You've heard it all your life: Drink water, a minimum of eight glasses a day. Whether it was your mother, instructor, or medical professional telling you this, turns out they were on to something. In addition to making you feel your finest from head to toe, water can assist eliminate back pain.
Dana Cohen, MD, author of Quench, a book on the science and importance of water, thinks that correct hydration is "the single most important thing we can do to treat and prevent chronic disease." How's that for a stamp of approval on something you can do every day?
Here, Dr. Cohen answers your burning questions on how to satiate your thirst and minimize back pain in the process.
What's the Link Between Dehydration and Back Pain?
You may not know that pain in the back (or discomfort in other locations) can be straight connected to an absence of hydration.
Dr. Cohen says, "When we are dehydrated, fluid constantly goes to the brain initially and gets transferred from other areas of the body like joints. Our fascia, the connective tissue webbing that supports every cell and organ in the body, can become tangled and knotted, making motion uncomfortable, tough, and stiff."
There are certain persistent pain conditions that can be gotten worse by dehydration. Dr. Cohen lists headaches, migraines, arthritis, joint discomfort, fibromyalgia, and overall tightness as conditions that can be affected by dehydration.
Not consuming adequate water can definitely cause pain in the back, according to Dr. Cohen. "The discs between our vertebrae need fluid to cushion the bones," she states. "They can end up being a little dry and fragile when not effectively hydrated, intensifying pain in the back."
If you're presently in physical treatment for your neck and back pain, Dr. Cohen includes that excellent hydration is "imperative prior to any physical treatment" since it can improve the outcome.
Just How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day?
This seems to be an old question in the medical world. The response to that question, like so lots of comparable medical concerns that aren't cut and dried, is "It depends," Dr. Cohen suggests.
" Everyone is various-- some sweat more than others," she says. "You need to figure out on your own what is optimum. An excellent general rule is that we are suggested to get up to pee every 2 to 3 hours while awake. Look at the color of your urine-- it ought to be straw-colored. If I needed to provide you some kind of number, I would say half your weight in ounces of water a day."
In other words, if you weigh 130 pounds, that equals 65 ounces (130 divided by 2) of water each day, or roughly 2 Nalgene bottles filled with water.
Does It Have to Be Water?
You may be pleased to know that you don't have to guzzle straight water all day. According to Dr. Cohen, other fluids, like juice and tea, do count.
" But even more essential is our food counts," she says. "There are extremely hydrating foods like vegetables that play a big function in hydrating us efficiently."
And sorry-- if you like to pack up on your early morning joe, coffee doesn't count toward your daily hydration. "Over 4 cups of caffeinated coffee is a diuretic," Dr. Cohen notes. She likewise says that alcohol is dehydrating and doesn't recommend sodas and sugary drinks as you pursue optimum hydration.
How Can You Make Water a Daily Priority?
Let's be sincere-- a lot of us forget to consume water routinely unless we're parched after an exercise or using it to brush our teeth or take medications. This is why Dr. Cohen highly advises "front-loading" your water, suggesting that you ought to consume a huge glass (ideally, 16 ounces) very first thing in the early morning.
She also shares these ideas:
Include a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt for electrolytes
Consume a shake every day, one that includes lots of greens mixed with water. You can add lemon, ginger, and apple for taste.
Drink a glass of water prior to every meal.
Include hydrating foods in your diet. This consists of lots of veggies, chia seeds, and more "plant-centric," less-processed foods.
Water. It covers about 71 percent of our planet and makes up about 60 percent total of our bodies. Does that indicate it's crucial? We think so, and we think your back will thank you for staying properly hydrated.