Water has some amazing benefits.
But exactly how much water should you be drinking?
We hear it all the time: “Drink plenty of water every day to stay hydrated!” But why is water so important? Well, besides the fact that water makes up nearly 60% of the human body, it also has a tremendous effect on helping our body work more effectively.
So what does this have to do with chiropractic care? Read on to find out why water is so vitally important and how it can help you after an adjustment.
5 Reasons to Drink More Water
You’ve always been told that adequate hydration is so important, but have you ever given thought to why? How exactly does water impact your health?
1. Regulates Body Temperature
Most people crave an ice cold glass of water on a hot day. But why is that? (Hint: It’s not just the ice!)
As warm blooded creatures, our bodies are able to regulate their own temperatures. Whatever the weather, your body has a way of keeping your core temperature at roughly 98.6°. When the temperature rises, you release water as sweat, which cools you down by evaporating.
However, you can’t sweat if you aren’t hydrated. So drink up!
2. Aids In Digestion
Your stomach acids already do a good job at breaking down your food so your body can absorb the nutrients. But when mixed with water, this process works even better!
Soggy foods might be unappetizing if presented on a plate, but your stomach loves it!
3. Prevents Constipation
Drinking enough fluids makes it easier for your bowels to push waste out of the body. A lot of people who experience constipation issues find that drinking adequate water can help.
Further, when you’re dehydrated, your body will reabsorb water from any source that it can, including your bowels.
Drinking enough water helps prevent kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and hypertension (high blood pressure). It also helps you absorb more nutrients from the food and minerals that you eat/drink, which can help fight off illnesses before they start.
5. Protects Your Inner Body
Every cell in your body needs water in order to function. When those cells are hydrated, they can work at maximum capacity.
Water also helps to hydrate your joints. When your muscles and joints are well lubricated, this can also prevent pain and injury.
How Much Water Should I Drink In a Day?
Okay, so water is important. But how much do you need?
The most common piece of advice is to drink eight 8 oz. glasses (roughly 64 oz.) a day, but this is actually a bit of a myth. The “eight glasses a day” rule is an arbitrary standard that was first made popular by a weight loss program, not a medical professional.
You might need more or less water, depending on factors such as the temperature, your diet, and your current health. For example, you would likely need to drink more water during a summer in Florida than a summer in Seattle.
So, how do you know whether you should up your water intake? Let your body tell you.
Most healthy adults can simply use their thirst to determine whether they should be drinking more water. If you’re feeling thirsty, that’s your body’s way of asking for a drink.
Ways to Hydrate
It’s no secret that people often get sick of drinking water. The good news is that there are several options to get adequate water intake that don’t involve sitting around gulping down a gallon jug.
An important thing to remember is that just about all beverages will hydrate you. Juices, smoothies, flavored sparkling waters, and even sodas will help. While caffeine is a mild diuretic (i.e. it causes you to urinate more often), it will hydrate you enough to make up for it. You also consume about 20% of your daily liquids through the food that you eat, so don’t forget to take that into account!
The one category of liquid that can dehydrate you is alcohol. If you are drinking alcohol, make sure that you are drinking adequate amounts of water in between.
You can also flavor your water with electrolyte packets, fruit, or herbs (such as mint). Coconut water is another good option because it has naturally occurring electrolytes.
Signs of Dehydration
While thirst is the best indicator of your hydration levels, sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to drink enough water. For example, you might be too distracted by a day at the beach or theme park to pay attention to how much fluids you’ve been getting.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, drink some water right away. If you’re still noticing these issues then call your doctor.
This is often the first indicator that you might need a drink of water. Because adequate hydration is responsible for saliva production, your mouth may feel dry or sticky if you’re getting dehydrated.
Hydrated urine should appear light yellow or even clear. Adequate water intake helps to dilute the waste leaving your body. The darker your urine, the more concentrated that waste is (which can eventually lead to kidney stones).
Fatigue & Dizziness
Water helps to operate all systems within the body. Dehydration can lead to low blood pressure and even lowered blood volume. This can leave you feeling fatigued, dizzy, or disoriented.
Water & Chiropractic Care
In addition to flushing toxins out of your body that are sometimes released during an adjustment, water helps to rehydrate the discs in your joints, alleviating your pain and preventing further injury. (This is why your chiropractor tells you to drink plenty of water after an adjustment!)
Chiropractors look for natural remedies to help the body work the way it’s meant to. When you are consuming enough water, you’re assisting in that process.
At Oviedo Chiropractic, your health and wellness is our number one priority. While chiropractic adjustments are a huge part of keeping injury at bay, none of it is possible if you are dehydrated.
As always, call us if you have any questions about your water intake and we’ll be glad to set up an appointment.