Dr. Dana Cohen is renowned by her peers and beloved by patients for her nuanced practice of Integrative Medicine. In practice for over 15 years, she trained under the late Dr. Robert Atkins, author of the iconic “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution,” and Dr. Ronald L. Hoffman, a pioneer of integrative medicine and founder of the Hoffman Center in New York City. Cohen was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1998 and was recently appointed 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, where she is also program director of their bi-yearly symposiums.
Cohen is also the author of the recent Hachette Books title “Quench: Beat Fatigue, Drop Weight & Heal Your Body Through The New Science Of Optimum Hydration.” In her book, as co-written with cultural anthropologist Gina Bria, Cohen analyzes breakthroughs in science within the field of hydration. She also helps debunk many popular myths about “getting enough water” while offering 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.
I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Dr. Dana Cohen herself – who counts on Rolling Stones vocalist Bernard Fowler as one of her patients – and highlights from that Q&A are below for your reading pleasure.
Jewish Journal: How long did you spend writing “Quench?”
Dr. Dana Cohen: It took two years just to write the book proposal, which was about 90 pages. Once we had a book deal it took less than a year to finish the book.
JJ: How would you describe “Quench” to someone who’s not yet read it?
DDC: It is a book written for the masses on the single most important thing you can do to prevent chronic illness and that is proper hydration. It is loaded with science, but easily digestible and there are some mind-blowing concepts, such as a new phase of water that has been identified. We know liquid, ice and vapor, now there is a gel phase of water. It is in this phase that is found in our cells and also found in nature in plants. think aloe and cactus, think iceberg lettuce and chia seeds all loaded with gel water, a.k.a. structured water. By eating more plants we are hydrating more efficiently than drinking ever more water.
JJ: When did you first become aware of the importance of keeping hydrated?
DDC: When I first started seeing patients as a functional doctor. I always ask patients if they think they are hydrated enough and most say no — even my healthy ones…
JJ: Where do you stand on coffee? Is it true that it dehydrates you?
DDC: I love coffee. We talk about it in the book — good news! Research shows that anything less than four cups a day is not a diuretic; more than that it is a problem. It can also be a problem just form the caffeine standpoint in some people who are sensitive.
JJ: What’s the best first step a person can take towards properly hydrating their body?
DDC: Two easy things… One, front-load your water. Drink eight to 16 ounces first thing in the AM with a pinch of sea salt, for electrolytes, and a squeeze of lemon, for minerals. Two, drink a green smoothie a day — blended greens, lemon, water, chia and a ½ apple, for example.
JJ: Do you personally follow a specific diet?
DDC: I cycle in and out of a keto diet. I limit carbs and gluten.
JJ: To stay healthy, how much do you think a person must exercise versus keeping a healthy diet?
DDC: Not a quick answer and I am not an exercise expert. But…exercise does not equal weight loss, and so if looking to lose weight, you need dieting. I like the 10,000 steps a day mixed with four minutes three times a day of High-Intensity Interval Training – google “Mercola and nitric oxide dump.” I often recommend this to my patients.
Also, we lay out in the book, some simple micromovements to increase flexibility and move fluid throughout your body, which is a hydrating act. We talk about fascia, the connective tissue web surrounding every organ and cell in our body, as a delivery system for fluid. We’ve only ever thought fluid was moved by blood and lymph, so another new concept.
JJ: Promoting “Quench” aside, what are you currently working on?
DDC: I see patients in New York City and am working on a daily Alexa news brief called “The Daily Bite” which will be one to two minutes a day of info that is health and wellness-related. Everything from nutrition, to spiritual to medical to even organic farming – coming soon…
JJ: Do you have plans for another book?
DDC: Nothing currently — still talking about this one.
JJ: When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?
DDC: My partner Henry and I see a lot of music and theater — why else live in New York City? Also traveling and organic gardening on my roof deck in Astoria. I also help organize a yearly conference for an organization called ACAM — the American College for the Advancement in Medicine. I am a bit of a conference junkie.
JJ: I feel compelled to ask: Can you share a memory from your bar mitzvah? Did it have a theme?
DDC: So I was not bat mitzvahed. My brother was, but for some reason, I wasn’t. He is a bit older than I and we moved to Florida when I was a kid so we just kinda skipped it. Does this disqualify me? (laughs)
JJ: Finally, Dana, any last words for the kids?
DDC: I really feel the info in this book is so important for everyone and it’s not about just drinking more water.
More on Dr. Dana Cohen can be found online.