Could Dehydration Be The Issue?
Water is essential to human life, but it is easy to overlook its importance. Our bodies are made of around 60% water; every cell, tissue, and organ need it to function properly. It is therefore not surprising that water has been described as the ‘cheapest form of medicine’, as the benefits of water are vast, making it a powerful tool for maintaining optimal health.
Did you know dehydration is a common issue that can often go unnoticed? Symptoms such as recurring headaches, lack of energy, mood swings, and aches and pains could all be linked to dehydration. When we fail to drink enough water, our bodies begin to conserve water by reducing urine output, which can also lead to digestive issues and constipation.
Take a moment to think about your house plant. You may have noticed that if the plant is thirsty, the leaves sag, and the luscious green colour fades. However, what happens when you water it? The plant rejuvenates and springs back to life for the majority, and your body works similarly.
We are often asked, “how much water should I drink a day?” While the 2-litre rule is frequently mentioned and is a good number to aim for, it may only be appropriate for some. Body size, movement, heat exposure, and health conditions can influence how much water you need. Observing the colour of your urine is a simple way to determine if you are hydrated enough. If it is darker than pale yellow, it is time to rehydrate1.
The next question that often follows is, “does tea and coffee count towards my daily intake?”
It is a great question. Caffeinated teas and coffees are mild diuretics, meaning they can pull water out of your body. However, researchers have found that it is not significant enough to cause dehydration, so drinking tea and coffee contributes to your daily water intake2. It is important to be mindful of drinking too much caffeine however, as it can cause problems such as headaches and poor sleep, which is why we would always recommend drinking more ‘pure’ water over caffeinated drinks.
Not a fan of drinking water on its own? We have a solution to add natural flavour and zest to your day! Adding a slice of orange, lemon, lime, or some fresh herbs such as mint can give it a kick that will keep your taste buds happy and encourage you to drink more. Nutritious foods like lettuce, leafy greens, cucumber, celery, berries, and melons are also water-rich and can contribute to daily water intake.
An easy way to ensure you get enough water is to keep a water bottle nearby as a reminder and sip throughout the day. Not only will staying hydrated encourage you to get up and go to the toilet more, which is extra movement and a bonus for the health of your spine, it will also nourish the joints and discs of your spine, which is a fantastic way to support your chiropractic journey and long-term health. So, we give you full permission to enjoy that refreshing drink of water, and know that each time you do, it nourishes your body from the inside-out. Your mind and body will be thanking you for it!
1.The National Academy of Sciences. Dietary References Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. https://www.nap.edu/read/10925/chapter/6#102 2. Maughan RJ, Watson P, Cordery PA, Walsh NP, Oliver SJ, Dolci A, Rodriguez-Sanchez N, Galloway SD. A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Mar;103(3):717-23. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.114769. The content of this blog is for educational purposes and is not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.