Living in Southern California, having an active lifestyle is the cultural norm. For most San Diegans, however, the activities that keep us active are not the ones that most would think. Two jobs, yardwork, school, family and some social time take main stage and making time to get to the gym, beach or mountain for a workout becomes a luxury.
Our body is made up of mostly liquid and if we are not getting it from food or beverages, it starts to slowly shut down. The muscles and joints that desperately need water to operate, begin to wither. Muscles begin to cramp and become less resilient. Joint spaces narrow and bone cartilage begins to fray and become inflamed with the repetitive stress and friction of gravity and body weight hustling through space.
One of the most common things that I see as a chiropractor, is muscle and joint paint associated with chronic dehydration. Consuming adequate amounts of liquid is crucial to the body’s ability to heal and recover, among other things.
There are many formulas that people can use to calculate the amount of fluid that their body needs as a minimum. My top two are: 1. Half of your body weight in ounces of fluid. 2 – 1ml per calorie consumed per day. Now remember, these are the BARE MINIMUM that the body needs. Add any activity or heat and you need to increase the amount of fluid you consume. Various sources recommend between 6-12oz. of fluid per 15-20min of exercise. The big idea? Get more fluid in you.
Obviously, what you drink and eat is also important to keep in mind. Here are 5 tips that I recommend to patients for keeping their body adequately hydrated.
1. Be a veg-head or a fruit-fan. Eat 5-10 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.
Fruit and vegetables are great sources for hydration. The most important part is to eat a mixed palate and diverse variety of FRESH fruit and vegetables.
2. Drinking Hot or Cold Herbal Caffeine-Free Teas with Stevia or Natural Sweetener.
Make your own favorite beverage. Steep herbal tea and add your favorite natural sweetener (like Stevia) and even add some almond milk to give it a creamy, texture. Summer heat? Throw in some ice and enjoy a cool and refreshing summer beverage.
3. Carry a full water bottle with you everywhere.
Have one with you wherever you go. I like the glass or aluminum containers, best. Makes it easy to keep track of your water consumption!
4. Make your water Juicy.
Add some fresh herbs like mint, rosemary or lavender along with chopped fruits and vegetable and let it infuse your water into a delicious elixir that will keep your taste buds titillated and your cells full!
5. Soup it up!
Soups are also a great way to add liquid to your life. Make sure to use a low sodium, free-range bone broth as your base and chicken veggie it up to your liking. Add some lemon while you are at it for even more hydrating properties!
The big picture? Get more liquid in you. Whether you are at the desk, pushing a stroller, pulling out your hair or out for a hike, make sure you are properly hydrated. Help your body operate better and help minimize the aches and pains in your life.