The Fluid of YOUR Life
Let’s do a test together… Don’t worry you won’t be graded on it J When you get into your car tomorrow morning; you most likely have to adjust your rearview mirror. Check it again at the end of the day and see if you have to re-adjust it again (tilting downwards). Have you ever thought why you would have to re-adjust it at the end of your day? Short answer is – you actually shrunk during the day!! Possible reason why = Dehydration!
So how many of you drink 8 glasses of water a day?
This tasteless, odorless fluid is actually the most vital bodily component to ensure proper functioning of all our organs and cells. Our body is composed of 60-70% water….our brain is 95% water… …kidneys 82%…lungs 90%… blood 82%… muscles 75%….bones 22%.
How does this tasteless fluid help us to live a more healthy and vital life?
- Ø Circulates nutrients and oxygen throughout the brain and body via your bloodstream
- Ø Helps to regulate temperature via perspiration
- Ø Cushions joints and helps to absorb shock
- Ø Helps to eliminate toxins and wastes
- Ø Decrease the chances of kidney stones
- Ø Keeps our skin glowing and supple
I am positive your Chiropractor always asks you about your water intake… do you know why? Of course I want you to feel and look healthy but I also know how important this fluid is for your joints and muscles. Let me explain.
Water acts as a cushion along with the synovial fluid between all our joints. Between each vertebrae (bone) in the spine, we have a disc. The role of this disc is to help absorb shock and distribute heavy loads from every day activities such as bending, lifting and twisting. The disc is made of two parts: an outer fibrous part and an inner gelatinous substance. If we are well hydrated, that inner gel like substance helps to carry 75% of the load of this disc. When dehydrated or injured, more pressure is placed on the outer aspect of the disc causing a tear. This tear leads to leakage of the gel like substance, which is better known as a “Disc Herniation” Or “Slipped disc” or “bulged disc.”
The following are some signs of dehydration. When our total water volume reduces by even 5%, we may start to exhibit some of the following symptoms:
Ø Muscle tension
Ø Joint pain
Ø Difficulty focusing
Ø Fuzzy memory
Ø Dark, strong odor urine
How much is enough?
Experts say that we should drink 8 -8 ounce glasses of water a day. Now if you lead a more active lifestyle and exercise on regular basis, that amount should increase to help offset the amount of water you will loose as perspiration. Individuals living in warmer climate should also increase their daily intake.
To calculate how much water you should drink daily:
1. Weight yourself in pounds
2. Multiply your weight by 2/3
3. This is the number of ounces you should drink daily
I.e. if you weight 120 pounds, 2/3 of that is 80 ounces. The average glass is 8 ounces; hence you should drink 10 glasses of water per day
What type of water really counts?
Whenever I ask patients how much water they take in daily, I usually get asked if coffee or juice counts. My answer is No. Alcohol, coffee and soda are known as diuretics which mean they actually promote urination hence defeating the purpose of keeping hydrated.
Some fruit juices and green tea are a good source of water but nothing beats the clean thirst quenching of H20. Try squeezing a lime or lemon in it to add some flavor…your body and mind will be happy you did.