Momentum Podcast: 844

The Most Important Optimization Practice

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Hydration is the most important habit to stay engaged, have more energy, clarity of mind, eliminate brain fog, body pain, improve digestion and sleep better. On the flip-side, dehydration is damaging and affects everything we want to do as entrepreneurs and as people. It can cause inflammation, joint pain, back pain, neck pain, brain fog, confusion, frustration, anxiety, depression, irritation, and anger.

A staggering 70 to 85% or more of people in the Western world walk around with low grade or severe dehydration. It’s no wonder entrepreneurs say that they are stressed and that they are feeling the effects of it in their body and business.

When you are fully hydrated, you will have a level of presence and awareness that simply isn’t possible otherwise. Our physiology needs water, and yours might be begging for more than you are currently giving it. Being fully engaged, present, and having all of our faculties is crucial to succeed as entrepreneurs, and mild dehydration can cause a cascade of effects in the human body that affect our ability to perform at our best in our lives and in our businesses.

Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum podcast.

In addition to growing my businesses and helping other people grow theirs, I have always, for my entire life, had an obsession around optimization. Sometimes this obsession goes higher, sometimes it kind of wanes. I often feel like I should change my description on most of my bios to visionary entrepreneur and rabbit hole dweller. Because when it comes to optimization, I have this tendency to hook on to a concept and study it to the point where when I talk to people who are in certain professions, they assume that I'm one of those professions, especially medical.

And medical, because I've done so much research that I often have knowledge and understanding beyond what people who've gone to medical school do on certain topics. And one of those topics is hydration. And it's one of the most important personal habits that we can have as visionary entrepreneurs for so many reasons. And I want to share with you today not just why this is so important, but a simple process that you can use to drink the water that you need to stay fully hydrated, be optimized, and get way more done in any given day.

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Should we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be.

For decades. I've talked about hydration and water and how it's so important. In fact, so much so that sometimes it confuses people. I've had people come to me and say, ‘You know, Alex, I thought your company showed people how to grow. And then I see you talking about water all the time. Do you have like a an exercise or a physiology company or a product in that world?’ And I always have to explain to them, ‘You know, I have this obsession with helping companies grow. And if you look at that obsession, like, how do we help companies grow? How do I get my own companies to grow?’ That quickly leads to an obsession around how do I get people to grow? How do I get myself to grow? How do I fully optimize myself so I'm fully engaged, I'm fully present, I'm aware I can get more done, I have more stamina, I have more energy, I have more chemical balance in my body so that I can produce at the level that I want to for longer than most people are comfortable doing? And optimization is just an obsession of mine.

And then what most people call a biohacker since before the term existed, I've got tons of rehab equipment and all types of stuff in my house. We don't have a gym, we have two gyms, we have an infrared sauna, we have multiple PEMF machines, we have red light, and we have an outdoor sauna. We, there's so much here, a cold plunge. It's all about me getting as much as I can out of every single day. And the people that I work with, the entrepreneurs I work with, have an interest in doing the same thing. But if there is one habit, one habit on top of all the biohacking, one habit on top of all of the equipment I have, all the things that I do. If I had to say, what is the single most important habit to keep me engaged on a daily basis, to give me the energy that I want, to give me the clarity of mind, that I want to eliminate brain fog, to eliminate body pain, to help me sleep better, to help me digest food better, to help me in every regard. It would be hydration.

Now, I'm not talking about water drinking contests or, you know, trying to consume as much water as you possibly can. There's actually inherent dangers in doing some of those things. You know, people don't often drink too much water, but it's usually when there's some abnormal process they're going through where they try and drink a quantity of water instead of listening to their body to tell them how much to drink. And I'll share with you the exact process I use and the process I train and I'll even share with you a resource of where you can get more information on this. But first, I just want to share with you a little bit about water.

You know, depending on what resource you look at, the estimate is somewhere around in the Western world, 70 to 85% or more of people walk around with low grade or severe dehydration. And dehydration is incredibly damaging to everything we want to do as entrepreneurs, to everything we want to do as people who are making our own path and doing our own things. It's really damaging to anyone. But when you look at what we try and do as entrepreneurs, what we're in this world to do to create new outcomes, to be that small percentage of the population that travels into the future, creates a new reality, then comes back to the present and demands and becomes real. That is not an easy process. I often tell people running a business is the best personal development program in the world, especially if you're hiring a team. But it's also the most difficult by far. I was just sharing with God, I can't remember who it was, but I was just having a conversation with somebody this week about how difficult it was to start a business, and the person said it was the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life. And I chuckled because one time I was talking to a large group of entrepreneurs and I said, “How hard was it when you started your business?” And people started to yell out answers and one guy raised his hand and I called on him and he said, “I had stage four testicular cancer and I overcame it.” And I'm like, “Congratulations, That's amazing”. He said, “Starting my business was harder”. And I said, “You know what? That's probably the story I'm going to share from now and forever.” And the audience just started laughing because that's really how hard what we do is that journey into the future. Coming back to the present and making it real is not easy. And the key, one of the keys is for us to be fully engaged, for us to be fully present, for us to have all of our faculties. And when we are even mildly dehydrated, there is this cascade of effects that happens in the human body.

First, our body stops detoxing. It starts holding on to water that causes inflammation. It can cause joint pain, back pain, neck pain for pain, all types of pain. When we're not hydrated, the place a body uses the most water is our brain. And we stop that water exchange to the brain that we need. And we can get brain fog and confusion, frustration, anxiety, depression, irritation, anger. All of those things can just be from mild dehydration. Not only does it cause these things, but in study after study where professionals are looked at. In their own environment, in their decision making processes when they are dehydrated, the percentage chance that they make the wrong decision goes up exponentially with each level of dehydration. So the more dehydrated they are, it's not a straight curve. It's not like you start making worse decisions and you get a little more dehydrated. You start making a little bit worse decisions. When you're mildly dehydrated, you start making some bad decisions. Yyou get a little bit more dehydrated, you start making really bad decisions. You get really dehydrated, your decision making capacity goes out the window. And I don't think that a lot of us are aware of this or think about it.

And in fact, if you're like me in my early career before I figured this stuff out and by the way, I'm not perfect, there's some days where I forget to drink water, even though I follow the process I'm going to share with you. There's some times where stress levels are high enough. My to-do list is too long, there's too much pressure and noise going on. I'm distracted by other things and I look up and I think I'll think to myself, ‘Man, I'm irritated, I'm frustrated. What's going on?’ I'll say, Oh geez, I haven't had water for 6 hours. And that challenge of not drinking water affects everything. And so I don't want to present myself like I do this perfectly, but man, I nail it most days. And the reason is when we are hydrated, you can reverse all of those things.

Inflammation goes down, we start detoxing, our bodies detox much better,. Brain fog goes away, we make decisions better, we're more present, we're more aware of work home or in our bodies, we’re less able to be triggered. All of those things are so crucial for us as entrepreneurs. But it goes on. You know, the more that I studied water, what I realized was at one point I pulled up the list of the top, I think it was 20 or 40 prescription drugs in the United States. And if you pull out birth control, which is for a totally different purpose, if you look at the rest of those prescription drugs, they treat the symptoms of the issues that they're supposed to help, like painkillers, to treat pain and in anti-inflammatories, treat inflammation and antidepressants, treat depressant and stimulants treat ADHD. But if you look at all of those symptoms, you can make the argument that those drugs are also treating the symptoms of dehydration. And it makes sense that if 70 to 80% of the population is walking around dehydrated, that we would have all of these treatments to treat this state of dehydration. Because when you go through prolonged dehydration, all of those things become worse, body pain becomes worse, depression becomes worse, inflammation becomes worse, the ability to pay attention becomes worse. And you can actually look this up yourself and see what I'm talking about, but you don't need to. I've done the research for you.

There is a simple process that I've used now for over a decade to help entrepreneurs and really anybody drink the amount of water we need to drink. And this process has been vetted over and over again. In fact, I was just talking about it this week. This process has actually been picked up by, I don't know how many, but multiple medical doctors who now use this same process as part of their patient onboarding process. It's been spelled out in multiple books written by physicians and physiotherapists and people who do rehab and people who are in the exercise and personal optimism optimization world. And when I share it with people, even people who already have a huge emphasis on their health, they'll come back to me and say, “Alex, you know, it's surprising how much water I really needed”.

And so here's the process. And like I said, I'm going to share a resource with you where you can go deeper on this if you want to, and we'll walk you through the process. But it's simple. There's three simple, simple parts of this process. I call this the “Ten-Day Natural Thirst Challenge”. And here's what you do: You wake up every morning and within the first half hour of being awake, you hyper hydrate. Here's what I mean by hyper hydrate. You drink 16 ounces or more of water. Now, here's what research shows. When you drink 16 ounces or more of water, I usually drink closer to 30, when you drink 16 ounces or more of water, your metabolism goes up. Your body engages at a different level. You actually have the capacity to do more when you drink that much water in the morning, and this will kickstart your body. And here's my belief. This isn't what I found in the research, this is a consolidation of research. If you wake up in the morning and don't drink water, your body won't tell you to. Your body is an evolutionary organism that for thousands of years has programing. And in our bodies, when we don't drink water. Here's my belief. Our brain makes the assumption that water is not available. It'll tell you you're thirsty, but by the time it is telling you you're thirsty, you're already typically dehydrated. And even when it tells you you're thirsty, it's the easiest thing for us to ignore and keep going.

Now, when it comes to oxygen, if I was to choke you, your body would tell you you needed oxygen right now. When it comes to water, the body doesn't react the same way because the body's main goal is to survive. And if it was constantly telling you you needed water and water wasn't around, if this was 10,000 years ago and you were out hunting and water wasn't around and the body was consistently telling you you needed water, you'd be distracted from everything else and you'd be at risk. Today, in modern day, we need our body to tell us we need water. But that mechanism is so subtle that we can ignore it. We can overrule it. We can go way too long without drinking. So when we drink water in the morning, we wake our body up and we say, ‘Hey, there's water available’. We activate our natural thirst instinct.

The second part of the process is to keep water with you all the time. People laugh at me because I carry around a 2000 milliliter jug. No, sorry. Now I carry around a 3500 milliliter jug. It's huge. It's like the size of a gallon container, maybe a little bit bigger. And I have it with me all the time. If I move rooms in my house, the water's coming with me. Here's why. I want water around me all the time so that if I have the instinct to drink, I can do it immediately. I don't hesitate. I don't turn off that natural thirst instinct. I want to have it activated all day. I want my body telling me when I'm thirsty. And here's the third part of the process. So first, drink the water in the morning. Hyper hydrate. Second, have water with you. And third, if you think, drink. And here's what I mean by that. If you glance at your water, if you think about water, if you look at the water bottle for any reason, you need to start reminding yourself, ‘Hey, that's probably your body's very subtle natural thirst instinct, telling you it's time to take a drink’. And when you do drink, hyper hydrate, 16 ounces or more. Human beings are the only organism on the planet that has learned how to sip liquids. Don't take one swallow if you watch a dog or any other animal. I learned this from a dog that Cadey and I had named Ripley. I was sitting in the kitchen. One day Ripley came walking in. She went over to the water bottle to drink, and she drank like it was the last time she was ever going to be able to drink. And I remember thinking, “Why do we sip water?” Dogs drink water. If you watch any animal drink water, they drink it like they need it. And I think we should do the same thing. And so if you think about water, hyper hydrate, and what you'll find is you find yourself thinking about water more often. You'll also find you have more energy. You also find you’re more engaged. You also find that you don't hit that afternoon lull that so many of us had. You also find that it's easier to work out. It's easier to do endurance stuff. It's easier to do cardio, it's easier to do weightlifting because your body is fully hydrated and has the resources it needs.

And if you have gone for a while without drinking a lot of water, if you're one of those people that you look up at the end of the day and maybe all you've had is coffee and you really haven't had any water. My suggestion is you follow that process for ten days religiously. So ten days of getting up and drinking the water, ten days of having water with you, ten days of ‘when you think, drink’ and don't drink anything else. Take a break from coffee. Take a break from soft drinks. God knows we don't need them. Take a break from anything else but water. And what you'll see and by the way, if you're going to do this process, take a picture of yourself in the beginning. Just take a picture of your face and then take a picture of yourself at the end in the exact same lighting. And look at the difference that ten days of being hydrated will make. It will blow you away. I've had people from around the world go through this process. In fact, you can go and get more information on this and we will walk you through the process at That is the website for the ten day natural thirst challenge.

And we've had gosh, I can't remember at last count it was, thousands of people have gone through this and so many have written to us and said this changed everything. This made it easier for me to be in meetings. This made me feel like I wasn't as triggered by my kids. This totally changed the look of my face and I look like I'm healthier and brighter and wrinkles started going away. And I had back pain for years and I did the ten day natural thirst challenge and back pain went away. Now, if you drink a lot of caffeine, if you drink a lot of other stuff, there may be some rough days in those ten days. But if you get to the end of the ten days, you will have this breakthrough feeling of being fully hydrated and you will see what you're actually capable of.

So I hope you'll forgive me for being the business coach that also obsesses over human optimization and self optimization. And I also hope you'll try this. And if you do, I would love to hear how it works for you. And again, you can go to to sign up for the ten day Natural thirst challenge. We'll send you instructional emails every day so that you can go through this process. If you're in my high ticket coaching program, this is one of the first things we talk about: having water with you and making sure that you're hydrated. And it's amazing that, it's amazing the changes and the benefits you will feel from this one simple optimization practice of being fully hydrated. Go to and check it out. And I look forward to hearing from you.

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