Posted on 03-06-2017
Benefits of Drinking Water
As if assisting in digestion, cell functioning and growth, removing waste, lubricating joints, delivering oxygen throughout the body, regulating body temperature, building hormones, and just keeping the body up and running weren’t enough, having plenty of water in the body has been shown to have a host of other benefits. Water has been shown to reduce constipation, decrease the risk of kidney stones, and in some cases even lower the risk of bladder and colon cancer.
Water can cause mild and temporary increases in metabolism, and consuming it half an hour before eating can help to create a full feeling, often resulting in eating a reduced number of calories. Water is also a calorie free drink option, so replacing sugary drinks with water can cut down on calories.
Water can help maximize your physical performance when exercising or in hot and dry climates. Dehydration caused by physical exertion, heat, or anything that causes excessive sweat can lead to difficulty in regulating body temperature, decreases in motivation, and increases in fatigue. Dehydration can also lead to reduced memory and brain performance and back pain. Drinking water can even help relieve headache and hangover symptoms.
How Much Should You Drink?
The prevalent notion in society is to drink eight or more glasses per day. Research is showing however that this belief has little to no scientific evidence, and is mostly an old wives tale originating from a misunderstanding. In 1945 the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council published a statement suggesting that adults consume 1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food. In the average diet this would equal about eight cups of water. However, the statement then goes on to say the majority of this quantity comes from food. So while it may be recommended that the average adult consume eight cups of water a day, the majority of that is achieved through foods and other beverages that contain water. However, the chances of danger from overconsumption of water are slim. The most likely symptoms from the well known 8x8 or eight glasses a day rule are simply increased trips to the bathroom and potential annoyance from constant drinking.
The standard guidance for water intake is to trust your thirst. Drink when your body is thirsty and don’t when it isn’t. Certain situations do warrant higher levels of water though. The most common is during activities that increase sweating. This could be during exercise, or simply when in hot weather, particularly in hot and dry climates. As noted above, when the body loses water from sweat it is important to replenish the loss of fluids. Women who are breastfeeding, elderly adults, and those who are sick also often have increased water needs.
Signs of Over or Under Consumption
When in doubt, common symptoms of dehydration are: headaches, irritability, constant hunger, dry mouth, fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, abdominal pain, lethargy, and confusion.
Overhydration, while much less common, also has its own symptoms such as: completely clear urine, swollen hands, nausea, dizziness, confusion.
As proponents of not just “typical” chiropractic care, but holistic health and overall well being, we are so much more than just back doctors. As a top Idaho chiropractic office, we know the importance of a body that works well on all fronts, and will help you maintain not only spine and joint health, but also hydration, nutrition, and so much more.
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