take many washings to get the smell out, especially of synthetic fibers.  If clothes are permeated, you may need to hang clothes or linens in the sun for a few days – UV light is an amazing detoxifier.
  2. Get rid of any artificially scented candles, or air fresheners including plug-ins. Some contain acetone, benzene, lead, carbon monoxide, toluene and more!
  3. If you like fragrances, use essential oils instead of synthetic perfumes. But be careful, essential oils can smell too strong for some people and can affect people with seasonal allergies.  You may need to dilute the oil before using on your skin as they can burn.  Essential oil sprays make good deodorants.
  4. There are very few occasions that you need to use toxic cleaning supplies in your home. Learn to use baking soda and vinegar to clean.
  5. If you are exposed to strong fragrances in your work place, you have every right to ask for a fragrance -free policy to be implemented. Stand up for yourself!
  6. Environmental Working Group is the best place to go for more information. This non-profit organization has amazing Consumer Guides for non-toxic household and personal care products.

Hair Thinning in Women – Identifying the Cause

by Joan Haynes, NMD

Hair loss in women is usually a symptom of an underlying health condition.  It can be emotionally devastating to women.  A thorough work up can reveal the contributing factors.  Knowing the cause of the hair loss leads to an individualized treatment plan.  Often women’s other nagging health problems improve with a whole body approach.   Over my years of practice, it has been so satisfying to see women return to health and regrow their hair.

Here are the most important considerations when evaluating a woman’s hair loss:

  1. Anemia is low iron in the blood and is easy to tests to for with blood work. A complete blood count (CBC) and most importantly a serum ferritin which is your storage form of iron. A ferritin level below 90 is associated with hair loss.  I routinely see values in the teens!
  2. Hormones play a big role in hair. Women may have deficiencies or excess of any hormone –  testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone, DHEA, cortisol, or prolactin.  Clues to a hormone cause are acne, hair growth on face, infertility, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), irregular menses, menopause, PMS, and hormone use.  Read more at Testing for Hormones Imbalances.
  3. Thyroid conditions often cause hair loss and many other symptoms. It is useful to be thorough when testing thyroid.  Blood tests to consider for a full thyroid work up: TSH, free T3, free T4, reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies.
  4. Autoimmune conditions can be tested for such as an ANA which will test for multiple autoimmune conditions including systemic lupus erythematous.
  5. Stress is one of the most common causes of thinning hair and sometimes the hair loss happens even after the stress has passed.
  6. Scalp and skin conditions might be the problem if there is any itching, redness, bumps, or broken hairs. Exposure to chemicals and fragrances can cause skin reactions.  A dermatologist can do a punch biopsy to test for things like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and look for infections.
  7. Family history could be a factor if female relatives with similar problems?
  8. Personal history is important to review. Any recent diet change, weight loss, surgeries, or illness?  Is the hair loss sudden or a gradual loss?  Losing more in certain spots or all over scalp?  Any hair loss or growth on the rest of the body?  Do you have any ongoing health issue and/or have other symptoms coincided with the hair loss?   Are you taking any medications or supplements?

To understand more, WebMD has a great article:  At Boise Natural Health Clinic, we can order the lab work that you need and many lab companies will bill your insurance.

Fibromyalgia

by Joan Haynes, NMD

Fibromyalgia is characterized by wide-spread pain and chronic fatigue, there is no known single cause.  However, investigating and treating contributing factors often brings relief.   Here are some ideas we can help you explore:

Hormones

Hormones involving the thyroid, ovaries and adrenal glands are essential in regulating energy, mood, appetite, sleep, behavior, and stress response.  Thyroid testing is a blood test which measures TSH, free T3, free T4 and thyroid antibodies.  Your sex and adrenal hormones are best done via urine or saliva testing (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisol). Read more at Testing for Hormone Imbalances.

Neurotransmitter Imbalances


Fibromyalgia patients frequently suffer from depression and anxiety.  Research has found that having low levels of the neurotransmitters noradrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine in the brain are common among fibromyalgia sufferers.  Low serotonin in particular has been associated with pain sensitivity and sleep disturbances and in conventional medical practices patients are often prescribed antidepressants with some success.

At Boise Natural Health Clinic we help manipulate neurotransmitters using Targeted Amino Acid Therapy, using supplements such as 5-HTP, tryptophan, and L-theanine.  Neurotransmitters can be measured – we use urine testing to take the guess work out.  READ MORE about neurotransmitter testing.

Inflammation from Food

Widespread body inflammation can be cause by both pro-inflammatory diet and specific food sensitivities.  Here’s an article to learn more: Are Foods Causing Your Symptoms.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Studies have been conducted showing that certain nutrients can have significant improvement on pain levels such as D-Ribose, magnesium, vitamin D and others.  Vitamin D, for example, helps reduce cytokines which are inflammation-causing chemicals.  Omega-3 oils, found in flax seeds and fish, is another researched food shown to reduce inflammation.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Mitochondria are little organelles that live inside your cells and are responsible for the generation of energy.  If not working properly, fibromyalgia symptoms may appear.  Certain nutrients are needed for mitochondria to work.  An Organic Acid Test is a way of measuring your mitochondria function.  Depending on results, treatment may involve using supplements such as coenzymes Q10, creatine, L-carnitine and folate.

Sleep

Without a doubt sleep plays a huge role in fibromyalgia symptoms.  It is during sleep that the body makes growth hormone which rejuvenates our muscles.  Poor sleep can be due to hormone imbalances, nutritional deficiencies and lifestyle factors.  Solving sleep issues goes a long way toward feeling better.

Come Visit Us

Untreated fibromyalgia can be a life-altering illness but there is help available.  At Boise Natural Health Clinic we want to help you uncover the factors that contributed to its onset, not just cover up the symptoms with medication.  A free-phone consult may be the way to begin, 208-338-0405.

Calcium . . . Friend or Foe?  A Fresh Look at Bone Health and Osteoporosis

by Joan Haynes, NMD

Still think 1200 mg of calcium daily will build good bone?  Think again.  That much calcium might only not help, but actually harm.  Excessive calcium might compromise cardiac and kidney health.  Here’s a fresh look at osteoporosis and the host of minerals, cofactors, diet and lifestyle recommendations that are necessary for good bone health.

Careful with Calcium

Health professionals are beginning to question the recommendations on calcium supplementation.  A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2008 showed a positive correlation between calcium supplementation and an increased risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) in older women through calcification of coronary arteries.  Other studies showed too much calcium leads to deposits in the kidneys leading to kidney stones.

Not All Calcium is the Same

The type of calcium is always important to consider.  At BNH we recommend calcium citrate or calcium citrate-malate.  These are highly absorbable forms of calcium and we recommend that women stay under 500 mg a day.  The popular and inexpensive calcium carbonate form is what chalk and Tums are made from.  Calcium carbonate actually blocks its own absorption through buffering stomach acid.

Low Stomach Acid

You might be getting plenty of calcium and other minerals in your diet, but if you don’t have enough stomach acid to break them down, you can’t absorb them.  Symptoms of low stomach acid might be acid reflux, heartburn, burping, gas, bloating, and nausea.  Low stomach acid is associated with an inability to digest meat well and often people’s stomach feels heavy or overly full after meals, despite eating a normal amount.  Sometimes, even if there are no gastrointestinal symptoms, it is useful to screen patients for low HCL if they have poor mineralization health conditions, such as those with anemia, osteoporosis, thinning hair, thin nails, and nervous system problems like insomnia, anxiety, and restless leg syndrome. READ MORE about low stomach acid in an article on our web page.

Bones are MUCH More than Calcium

To build and maintain bone we must also have optimal amounts of vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium and essential trace minerals such as boron.  Adequate protein is also needed as well as omega-3 oils.

High Calcium Foods are High Mineral Foods

We all know that dairy foods are high in calcium, but many of our patients avoid dairy.  The best food sources of calcium, other than dairy, include whole grains, beans, almonds and other nuts, dark green leafy vegetables like kale, bok choy and turnip greens, also salmon and sardines. It is interesting to note that individuals who avoid dairy due to lactose intolerance do not experience a corresponding increase in osteoporosis.

A Word about Strontium

In my patients that have demonstrated bone loss with a DEXA scan, I recommend the mineral strontium citrate.  This mineral has been shown to increase bone density.  Caution: calcium will inhibit the absorption of strontium if taken together so they must be ingested at different meals.

Alkaline Diet

A diet high in animal protein, grains, and sugar and low in vegetables and fruit can cause an increase in urinary excretion of calcium, leading to bone loss.  These foods acidify your system, causing a leaching of calcium from the bone to keep your body’s pH normal.  A whole-foods, plant-based diet create a more alkaline environment.

Exercise

Always at the top of the list to build and maintain healthy bones is exercise.  Both weight bearing and cardio together have been shown to be the most effective.

Don’t Wait to Take Bone Health Seriously

About one in two women over the age of 50 will develop osteoporosis but what is often overlooked is one in four men over the age of 50 will also develop the disease.  Be proactive with your bone health.

At Boise Natural Health, we can help you design an effective bone health program that includes individualized supplementation and overall health optimization.  Call today to make an appointment 208-338-0405. 

Advanced Hormone and Neurotransmitter Workshop

by Joan Haynes, NMD

I’m just recently back from a 3-day conference in Las Vegas Hosted by Labrix Clinical Services, a lab that’s new to us at Boise Natural Health. This conference was three days of very useful clinical information. We started off by learning more about the gut microbiome and how it influences our brain chemistry and hormone balance. We talked in great detail about testing for hormone balance for women – estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone. Here is a sample hormone test. There was a whole talk about libido, full of useful information.

Adrenal health was covered in most of the talks because of its fundamental role in our energy production. I learned about the Stages of Adrenal Dysfunction and treatment considerations at each stage. One of the speaker’s had a great line:

“If the adrenal ain’t happy, nothing is happy.”

I also learned more about men’s health and especially testing and treatment for progesterone deficiency, not just testosterone deficiency. We also covered inflammation and its role in neurotransmitter production and hormone balance
.

I’ve been doing neurotransmitter testing for many years, and  I’m excited to be offering a new lab,  Labrix to help people identify their underlying imbalance that leads to their depression and/or anxiety. We covered the use of nutrients, herbs and amino acids to raise or lower neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Here is sample neurotransmitter test to see what’s included.

The lab also offers a genetic test FindWhy™ Weight Control that looks at five genes that are known to have a significant impact on regulation of metabolism, satiety, sensitivity to carbohydrates, and regulation of insulin and leptin systems. B
ased on the results, different weight loss plans are created to overcome predispositions.

Cost for these tests range from $191 to $347 depending on what is ordered.

If any of this new testing interests you, come in and we’ll get started, or you can call and set up a free 10-minute consult to speak with me about how this testing might be useful to you.

How Your Poor Digestion is Preventing You from Losing Weight

by Joan Haynes, NMD

Often people suffer from digestive problems for years without realizing how it’s affecting their other problem, their inability to lose weight. Metabolism and food cravings are seriously impacted by a poorly working digestive tract and treating gut problems can be the missing link for successful weight loss.

Instead of going on another white-knuckle diet, fix what is fundamentally wrong with your gastrointestinal system and watch the pounds fall off. Not only will you be slimmer, you will have more energy and will get rid of some of your other chronic symptoms.

Symptoms of Poor Digestive Function

1. Unwanted weight gain or weight loss
2. Constipation and/or diarrhea
3. Reactions to a growing list of foods
4. Bloating, belching, gas, cramp
5. Heartburn and reflux
6. Skin breakouts
7. Low libido, poor sexual functioning
8. Depression and/or anxiety
9. Brain fog
10. Respiratory issues
11. Frequent infections
12. Muscle/joint achiness
13. Autoimmune disease

How to Repair Your Digestion

If you’ve got weight that is hard to get off and keep off, you may need to assess the various causes of your inflamed “leaky gut”. Often more than one factor is involved:

  1. Food
    a. Identify food sensitivities thru blood tests or formal elimination diet.
    b. Eat an “anti-inflammatory diet” and consider anti-inflammatory supplements
  2. Bad Bugs / Good Bugs
    a. Test for and treat gut infections such as parasites, bacteria, fungus and viruses. Read about how we can test.
    b. Boost the healthy microbiome with fermented foods and probiotics,
  3. Digestive juices
    a. Assess and treat low levels of hydrochloric acid, bile, and digestive enzymes.
  4. Stress
    a. Test neurotransmitter production to treat anxiety and depression.
    b. Learn relaxation practices.
  5. Hormones
    a. Test hormones which play a big role in body function – thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol.

It’s Not All in Your Head!!

Having trouble sticking with your good eating and exercise routine? Our digestive tract breaks down food into absorbable nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fats. When digestion is poorly functioning, malabsorption of these important nutrients results in fatigue, depression, and pain such as headaches and achiness, which then counteracts motivation for eating well and exercising. If you don’t fix your digestion, there is little hope for long term weight loss.
90% of serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter, is produced by cells that line the intestine. Damage to the gastrointestinal tract will damage the serotonin-producing cells making levels drop. People with low serotonin are often tired and depressed making them reach for foods high in carbs and making motivation for exercise difficult.

You Don’t Have to do it Alone

If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, naturopathic medicine and functional medicine are great options because we take a whole-body approach. Yes, calories matter, but often there is more to the story. Optimizing digestive function as well as assessing hormones and neurotransmitter function can help curb cravings and speed up a sluggish metabolism.

Harboring Bad Bacteria, Parasites or other Pathogens?

By Joan Haynes, NMD

I’ve been trying out a new test on patients for that last year with great results. I’ve helped diagnose Giardia in a 2-year case of diarrhea after cancer treatment, a little boy with failure to thrive with C. diff, and a Lyme patient with Microsporidia. These results are exciting
because when I first began my practice almost 20 years ago, the only way we could test for pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract was a culture which left up to 50% of the bacterial species undetectable. I hardly ever ran tests looking for a microbe because it was so expensive and inconclusive. Now we have access to new and affordable testing using DNA, which has transformed the field of microbiology, making diagnosis much easier.

Paraphrased from the lab’s web page: The Gastrointestinal Microbial Assay Plus (GI-MAP) was designed to assess a patient’s microbiome from a single stool sample, with particular attention to microbes that may be disturbing normal microbial balance and that may contribute to illness. The panel is a comprehensive collection of microbial targets as well as immune and digestive markers. It screens for pathogenic bacteria, commensal (friendly) bacteria, opportunistic pathogens, fungi, viruses, and parasites.

If you are harboring pathogens, you might have some of the following symptoms:

Gastrointestinal symptoms:

Abdominal pain

Bloating
Constipation
Crohn’s disease
Diarrhea
Food poisoning
Gastric cancer
Gastritis
Gastroenteritis
Gastroesophageal reflux
Irritable bowel syndrome
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
Ulcer
Ulcerative colitis
Vomiting

Autoimmune conditions:

Ankylosing spondylitis
Reactive and Rheumatoid arthritis
Thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s, Grave’s)

Allergic Disease:

Asthma
Eczema

If you think you might have an imbalance in your microbiome, consider testing.  Look at a sample test here.   The Diagnostic Solutions Lab will bill your insurance with a deposit.

Not Coping Well With Stress? You Might Have a Progesterone Deficiency.

by Joan Haynes, NMD

Women with low progesterone often have symptoms of insomnia, PMS, anxiety, irritability, breast tenderness, food cravings, hot flashes, irregular menses, infertility, uterine fibroid, low thyroid, low adrenal function and a host of other symptoms.

Progesterone’s main job during child bearing years is to prepare and maintain the uterus for pregnancy. Progesterone also affects brain function. It produces a sense of calmness and helps promote rejuvenating sleep. But when progesterone levels are low, the body can feel it has too much estrogen, even though estrogen levels can be normal. This is known as “estrogen dominance”.

When woman are under stress, their progesterone gets robbed to feed the cortisol (stress) pathway. This can leave us less able to handle stress and we may find ourselves anxious, overwhelmed and extra grouchy with those we love. We may also end up with adrenal fatigue,which often goes hand-in-hand with low progesterone. These may be the first symptoms of perimenopause and can happen years before other symptoms start to occur.

Testing

Low progesterone levels can be easily determined with saliva or urinary hormone testing.
Read more in my article Testing for Hormones: The Big Five.

No Need to Suffer there is Help for You

If you aren’t feeling yourself, come in and we can see if low progesterone and/or low cortisol are making you feel out of sorts. We can talk about ways to restore your hormone balance naturally, perhaps using bioidentical progesterone, herbs, supplements and dietary changes.

Tired? You Might Have Low Iron

By Joan Haynes, NMD

Fatigue can have many causes, but a fairly easy cause to figure out and treat involves iron. Iron deficiency is an under-recognized cause of fatigue and can be missed on standard lab work.

Symptoms which may be linked to iron depletion are:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor work productivity
  • Poor attention and memory
  • Sore tongue
  • Poor condition of skin or nails
  • Hair loss
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Cracks on the corners of mouth
  • Pica – cravings for non-foods such as ice or even dirt

Iron does some important things in the body:

  • Carries oxygen to tissues
  • Needed in the mitochondria which makes energy
  • Helps synthesis of thyroid hormone
  • Converts tyrosine to dopamine (one of our feel good neurotransmitters)
  • Important in immune function

Testing

Most clinics order a CBC (Complete Blood Count) which will pick up the advanced form of iron deficiency anemia with a low hematocrit and/or hemoglobin (the color and volume of your red blood cells). But an earlier form of low iron levels can be detected with a serum ferritin test. The “normal” range for serum ferritin is broad, from 8 – 250 ng/mL, but hair loss, fatigue and other symptoms can occur when the number gets below 90.

Uncover the Cause of the Low Iron

Besides just identifying the problem, we need to discover and address the causes of the iron deficiency. It could be the patient just doesn’t eat enough iron-rich foods, but it could be something more serious. For example: heavy menstrual bleeding, low stomach acid, celiac disease, low B-12 and folate levels, hidden bleeding in the colon (a potential sign of colon cancer), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), chronic disease, inflammation, high lead levels and more.

Iron Supplements

Many people complain about gastrointestinal symptoms when taking supplemental iron, usually the ferrous sulfate form. But there are easier forms to absorb. At Boise Natural Health Clinic we use iron bis-glycinate with Vitamin C, between meals. It can take months for iron levels to come back up.

Iron absorption is inhibited by:

Low stomach acid, acid blocking medication, H. pylori infection, coffee, tea, soy products, wheat bran, wheat gluten, oat, nuts, casein, egg white, whey protein, some herbal teas.

Iron absorption is enhanced by:

Hydrochloric acid and vitamin C

Caution is advised with iron supplementation can be toxic, it is the leading cause of poisoning in children. In general, men and non-menstruating women should not take iron supplements or even a multi with iron in it unless they test low.

If you are suffering with any of the above symptoms, come in for a visit with and we’ll do a thorough health history and run labs to discover if iron deficiency, or something else, could be contributing to you not feeling well.

 

Could Your Symptoms be Due to a Lack of Water?  Sometimes it’s That Easy!

Joan Haynes, NMD

Did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated?   

Here are 5 warning signs and symptoms of chronic dehydration, and tips on optimizing your water intake so you can feel your best all year long.  

  1. Fatigue
    Dehydration is the number one cause of daytime fatigue. Dehydration of the tissues causes enzymatic activity to slow down (slowing the metabolism.)
  2. Constipation
    When chewed food enters the colon, the body absorbs excess water via the colon walls, allowing the stool to form properly. In chronic dehydration, the body sacrifices the ideal consistency of the stool in order to give water to more vital parts of the body. The result: hard dried out stool that is difficult to pass.
  3. Excess weight
    Thirst is often confused with hunger. One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
  4. Pain
    Pain can be a localized sign of dehydration. Headaches are commonly caused by lack of adequate water. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day (half of that coming from food and drinks other than plain water) could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  5. Brain-fog
    A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. Obvious signs of dehydration include dry mouth, crinkled skin, excessive thirst, or absence of urination for over 6 hours. These are more serious symptoms and need to be corrected immediately.

Tips to Optimize Water Intake

  1. How much is enough?
    Thirst is not always a reliable indicator, so it’s good to keep track. Experts disagree on the exact amount of water each person needs. A commonly used calculation is to divide your weight in pounds by two, then convert this figure to ounces, and drink that many ounces of water daily. Example: 150 pounds/2 = 75 ounces of water per day. A simpler version is the 8-10 (8 oz) glasses per day rule. Learn to read your body’s signs, be willing to experiment, and you will find the right amount for yourself.
  2. What counts?
    Contrary to popular belief, caffeine is only a mild diuretic so a cup or two of coffee and/or tea can count toward your total fluid intake. Avoid energy drinks that often have huge amounts of caffeine and sugar. Alcohol subtracts from your daily fluid total, as it is a diuretic and will cause dehydration. In general, filtered or spring water is best but if you are having trouble getting it down, consider using some diluted fruit juice or lemon slices to add some flavor.
  3. What are the best times to drink?
    Good times to drink water are on rising, at least 1/2 hour before meals and 2-3 hours after. If you don’t like waking at night to urinate, stop drinking after 6 pm.  It is recommended by some health experts that you not drink much water with meals as it is thought to dilute the digestive juices.
  4. When is more needed?
    You need more if the temperature is hot or if you exercise. A general rule is to add an extra 2 glasses per day for every 5°F over 85°F if you are at rest, and more if you exercise.
  5. What about electrolytes?
    Adding electrolytes is important with exercise, in hot weather, and if you have become dehydrated. Electrolytes increase water absorption, and replace vital minerals lost in sweating. Instead of Gatorade, consider a healthier version called Recharge available in natural food stores. Coconut water is a good (although expensive) option. Another option is to eat salty snacks on heavy exercise days.  Some people hydrate regularly, but still feel thirsty and dehydrated and adding electrolytes work wonders for them.  

Here is my own favorite way to get myself to drink water regularly and to rehydrate if I’ve gotten low:

Steph Davlantes

This tasty drink goes down much easier than water, rehydrates me quickly, relieving muscle tension and headache, and increasing my energy and alertness.

In a quart mason jar or large glass, fill it 80-90% of the way with filtered water.

Fill the remaining 10-20% with Simply Lemonade (or another grocery store lemonade with real lemons and real sugar – you can use other brands or other juices, the little bit of sugar is important to absorb the water more quickly, so don’t use just lemon juice for best effect.)

Add 1/8 – ¼ teaspoon salt (I prefer Celtic sea salt or an electrolyte supplement).   

I find that adding a (reusable) straw and ice in warm weather helps me drink more.