Quench: The Big “8 Glasses A Day” Water Myth, Why Water Isn’t The Best Way To Fully Hydrate & Much More!

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Based on breakthrough new science in the field of hydration, the new book Quench: Beat Fatigue, Drop Weight, and Heal Your Body Through the New Science of Optimum Hydration debunks many popular myths about “getting enough water” and offers a revolutionary five-day jump start plan that shows how better hydration can reduce or eliminate ailments like chronic headaches, weight gain, gut pain, and even autoimmune conditions.

Chronic headaches…brain fog…fatigue…weight gain…insomnia…gut pain…autoimmune conditions. We may think these and other all-too-common modern maladies are due to gluten intake or too much sugar or too little exercise, but there is another missing piece to the health puzzle: Proper hydration.

Yes, even in this era of Poland Spring many of us are dehydrated due to moisture lacking diets, artificial environments, medications, and over-dependence on water as our only source of hydration. For this reason, your new diet or exercise plan may fail because your body doesn't have enough moisture to support it.

Quench presents a wellness routine that can reverse all of that, based on breakthrough new science in the field of hydration. You will be surprised to learn that drinking too much water can flush out vital nutrients and electrolytes. Here is where “gel water” comes in: the water from plants (like cucumber, berries, aloe), which our bodies are designed to truly absorb right down to the cellular level. In fact, Ms. Bria's work as an anthropologist led her to the realization that desert people stay hydrated almost exclusively from what they eat, including gel plants like cactus.

Based on groundbreaking science from the University of Washington's Pollack Water Lab and other research, Quench offers a five-day jump start plan using hydrating meal plans and the heart of the program, smoothies and elixirs that use the most hydrating and nutrient-packed plants. Another unique feature of their approach is micro-movements, which are small, simple movements you can make a few times a day that will move water through your fascia, the connective tissue responsible for hydrating our bodies. You will experience more energy, focus, and better digestion within five days…then move onto the lifetime plan for continued improvements, even elimination of symptoms.

My guest on today's podcast and the author of Quench, Dr. Dana Cohen, has been successfully practicing medicine here in New York City for 20 years utilizing a distinctive medical approach. Dr. Cohen has helped thousands of patients find relief after repeated unsuccessful attempts with other practitioners. Dr. Cohen was board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1998. She is an advisor to the Board of Directors of the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM), the leading voice of Integrative Medicine for more than 1,500 MD, DO, ND, and master-level health-care providers. She has been the program director for their conferences and gathered the leaders of functional and integrative medicine to give world-class symposiums. She received her MD from St. George’s University School of Medicine and completed a three-year internal medicine residency at Albany Medical Center.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-Why water isn't always the ideal way to hydrate…7:32

  • Searched for innovative topic on which to devote substantial research
  • Co-author approached regarding hydration techniques at the Hydration Foundation
    • “New phase” of water
    • Is it possible to hydrate via food?
  • The 8 glasses a day myth
    • Comes from nowhere, similar to the food pyramid
    • Some say they drink little water and remain hydrated

-What “gel” water is and how it differs from “regular” water…11:26

  • “Structured” water
  • Slightly thicker, different chemical equation (H3O2)
  • Desert plants have gel inside (thickened water)
  • Gel water is found in waterfalls, and in nature in general
  • It's the type of water found in our cells

-The best foods to eat that contain gel water…14:41

  • Chia seeds gel when exposed to water
  • Cucumber seeds are gelatinous
  • Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • Fruits
  • Fiber mixed w/ water becomes undrinkable when left; becomes gel water

-How hydration (and dehydration) is measured via food intake…16:35

  • There's no research on determining clinical dehydration (although we know when someone is truly dehydrated)
  • The means of determining hydration levels via water consumption have not been applied to food as of yet

-How people who dwell in deserts hydrate…22:08

  • Bedouins “front load” water consumption (first thing in the morning w/ electrolytes)
    • Robes they wear are quasi humidifying tents
    • Drink camel's milk, goat's bread
  • Low-fat diet is counterproductive
  • Ghee is very high in gel water

-Why chia is such a potent source of hydration…26:08

  • Rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly linoleic acid
  • Grinding chia seeds; creates more gel water when add water to it
  • Perfect thing to add to smoothies
  • Lectins in chia seeds: proceed w/ caution
  • Tara Fix recipe:
    • 12 oz. water
    • 1 tsp ground chia seeds
    • 4 oz. kombucha
    • Pinch of rock salt
  • Books by Christopher McDougall:

-Ancestral hydration tactics from history…32:54

  • Nomadic cowboys in Uruguay consumed Yerba Mate
    • Has all vitamins and electrolytes necessary to sustain life
    • Dissolving plants in water delivers nutrients and hydration from the plants better than water alone
  • Ancient pottery shows signs of gelatin from grains; evidence of eating lots of stews containing grains and vegetables
  • Hasda people consumed Baobab fruit:
    • Blended flesh w/ water; full of fat, fiber, and vitamins (an ancient smoothie)

-The link between fascia and hydration and why it's so important…39:30

  • Fascia is the network of collagen that surrounds every cell and organ in our body (like the outer walls of the grapefruit holding in the fruit)
  • “Living Fascia” video mentioned by Dr. Cohen
  • Piezoelectricity: Motion that stretches tissue and generates electricity
  • Study found that women who fidgeted less than other women had a 43% increase in all-cause mortality
  • Small movements are better than nothing
  • Dry skin brushing

-A recipe for “beauty water”…48:56

  • Water mixed w/ simple ingredients: blueberries, pomegranates, lemon, etc.
  • Adds electrolytes, structure to the water
  • It's very possible to over hydrate; dispose of electrolytes before their efficacy can be applied to the body

-And much more…

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Book: Quench: Beat Fatigue, Drop Weight, and Heal Your Body Through the New Science of Optimum Hydration

– BGF podcasts with Dr. Gerald Pollack:

– Book: Cells, Gels & The Engines of Life by Dr. Gerald Pollack

– Study: A high-fiber diet does not protect against asymptomatic diverticulosis.

– Book: Born To Run by Christopher McDougall

– Book: Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall

– Video: Fascia

Hydration Foundation

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dr. Dana Cohen or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

18 thoughts on “Quench: The Big “8 Glasses A Day” Water Myth, Why Water Isn’t The Best Way To Fully Hydrate & Much More!

  1. Nicole Schnobrich says:

    Hi Ben, love all your amazingly interesting and informative podcasts and books!
    Quick question, you said in “Quench“ that except for soaking chia seeds overnight, like soaking your Kion bar (which I love), using chia in a smoothie or salad… is pretty useless. I know those are not your exact words, but you are not a fan of it. I was just wondering, you have chia seeds in the Kion bar. Are they somehow treated to be easier to digest?
    Thanks for your time, Nicole

  2. Rebecca says:

    Hello All,
    A few months ago I found the Melt Method by Sue Hitzmann while waiting for my brilliant chiropractor. He let me borrow it and now I have my own copy. She addresses fascia in a specific way based on her personal experience and clinical practice as a body worker. It has changed my life by doing exactly what she says it does; relieve pain and bring more comfortable stability in the body. I used to limp painfully despite chiro care and mobility work and an excellent diet, I used MELT for one month with no chiro care, all other things the same, with incredible results.
    One last thing, I just quit my first and last office job where I sat for 7.5 hours a day 3 days a week. No need for water boarding, sitting so long caused so much pain and made me cranky and anxious, it was torturous. No offense intended to survivers. It’s an easy way to make the point that sitting all day is disastrous to the human body.

  3. Matthew S says:

    Delicious way to get Chai seeds into your diet.

    Had no idea they had so much Omega-3 – thought I’d start using them more vs popping pills.

    I conveniently got a new shipment of Kion Aminos the same day I listened to this – so I create a delicious desert.

    (Soak chia seeds for 24 hours ( draining 2-3 times)).

    Mix in a scoop this magic powder.

    Goal is to get a nice jello consistency.

    Ben – Would you recommend adding in some Gelatin to help with the jello?

    1. Markus says:

      Matthew, thank you for sharing. I tried this out but used a different flavouring – was delicious. Been ending my fast on Bone Broth and this.

  4. Tracy says:

    Greetings Dr. Cohen and Ben,

    I found this topic to be fascinating – thank you both for producing it!

    Over the last couple of weeks I have been cutting back on my external water intake (drinking water) and focusing more on my internal water intake (self produced metabolic water via increased dietary fat intake). This has evolved into me cutting my daily intake of bottled water from 6 bottles to 2 with very almost no conscious difference in my hydration levels.

    My question is: I am preparing for an extended fast in January 2020 (21 days) and I am now wondering – what is the best way to hydrate while consuming zero external calories?

    A few thoughts:

    1. Dr Cohen mentioned in a post above to put real salt in water and set out in the sun. I have 3 types of “real salt”: sea salt harvested off the coast of Brazil (from Costco), Himalayan pink salt (from Costco), and Okinawan sea salt (from a salt plant in Okinawa). Is that your recommendation for an extended fast – to take my normal tap water and “sun brew” a “real salt” in the water?

    2. You have a link above to Yerba Mate Tea: Is that something that you’d recommend as a supplement along side the “salt enriched” water? Or would drinking that risk breaking the fast?

    Thank you!


    1. Dana Cohen says:

      Hi Tracy, I don’t think all the salts have been tested and I don’t know those particular brands so I can’t say. I know recently there has been some concern with plastics contaminating our sea salts. I really like the brand Redmond real salt, but that doesn’t mean the others aren’t good.
      Yerba mate does contain caffeine, a little more than a cup of black tea, some say ok with fasting but I typically have no caffeine when I fast. Hope this helps.

  5. Greg says:

    Can you describe how long does soak the Chia seeds for? And then you just discard the water? Thanks

    1. Best to soak overnight, and you will need a fine sieve to strain the water out and down the sink.

      1. Greg says:

        And then you just place the remaining chia seeds in your water to create Structured water? Or best to just eat or use in foods?
        Thanks for the help and podcast episode

  6. Elaine says:

    Great talk. What can you do to improve hydration on a fasting day? I don’t want to eat the fruit or seeds. Thanks!

    1. Add some real salt and set it out in the sun.

  7. Troy Delaney says:

    Great podcast. Looking forward to reading the book.

    So is it true that structured water from a structured water filter is the same as gelatinous foods (both are H30)?

    You mentioned measuring hydration…I thought body fat impedance scales like the InBody measure Whole Body Phase Angle which is the measurement of cellular hydration?

    Last question, Ben which device do you use to structure your water? Same question to Dr. Chen if she structures her water.

    Thank you!

    1. I have an InBody in my office but I don’t think it is a reliable way to measure intra and extra cellular water. The phase angle may turn out to be a better marker but we are not sure yet. I do think it is useful though. I do not use a water structuring device, and I have not looked into the science behind them.

  8. Kevin Eaton says:

    That “Living Fascia” video. Wow. Amazing.

  9. Barton says:

    Wouldn’t the water in meat naturally be gel? Same thing for raw milk.

    1. Dana Cohen says:

      Hi Barton, that is what we believe. Dr. Gerald Pollack has done some testing, ghee for example as we mentioned contains a lot of structured water, but i don’t believe raw milk and meat have actually been tested.

  10. Dana Cohen says:

    Hi Martin! thanks, have a great day, Dana

  11. martin lalancette says:


    so glad you did a show with Dr Cohen. I read the book this summer, very interesting. I am not a big smoothie kind of guy but the info is sound without being too much out there.The info on chia seeds is super interesting.

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