I recently finished reading Own the Day, Own Your Life by Aubrey Marcus. You’ve probably heard of Aubrey, he is the founder and CEO of Onnit, a supplement and “total human optimization” company based in Austin. He’s also a common voice in the podcast circuit, he hosts his own podcast, frequents his good buddy Joe Rogan’s podcast, and has been on Tim Ferriss, Rich Roll, and many more.
The book delivers optimized practices for everything from eating to training to working, and it’s presented in the simplified format of one single day. He walks you step-by-step, from waking up to going to sleep, how to own the day.
I’m not going to dive into a whole book review, but I will say that there is nothing that new or revolutionary in the book, no shocking new science or anything like that, but what it does do, and why I loved it so much, is because it’s filled with very simple, well-explained, and implementable advice.
The very first actionable idea in the book is to wake up and hydrate with the morning mineral cocktail. I’ve actually tried this for the last few weeks, and I love it so far. As a runner, I think about hydration daily, but even if you aren’t a runner or athlete, hydration shouldn’t be an after thought.
We usually wake up a little dehydrated. We haven’t had any water or food for 8 hours, we exhale a lot of water vapor as we breathe during sleep, and lose even more water if we sweat during sleep. It’s no wonder I wake up with cotton mouth and feel incredibly thirsty.
In the morning, you have prime the internal systems and wake up those organs! “A cool bath for your organs,” is a great visual metaphor for that first glass of water in the morning, from health coach and sleep expert Shawn Stevenson.
But it takes no expert, we all know from experience that when we are dehydrated, we get a headache, feel lethargic, and just all around feel like shit. Being hydrated is energizing and just feels good.
Hydration isn’t just about water, it’s also about minerals and electrolytes. Gatorade is a popular sports drink because it has electrolytes. When we run, workout or play sports, we can usually see/feel/taste the salt from dried sweat on our skin. Pedialyte is a popular hangover drink for a reason, because it works! And there is saline solution in an IV bag for the same reason, rehydration is about both water and minerals.
At my last ultramarathon, they were giving out salt pills at the aid stations. Many ultra runners take salt pills and/or regulate their sodium intake during runs, because the salt plays an important role in regulating internal systems to stay hydrated. If your electrolyte levels are all messed up, even if you’ve been drinking a lot of water, things can still go very wrong. (idk, complicated biochemistry stuff)
During long runs and races, I put a hydration mix in my water. I like Skratch Labs matcha green tea + lemons flavor because it’s made with natural ingredients and has a little bit of natural caffeine from green tea. The mix adds minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and sugars to the water.
Drinking filtered water is also a good idea because you want to prevent any toxic minerals from entering the body, like chemicals, plastics or heavy metals. I drink my water at home from a Brita.
One more hack: get a water bottle and carry it around with you! Save money, and save yourself and the planet from plastic water bottles.
Bottom line: Most minerals and electrolytes come from food, not from water, so I’m not saying you need to be drinking electrolyte water all day. But there is a time and place to get some easy electrolytes with your water, and for me, that would be during long or intense runs, during the rare hangover, and right when I wake up in the morning.
The Morning Mineral Cocktail
*Side note: I drink mine at room temperature, and I don’t like to keep my Brita in the fridge. My mom is an Ayurvedic practitioner, and if there is one thing she is always hyping about, it’s to not drink cold in the morning or before or after meals, because it douses your digestive fires. Ayurveda stuff, ya know?
Why I Like It
It makes sense, in the common sense kind of way. If I am conscious of my hydration and electrolytes when I sweat or when I’m hungover, why not also when I wake up dehydrated from a nice long slumber?
It’s simple and it takes 30 seconds to make. If I cut a lemon, it makes 4 wedges and I can use it for the next few days. Grinding sea salt takes all of 5 seconds. Easy peasy.
It tastes refreshing. It actually tastes hydrating! I love lemon in my water anyways.
I’m not just starting the day with hydration, I’m also starting the day with intention. I’m not just chugging a glass of water because I woke up with cotton mouth, there is more thought and intention involved with squeezing a lemon and grinding some sea salt into the water. It feels like I’m making something special for myself, something that will make me feel good.
And lastly, I like this because it’s the first thing I do in the morning (well, second thing, after I go pee of course), and I’m building momentum in my day. The whole idea from Own the Day, Own Your Life is that if you just focus on a few, small and easy steps you can build momentum for a awesome day, and if you can do it again the next day and the one after that, you’re building an unstoppable momentum in your life.
So do it. Try it. Tell me how you like it.
Speaking of minerals and electrolytes, I just read this quote out of The Surfer’s Journal and it felt fitting…
We are 90 perfect water, the rest are minerals. Words like “electrolyte,” “diamagnetic,” and “conductor” come to mind. Depending on how we position ourselves, adorn ourselves–feed, drain, empty, and think of ourselves–we are essentially powered along, not by the burning of food, but by clinging and releasing, landing off of, hitchhiking, drafting, and surfing our way through waves generated by dense magnetic fields.
-From “Explosion Rider” by Tom Morey
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