Our London chiropractic clinic uses a holistic approach when treating our patients. Aside from assessing each patient’s musculoskeletal system, we ask questions to determine if there are any lifestyle factors which may be negatively impacting their health.
In many cases, we discover that a patient has issues relating to nutrition, exercise, ergonomics, or habits which are detrimental to the health of their spine. One of the most common issues we see is insufficient hydration.
In this guide, our London chiropractor explains why hydration is so important for good health and shares several tips which will help you drink more water.
Why Hydration Matters
Here are just a few of the reasons why staying well hydrated matters for your health:
- Removal of waste
The body needs water to remove the waste created by your digestive tract and organs. Insufficient hydration may cause toxins to build up in your system, which impacts your health.
- Temperature regulation
One of the ways that the human body regulates body temperature is by creating sweat (which involves the use of water). Poor hydration can make it harder to sweat, which may lead to heat exhaustion.
- Hormones and neurotransmitters
The brain needs water to produce hormones, neurotransmitters and other components required by your body. It also needs moisture to generate electrical signals which are required for brain activity.
- Joint lubrication
Joints have a small amount of moisture to facilitate the smooth movements of tendons, ligaments, and bone. It’s one of the reasons why we encourage patients with joint pain visiting our London chiropractic clinic to drink plenty of water.
- Cell growth and reproduction
Cells need water to perform normal functions. This is one of the reasons why dehydration can delay healing and lead to poor skin.
- Lubrication for the eyes
The eye’s tear ducts and meibomian glands both need water to create lubricants. If you are dehydrated you may increase your risk of developing dry eye syndrome.
- Nutrient absorption
The digestive system uses water to help it extract nutrients from the food you eat.
- Hydrating intervertebral discs
This is another reason for hydration that we find ourselves mentioning frequently at our London chiropractic clinic. Water is used to replenish the soft rubbery discs that sit between vertebrae. Failing to drink enough can cause your spinal discs to become flat and more prone to conditions like degenerative disc disease.
How much water do you need?
As a guide, an adult male will need about 10 cups (2.5 litres) of water per day, while a female will need 8 cups (2 litres) per day. Children require between 4 to 8 cups (1 to 2 litres), depending on their sex and age, while pregnant women will need closer to 2.5 litres.
It’s worth noting that most people get about one-fifth of the water they need from food, so the amount you need to drink may be slightly less than the figures listed above. Liquid can also come in many forms, so a cup of tea, smoothie, or fruit juice will also contribute to your total.
If you are working outdoors, exercising at a moderate-to-high intensity, living in a warm climate, or dealing with certain health problems, you may need more water than listed above.
Ways To Stay Hydrated
Here are a few tips for staying hydrated:
- Invest in a high-quality water bottle
If you find cold water more enjoyable to drink, invest in a high quality double-walled insulated water bottle. Take your bottle with you to increase water intake.
- Drink filtered water
Water that has been filtered to remove chlorine will taste and smell better, which makes it easier to drink.
- Be careful with caffeinated drinks
Although tea and coffee are considered forms of hydration, the caffeine they contain can act like a diuretic. This means it can cause you to urinate more frequently, which uses more of your water reserves.
- Flavour your water
Supercharge your water by adding lemon, mint, or herbs. The better it tastes, the more you will drink.
- Make drinking water a habit
Get into the habit of drinking water as soon as you wake in the morning and whenever you eat a meal.
Staying hydrated is simple when you know how.