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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Are you drinking enough water?

As massage therapists we are always asking our clients this age old question. The human body is made up of approximately 75% of this precious fluid. Each organ in the body including: the brain, lungs, heart, liver and kidneys, as well as the bones and skin and even the discs in the spine contain water. Water is so very important to the human body that you will often hear this question asked time and time again.
Let’s talk for a moment about being ‘Properly Hydrated’…always remember that at any moment of any given day and time, you can become dehydrated if you are not drinking enough water. “Where is all this water going?” you ask. Your lungs expel between two and four cups of water each day through normal breathing - even more on a cold day. If your feet sweat, there goes another cup of water. If you make half a dozen trips to the bathroom during the day, that's six cups of water. If you perspire, you expel about two cups of water (which doesn't include exercise-induced perspiration).

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry on normal functions. Even mild dehydration - as little as a 1 percent to 2 percent loss of your body weight - can sap your energy and make you tired. Ever feel like you yawn a lot during the day for no reason? You say you’ve gotten enough rest last night? Well try this on for size. If you feel thirsty anytime during the day, you are already 2 quarts low. And the following is just a small list of what you might be experiencing if you are low on the good stuff, and that my friends is WATER.

  • Excessive thirst                                          
  • Fatigue
  • Headache                                                   
  • Dry mouth 
  • Little or no urination or dark urine               
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Dizziness                                                 
  • Lightheaded                      

There is so much more information concerning dehydration that it would take up pages and pages. Our main goal here, however, is to provide for you some very important key items to help you avoid dehydration and to take proper care of your internal works.

You’re probably wondering by now exactly how much water you should be drinking on a regular basis. Many people have differing opinions on this matter. You probably heard that you should be drinking 8-10, 8 ounces glasses daily. Remember that sometimes, too much of a good thing may be harmful. And that goes for water as well. We all have different body types and body chemistries, so much water may be too much for some, or not enough for others.

 So we have found this little key to be very useful for our clients as well as ourselves. You should be drinking at least half of your body weight, converted to ounces of water every day, a little more on hot days and a little less on cold less. But as always, you be the judge by listening to your body. For example: Let make this simple and say you weight 150 lbs. Simply divide your weight by 2, which is 75 lbs. Now add the word ‘OUNCES’ to the end of that and you will have the approximate amount of water that your individual body should be drinking (75 ounces). Simple enough.

One final note about water and massage therapy. Massage Therapy, no matter what kind of work you are getting, stimulates the circulatory system and breaks up, what are called “adhesions” in the muscle fibers. Often times toxins can become built up deep within the muscle fibers. As adhesions are broken up, so are the toxins released from those tight areas. If you are not properly hydrated, these toxins may cause you to feel a little nauseated. If this occurs, Fear Not! Simply have a nice refreshing glass or two of water. Another little secret to aide with possible nausea is to squeeze fresh lemon in with your water. A half of a lemon in a glass of water always does the trick to ease the queasiness.

I don’t know about you, but all this talk about water is making me thirsty. So go ahead, grab a nice tall glass of cool refreshing water and drink to your health…CHEEERS!

Yours in Health & Wellness
Eric W.  

Licensed Massage Therapist
Rocky Mountain Massage

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