High-Performance Vegan Letters

How Much Water Do You Need, Is Lemon Water Good For You, and Should You Space out Your Meals and Fluids

letters Apr 25, 2024

April 9th was the most intense day of my life.

A day filled with joy. Excitement. Terror. Trauma. Sadness. Happiness.

I became a father on April 9th at 6:10am.

Our newest addition to our family - Anthony Gabriel Zhanay.

After years of careful planning and vision casting for our family, we were ready to expand our family.

To be honest - I’m still processing the events from the past few weeks.

It’s been a lot.

I’ve come to terms that while you can have a plan in life, things won’t always go the way you want.

That’s okay.

What isn’t okay is not accepting reality and what is.

With acceptance, comes understanding.

With understanding, comes compassion.

With compassion, comes transformation.

Anthony chose us to be his guardians - which I’m grateful for.

He’s also taught and gave me one of the greatest gifts in his first few hours on this planet:

The gift of deeper levels of compassion.

The way he’s opened my heart has touched my soul at the deepest level.

The thing with compassion?

It extends to all sentient beings.

While I felt deep love and compassion for him and his birthing experience, I realized after his birth that my heart was more open than ever.

To other humans and non humans.


I believe that compassion is being able to hold another’s suffering WITHOUT getting caught in it.

To be there for them in the most authentic way.

I’ve known this intellectually for many years.

But the past few weeks, I’ve felt this deeper than I ever have.

In the grocery store talking to the clerk.

At the gym speaking to a stranger.

Talking with a nurse and her life.

Compassion is for all of us.

It’s who we are at our core.

Lesson: Your life can change in a moment. When it does - be prepared for the unexpected.

Here's Your 5 Minute Friday:

#1.) Hydration Fundamentals

Water is the basis of all life.

Our bodies are 60% water.

Our muscles are 80% water.

Water fuels everything in health.

Our cells require water for healthy cell functioning.

And most of us are chronically dehydrated.

Even being dehydrated by 1-3% during your workout can lead to a 10% drop in strength and muscular performance.


How much water should you drink daily?

And what kind of water?

As a rule of thumb, ½ to ⅔ of your body weight in ounces per day is a great aim for daily water consumption.

As you workout and train harder, your hydration needs may increase.

That’s expected.

So what kind of water should you drink?

100 years ago, we wouldn’t have needed to have this conversation.


It’s an important topic.

Clean, filtered water is one of the best investments you can make in your health.

Nearly all tap water (in the States and many modern countries) is polluted.

Fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and feces have been found in most of our water supplies.

Some of them are added intentionally; some result from environmental pollution.


That’s a conversation for a different day.

But protecting your health and body is important if you want day-long energy and radical health changes.

Most water filters don’t filter out these toxins.

The brand I use filters out 98.9% of toxins and is the highest quality in the water filter industry.

(I have no affiliation with Clearly Filtered but feel free to check out their water filters if you’d like to protect your family’s health too).

Expert Tip: Celery juice, lemon water, cucumber juice, and fruit consumption daily can hydrate the body at a deep cellular level.

(hat tip to A.W. for tips above)

#2.) Is Lemon Water Good For You

Lemon water is one of the most powerful ways to hydrate and cleanse our bodies.

Most of us walk around chronically dehydrated.

And most water from a tap or a bottle no longer has its vitality or living structure.

When you add freshly squeezed lemon juice, you wake up the water and bring it back to life.

This will allow it to travel more deeply into your tissues and cells and carry essential nutrients and compounds you need to thrive.

A few other things lemon water contains are:

  • Vitamins C and B
  • Minerals such as calcium and magnesium

Lemon water is also phenomenal for:

“Weight loss, the immune system, alkalizing the body, controlling high blood pressure, anti-aging, detoxification, purifying the blood, and regulating body temperature.

Lemon water is particularly beneficial for the digestive tract and can help relieve constipation, nausea, and parasites.”

(courtesy of A.W. Life Changing Foods).

Consider an early morning ritual of squeezing half a lemon into 16oz (or more) of your best quality purified water upon waking.

How do I make lemon water?


  • ½ lemon
  • 16 ounces of clean filtered water


  1. Squeeze half a lemon into 16 ounces of water and drink it first thing in the morning.
  2. Wait 15-30 minutes before eating or drinking anything else to give lemon water the best possible benefits for boosting your liver.

This will help your liver flush out toxins from your body.

Note: Avoid using hot water, as it will kill the live enzymes in lemon juice. Use room temperature or cold water instead.

*It’s been nearly 4+ years of drinking lemon water for my family every morning. It’s a core non-negotiable for our health.

See what it can do for you.

#3.) When to Drink While Eating Food

Eating while drinking liquids is common.

What isn’t commonly known is that when we eat and drink simultaneously, we dilute our hydrochloric acid (which helps us break down our food).

The more diluted we make our stomach acids?

The harder it becomes to digest our food.

A helpful tactic here is to drink and eat spaced apart.

Ideally, if drinking liquids, drink either 30-60 minutes before or after eating (and vice versa).

This will help keep your stomach acids and help them do their job:

Which is breaking down your food.

Another way to make sure you’re not mixing both eating and drinking is to drink more consistently throughout your day.

Part of the reason we overeat as a society is because we confuse hunger for dehydration.

On average we should drink ½ to ⅔ of our bodyweight in ounces each day.

If you’re working out and getting fit, these ranges can be even higher due to respiration and water loss.

Drink enough.

Split up your eating and drinking times.

Your body will thank you later on.

Client of the Week

Airen is a busy woman.

A full-time nurse, she travels consistently for her work. She also struggled with balancing her workouts and meals while working a high-powered job traveling non-stop.

She had gained 15 pounds and felt sluggish in her health and wanted to regain her energy and confidence, especially working in the health field.

Our strategy: We focused on several core areas in her health.

Airen loved cardio workouts. Knowing this we keep a healthy balance of cardio workouts that she enjoyed but also layered in 3 strength workouts per week.

This allowed her to start to tone up and build lean muscle while keeping a strong base for her heart health.

We then set up her nutrition to keep her tracking simple while having her in a moderate deficit to strip body fat.

The nutrition tracking needed to be simple especially with how much she travels each month.

Working double shifts and overnights also made things challenging - but not impossible.

We also worked on her sleep patterns and behaviors and focused on getting on least 7 hours of quality sleep per night to help her drop weight sustainably.

Our wins: She’s down 16.5 lbs, finally seeing ab definition, and confident with her eating habits and choices. She’s also regained her energy and confidence and is excited to go to the beach this summer too. 🙂

She’s a great example of what it means to be coachable and have a beginner’s mindset too.

If you're a busy vegan, plant-based human, or plant-curious and want to get in the best shape of your life while leading by example, apply here to get lean, strong, and healthy in 2024. 

(2-week waiting list and capped at 5 new spots per month)

One Quote To Finish Your Week Strong

“To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time to either spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever. If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
- Bruce Lee

To every mother and father reading this - I acknowledge you.

I have deep respect for every parent.

Thank you for raising the next group of healthy, happy humans.

You’re needed and appreciated.

- Gabriel

Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:

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