We live in a nation saturated with specialty coffees, soft drinks, sports drinks and energy boosters. Is it any wonder plain water is considered completely lacking in ‘bling’. As crucial as water is, it seems the majority of the population is in a dehydrated rut, and that can be painful.
The Dilution Solution
Patients with chronic pain (which includes most seniors I know) need to seriously evaluate their water intake. Clinically, patients have noticed improvements in treatments they were already pursuing, such as chiropractic work, acupuncture or massage, just by being better hydrated. Dehydration makes the blood ‘sticky’ and thereby increases the risk of high blood pressure and associated problems. Heart health wants water.
What type of water is best?
Today in even convenience stores you can find shelves of bottled water, flavored water, vitamin water and so on. I don’t want to sound like a druid, but you could also consider tap water. The best source for drinking and cooking, is water filtered through a very high-grade filter called a reverse osmosis system. Any other form of regular water, tap or bottled, is still better than a soda. Vitamin and specialty waters can become a problem due to added sugars. Others promise extra vitamins when in fact they contain very few. In truth, water doesn’t need to provide anything other than water. That’s important enough.
Don’t be Part of the Problem (Chemically Speaking)
The boom of bottled water, while it popularized hydration, also triggered a huge influx of plastic bottles being dumped into our environment, which allows certain chemicals, like phthalates, to leech into the ground, water and our bodies. These pose various risks including cancer. Try to transport water in stainless steel or glass bottles. If you have plastic bottles, don’t allow them to sit in the sun. Also, don’t use plastic to carry or heat water, as this might increase chemical leeching.
How much water is the right amount?
Some experts say to take your weight and divide by 2 and that’s how many ounces you need each day. Of course, common sense plays a part if you are being very active in the sun. Folks receiving bodywork therapies like massage or chiropractic treatments should also be drinking higher amounts of water to best utilize those therapies. Coffee drinkers need to limit their daily intake to 1-2 cups while meeting their water goals for the day. I’ve heard it said, “if you are thirsty, it’s too late—you are already dehydrated.”
Here’s a WebMD feature discussing the importance of water to our health and well-being, but the take away is simple: Just be sure to drink in the natural gifts of water.