Did You Know That Your Body is Made Up of 70% Water?
We all know that we need water to survive but why is drinking water so important?
Not only does having enough water in our bodies help keep our skin looking supple and young, it is also important in facilitating many important chemical reactions within our body.
Without adequate hydration, we put our bodies under pressure to perform optimally.
Because water is something that the body cannot manufacture on its own, we must replenish it on a daily basis.
We are constantly losing water through breathing, perspiration, urination and defecation. If we exercise heavily or live in a hot climate, we will also most certainly be losing more water through sweat.
How Does Your Body Utilise Water?
Like other vital fluids in your body (eg. blood), your body can regulate how much water goes to specific organs or systems.
Water is essential for many things, such as:
- Maintaining healthy cells
- Providing oxygen to organs by helping the flow of blood through blood vessels
- Elimination of wastes from the body (eg. via urine or faeces)
- Regulating body temperature (through sweating)
- Lubricating and cushioning joints
- And, assisting digestion, to name a few.
Without adequate water in our bodies, our health can start to fail.
What Happens if We Don’t Drink Enough Water?
The body has an inbuilt thirst mechanism, which triggers when we become dehydrated. However, in many cases, we can be already dehydrated before we know it.
Before we realise that we are dehydrated, we can often experience symptoms of the following:
- Joint pain and dysfunction
- Muscle cramps or weakness
- Stress and depression
- High blood pressure
- Elevated cholesterol
- Lower back pain
Can I Drink Too Much Water?
The answer is yes.
Hyponatraemia – also known as water intoxication is a rare occurrence. It occurs when the body is too hydrated and the level of sodium in the blood drops.
Sodium is important for sending nerve impulses and muscle contraction.
While it is uncommon for this to happen, it must be noted that it can occur, especially if you are drinking extreme volumes. For example, if you are consuming many litres of water in a very short period of time.
Why Is It Important to Drink Water After a Massage?
I’m sure you’ve heard all of us at Sydney Remedial Massage remind you to keep hydrated and drink water after your massage.
The reason is, because bodywork such as massage can be dehydrating.
Just like exercise, when your muscles are massaged, it will move fluid out of the soft tissue and into blood circulation. Drinking adequate water after a massage will ensure that your kidneys are able to filter the blood effectively.
Now, I know that there are a lot of people who think that massage can flush out “toxins” in your body. I don’t believe that this statement is true. Your body will produce and recycle metabolic waste on its own, whether or not you have a massage. This article in PainScience.com is an interesting read for anyone who is keen to learn more.
The reason why I recommend that people drink water after a massage, is because it’s a smart thing to do for your body.
As it is, many people just don’t drink enough water during the day at all, and if you’re taking the time to come for a massage, why not make sure you’re looking after your body from the inside as well, by keeping yourself well hydrated.
How Much Water Should I Be Drinking?
In the past, many people have advocated drinking 8 glasses a day. This obviously can vary depending on the size of the person and how much exercise they are doing, as well as where they live.
For example – an elite athlete who trains 6 days a week for up to 5 hours a day would need to consume much more water than someone who is sedentary.
Likewise, if someone is living in a hot climate and perspiring constantly, they would also need to increase their water intake.
Dr Batmanghelidj, author of “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” recommends that ideally, you should consume 0.033 x your body weight (kg) = litres per day.
For a 70kg person, this means that you should be drinking approximately 2.1 litres of water per day.
Tap vs Filtered or Bottled Water?
Tap, spring/mineral, filtered or bottled water? What’s the difference?
Two main differences spring to mind – source and price.
So where does your water come from? And what has it gone through to get to you? And, of course, how much are you willing to pay for it?
In Australia, we are so fortunate to be able to have access to clean drinking water. A common reason people don’t like tap water is because it can taste a bit funny. This is because tap water can often be tainted with chemicals and minerals such as fluoride, lead and chlorine. All of these substances in large quantities over time can adversely impact on our bodies’ biological functions.
While most bottled water is thought to be filtered, unless the source is specified, be aware that some bottled waters just come from a tap in another location. Mineral water in a glass bottle is touted to be the most beneficial as it’s rich in sulphates. But buying two litres of mineral water in glass daily can get very expensive very quickly!
So, the next best option, is perhaps filtered water. There are many types of filters available on the market, such as carbon filters, reverse osmosis, alkaline, UV and infrared filters.
You’ll need to do your own research on which is best for you and your budget. But I know that many of our clients have commented on our choice of water filters – and yes, the rocks not only look cool, but they also serve a purpose!
SRM’s Top 5 Tips To Make Sure You Drink Enough Water Every Day….
Drinking 2L of water a day sounds hard right? But it’s not!
Sometimes, I hit the mark and sometimes I don’t, but the main thing is that it’s got to become a habit.
The biggest excuse that I hear, however, is that “I have to pee all the time”.
And so what?? If anything, that’s awesome, because it means that your body is doing what it needs to filter the blood from toxins and metabolic wastes and excrete them from your body.
The colour of your urine can be a great indicator of how much water you need to drink (more yellow = more water needed). Ideally, urine should be a light straw colour.
Here Are Our Top 5 Tips To Make Sure You’re Drinking Enough Water Daily –
- Keep a flask or water bottle handy so you can see how much you’ve drunk during the course of a day. (Eg. If you have a 600mL bottle, aim to drink at least three or more bottles in a day).
- If you are at work, try to drink a glass (250mL) of water every hour. (Bonus tip: getting up to get water or go to the bathroom is also a great way to break up sitting in the same position all day!)
- If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding a squeeze of lemon
- Download an app which can help you track your water intake
- Keep a water diary for 8 weeks – make sure you drink 2L of water daily. Take a before and after photo of your face at the start and end of 8 weeks and see if you can see how much of a difference it makes to your skin and overall energy.
Ps. Remember – teas and coffees don’t count! 🙁 Please make sure it’s just plain water that you’re drinking (with a slice of lemon is ok!). We’d love to see your results. Please feel free to email us your pictures/thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Article by Melanie Yeoh, Sydney Remedial Massage.