Recently on the news, some researchers have said that drinking water throughout the day is NOT necessary unless you are thirsty. They claim that the widely recommended “eight glasses of water per day” is incorrect and that sufficient hydration for the body can be achieved by eating fruits and vegetables. Although I do agree that we can get a good amount of water from fruits and vegetables, consuming water throughout the day is still very important.
I treat injuries on a daily basis and patients who are well-hydrated respond much better to treatment. I’d like to share with you two reasons why hydration helps with injury recovery:
1) Increased water intake results in increased blood volume: Whether I’m doing acupuncture, low-level laser therapy or Naturopathic pain management, you will always hear me talk about “circulation.” In Chinese Medicine, there is a much emphasis on circulation and its effect on how the body heals. Improved blood flow helps bring immune cells to the site of injury and aids the body in removing the by-products of inflammation.
2) Muscles and connective tissue glide better when hydrated: Experienced practitioners can feel when muscles or connective tissue are dehydrated and “knotted-up.” Water acts as a lubricant between connective tissue to help muscles glide over one another. Dehydrated tissue looks like “velcro” under a microscope, causing pain and limiting range of motion.
So how much water is enough? That depends on each individual, their activity level, diet and environment. At Brio, as a general guideline, we recommend taking your weight in pounds, dividing it by two, then converting that number into ounces. For example, if you are 150 lb, divide that by 2 to get 75. You should drink 75 ounces of water per day. For an 8 oz glass, that equals to about 9 glasses per day.
Before you change your water consumption, please consult us at Brio.