Is Hydration the Cure for What Ails You? Interview with Author of "Quench" Science of Hydration

Optimum Hydration Levels

Water: Fountain of Youth

We’ve heard a lot about optimal nutrition, but what about optimal hydration? Could something as simple as better hydration help with everyday conditions like fatigue and serious ones like diabetes and dementia?

Find out in this recap of the Live Foreverish Podcast as Michael A. Smith, MD, interviews Dana Cohen, MD, author of Quench: Beat Fatigue, Drop Weight, and Heal Your Body Through the New Science of Optimum Hydration.

Chronic dehydration and chronic illness

“I’m a functional medicine doctor,” Dr. Cohen stated. “I practice integrative medicine. I try to keep people off medications using nutrition, lifestyle and diet. I think hydration is one of the missing links. We all suffer from chronic, low-grade dehydration, day-in and day-out.”

According to Dr. Cohen, insufficient hydration may be associated with fatigue,1 “brain fog,”2,3 constipation,4 colon cancer,5 bladder cancer,6 inflammatory bowel disease,7 type 2 diabetes7 and many other disorders.8 Water’s presence in cartilage and skin suggests that dehydration might also be a factor in joint discomfort and skin dryness.

Unhealthy food, certain medications, artificially heated and air-conditioned environments, and more share a lot of the blame.

Dehydration and rehydration

According to Dr. Cohen, optimal hydration is not as simple as drinking more water.

“We know that water exists as liquid, ice and vapor,” Dr. Cohen explained. Research suggests the existence of a fourth phase of water that is referred to as a gel or “structured water.” It’s in that phase that water is in our cells, and it’s also the type of water that’s found in plants.”9-11

The gist of her book, she revealed, is “eating your water.”

In other words, she believes smoothies made from plant foods are going to sustain us longer than just drinking a glass of water.

Dr. Cohen recommends consuming more greens and making sure that electrolyte mineral intake is sufficient. Chia seeds are ideal because they surround themselves with a gel when soaked in water. These can be added to water or smoothies. Capsules containing oligonol®, which is derived from lychee fruit and green tea,12 and AHCC® from mushroom are also healthy additions to support stress response and immune function.13-15

Proper hydration levels are essential

Not only is proper hydration essential for those who exercise, but exercise boosts hydration. By improving circulation and the delivery of water to the cells, movement improves hydration. Thus, a regular exercise regimen aids in attaining optimized hydration levels.

When asked how she might respond to skeptics who question the prevalence of low-grade, chronic dehydration, Dr. Cohen expressed frustration.

“I have pretty sick patients that come in to see me,” she replied. “Doing nothing else but hydrating them better and getting them to eat better—getting them to eat more hydrating food—changes their lives.”

“I don’t get what the controversy is.”

Like what Dr. Cohen has to say? Listen to the Live Foreverish podcast with Life Extension’s Dr. Michael Smith and his guest Dana Cohen, MD, as they discuss hydration, by visiting

If you like what you hear, please take a moment to download the episode for FREE and give Live Foreverish a 5-star rating on iTunes!

  1. Barley OR et al. Front Physiol. 2018 Nov 2;9:1562.
  2. Szinnai G et al. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2005 Jul;289(1):R275-80.
  3. Shirreffs SM et al. Br J Nutr. 2004 Jun;91(6):951-8.
  4. Arnaud MJ. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;57 Suppl 2:S88-95.
  5. Shannon J et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1996 Jul;5(7):495-502.
  6. Michaud DS et al. N Engl J Med. 1999 May 6;340(18):1390-7.
  7. Lang F et al. Kidney Blood Press Res. 2017;42(3):483-94.
  8. El-Sharkawy AM et al. Nutr Rev. 2015; 73 (Suppl 2): 97-109.
  9. Maestro LM et al. Int J Nanotechnol. 2016;13(8-9);667-77.
  10. Perakis F et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Aug 1;114(31):8193-98.
  11. Pollack GH. Jpn J Physiol. 2001 Dec;51(6):649-60.
  12. Lee JB et al. Nutr Res. Pract. 2010 Jun;4(3):203-207.
  13. Takanari J et al. J Evid Based Integr Med. 2018 Jan-Dec;23:2156587218756511.
  14. Terakawa N et al. Nutr Cancer. 2008;60(5):643-51.
  15. Yin Z et al. Human Immunol. 2010 Dec;71(12):1187-90.


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