June 22, 2023
Proper hydration is an essential component of health and wellness and its importance is often overlooked. It is vital for our bodies to function properly, including recovery and injury prevention. In this article, we discuss the benefits of hydration, how much water you should drink, and some tips for staying hydrated.
Water is essential for many bodily functions, including regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients throughout the body, removing the body’s waste products, and even lubricating our joints. Proper hydration also improves physical performance, cognitive function, and regulates our mood.
Hydration also has an effect on your pain threshold, or the amount of pain tolerated before feeling discomfort. Studies have shown that dehydration can lower your pain threshold, making you more sensitive to the same amount of pain or less. How this happens is through a build-up of inflammation or an increased release of the stress hormone cortisol. This alteration of your pain threshold is especially important for people experiencing chronic pain to keep in mind. In a nutshell, staying well hydrated can help increase your pain threshold, making you more resilient to pain and discomfort!
Still not convinced? Here are some other benefits of drinking water:
The general recommendation for daily water intake is to drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces or about 2 liters) of water per day. However, this doesn’t consider your individual needs, which may vary based on factors such as the amount of exercise/activity in a day, the current climate, and any medical conditions.
One way to be more specific with your daily water needs is to use your body weight as a guide. As a rule of thumb, you can drink half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you can aim to drink at least 75 ounces of water per day. Increase your water intake on days when you sweat more, either due to exercise/exertion or hot weather.
Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated throughout the day:
In conclusion, hydration, particularly drinking water, is essential for our bodies to function at their best, help us recover, and even prevent injury. We encourage our patients to prioritize hydration by drinking water regularly throughout the day, especially during exercise. By following these tips and listening to your body’s thirst cues, you can maintain proper hydration and promote overall health and wellness.