Our bodies are made mostly of water. Massage therapists often tell their clients to drink water after a massage and the reasons for this are many. Water is essential for proper functioning of every system in the body:
*It helps regulate internal temperature
*Supports functioning of the brain
*Aids in the delivery of oxygen
*Assists with circulation
*Lubricates joints and the lining of inner organs
*Acts as a shock absorber for the brain, spinal cord and fetus
*Aids in digestion and removal of wastes
So how much water does a body need? The general rule is 6 to 8, 8 ounce glasses per day. More specifically ½ to 1 ounce per pound of body weight based on your age, gender, activity level and where you live. For those who live in warmer climates and are physically active they would lean toward the higher end compared to those who live in cooler climates and are more sedentary. If your urine is copious and colorless or light yellow you are getting enough water.
Symptoms of dehydration include weakness, sleepiness, fatigue, headaches, confusion, dizziness or lightheadedness, dry mouth, marked thirst and dark urine. Because elderly people tend to lose the ability to notice thirst they are at greater risk of dehydration.
Here are some ideas for helping you stay well hydrated:
*Keep a water bottle with you, as you will be more likely to drink throughout the day
*Keep track of how much you drink in a day (you may be surprised)
*Create a schedule to help you remember to drink
* If you don’ like water, add a slice of lemon or lime or drink herbal tea instead
*Hunger can be confused with thirst - if you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first, then see if you are still hungry
*Hydrate before, during and after exercise
*Eat water-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and soups
*Choose water over other drinks which contain extra calories, additives or caffeine
Staying well hydrated is a simple and inexpensive investment in your health. The many benefits include better brain function, improved mood, disease prevention, weight loss, enhanced physical performance and a heightened sense of wellbeing.
Debra Sommer RN, LMT, RMT
Founder & Owner of The Healing Tree
Massage Thrapies for Body, Mind & Spirit
Schedule an appointment at: thehealingtree.massagetherapy.com
(1)Shaw, Gina. “How Much Water Do You Need? Can You Drink Too Much?”
WebMD, WebMD, 7 July 2009, www.webmd.com/diet/features/water-for-weight-loss
(2)Jade, Kathleen. “Why Is Drinking Water Important? 6 Reasons to Stay Hydrated.” University Health News, 22 Dec. 2018, universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/why-is-drinking-water-important-6-reasons-to-stay-hydrated/.
(3)Staff, Familydoctor.org Editorial. “Hydration: Why It's So Important.” Familydoctor.org, Familydoctor.org, 27 Mar. 2017, familydoctor.org/hydration-why-its-so-important/.
(4)Perlman, Howard, and Usgs. “The Water in You.” Adhesion and Cohesion Water Properties, USGS Water Science School, 23 July 2018, water.usgs.gov/ HYPERLINK "http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html" HYPERLINK "http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html" HYPERLINK "http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html"edu HYPERLINK "http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html" HYPERLINK "http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html" HYPERLINK "http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html"/propertyyou.html