Kelly Starrett may be the world’s most famous physical therapist, but these days, he’s spending most of his time thinking about hydration. And after nearly two decades treating clients in all walks of life, the Doctor of Physical Therapy has reason to be concerned: poor hydration contributes to problems in almost every one of the body’s biological processes, and it has an especially big impact on tissue quality. A state of constant dehydration, Starrett warns, is one of the biggest risk factors associated with injury in athletics — and surprisingly, chugging more water isn’t always a solution. Without the proper balance of electrolytes and amino acids, even the most hydration-conscious athletes won’t be able to optimally absorb the water they’re drinking.
Starrett has dedicated his life to helping us improve our bodies, and that passion has spawned a blog (MobilityWOD.com), bestselling book (Becoming a Supple Leopard), and legions of adoring fans that appreciate his combination of science-backed info and real-world application. But after working with tens of thousands of athletes, dehydration has been one performance inhibitor he hasn’t been able to solve with hands-on work.
Drinking adequate water, Starrett says, is the foundation of proper hydration and nutrition. But many diets lack the basic levels of salts and essential minerals needed to help cells retain water. Ironically, diets often considered “healthiest” or “cleanest” among athletes can put athletes at the highest risk for dehydration because they cut out basic salts. If you’re active and sweating once or even multiple times per day, the body might need extra electrolytes to keep pace. And according to Starrett, that means taking conscious action to improve salt intake.
By teaming with NutriForce Sports, Starrett has finally developed a product he says can finally help improve water absorption, helping the body better utilize what we drink throughout the day. The result is Balanced Hydration, specifically formulated to promote all-day hydration and keep the body primed for safe and healthy movement patterns.
We sat down with Kelly to find out more about how proper hydration can improve all aspects of wellbeing — and what we can do to achieve it.
Why did you feel it was necessary to develop this product?
Here’s what a lot of people don’t yet understand: There’s a big difference between drinking water and actually absorbing water. People are getting much better at trying to drink more water, but what happens is they’re not absorbing much of it at all because they don’t have the essential minerals, electrolytes, and salts to keep it in their system. They have to pee constantly, but they’re not actually absorbing it.
That can have a huge impact on how you feel and perform in every physical test imaginable. If you’re dehydrated 1%, we can see a decrease in aerobic capacity of 10-15%. You also see decreases in mental function. What we want to do is make it simple for people to actually absorb the water they’re drinking, not just after exercise, but the whole day.
Why is all-day hydration so important?
Exercise makes us weaker, and it’s our adaptation to exercise that makes us stronger. Hydration is crucial both during exercise and when you’re not exercising, when your body is recovering. Balanced Hydration is designed to help people make the most of their downtime and recovery time.
If you’re dehydrated, you can’t repair the tissue damage from the last workout, you can’t synthesize protein properly. You see ligaments and tendons that become more vulnerable, and they aren’t able to withstand day-to-day use as well, even just in normal life. There’s a lot more conscious when it comes to how we hydrate.
What we want to do is make it simple for people to actually absorb the water they’re drinking. It’s hard to get enough water in a busy day. I have kids, I work a full time job, and sometimes it’s easy for me to fall behind. Balanced Hydration has the essential electrolytes, minerals, and salts to help you absorb the water you’re drinking.
What made you want to partner with NutriForce Sports in particular?
NutriForce Sports is doing a stellar job of addressing the nutritional needs of their athletes, and I’ve worked with them before. The proteins are very high quality, so are the BCAA’s (Natural Amino). We understand that if you’re working out, we can optimize that exercise. If you train hard, you want to make sure you get the full benefits from that.
Being properly hydrated is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to help your body feel and perform better. I knew NutriForce Sports could help me create something that could really optimize the water people were already drinking. When I am drinking water it’s really important that I pay attention to the method. This product makes water more effective, and you’re able to absorb the water more effectively.
Will people notice a difference?
You will see a direct correlation between the quality of your tissues, your performance, and your recovery when you hydrate with this product. Proper hydration helps up-regulate almost every biological process in the body!
Who is Balanced Hydration right for?
People are eating more whole foods now, and they’re eating a much cleaner diet. But in doing that, they’ve stripped essential salts out of their diet, and they’re not getting enough of the essential salts to replace them and absorb water properly. They’re drinking protein shakes, but without the essential minerals and salts to absorb that water.
This product isn’t just for the top athletes. It will help prepare everyone for performance, but it’s also for normal busy folks who might fall behind on fluids throughout the day. Balanced Hydration is built for anyone who wants a simple way to optimize their water.
Thanks for your time, Kelly!