What does water do for your body and spine?
We all know that it's important to stay hydrated. Water is vital for life. But what we probably don't consider regularly is all of the problems we can face with dehydration - which include back pain. It is crucial to drink water throughout the day to keep your spine hydrated, as well as all of your muscles. Those of you who have been to a chiropractor likely know that when you're hydrated you adjust more easily.
How much water should you be drinking?
The standard phrase you hear all the time is 8 glasses of water per day. This isn't a bad gauge, but the more accurate amount of water actually varies for each person depending on size. The trick we like to use is to take your body weight and half it. That's how many ounces of water you should consume daily. So for example, if you weigh 200 pounds, then you should be drinking 100 ounces of water every day.
Which sources of water are safe to drink and better for you?
Make sure you are drinking filtered water and/or alkaline bottled water (preferably glass bottles). It's also a great idea to eat foods that hydrate you like fruits and vegetables. Avoid tap water or water that's been sitting in a plastic bottle - especially the one that's been sitting in your hot car.
When should you drink water?
So many sources out there will tell you to consume water constantly, but there are actually times when drinking water could have the opposite effect you want. A common idea is that consuming water right before meals will help you lose weight because you will feel fuller and, as a result, eat less. Though drinking more water can help you lose weight for many reasons, drinking right before a meal can harm the digestive process. Essentially, when you drink lots of water right before and during your meal, you are diluting the enzymes your pancreas produces that break down your food. It is better to stop drinking water about 20 minutes before you eat, (chew your food well!) and wait an hour afterwards to start drinking water again. This will help your body digest your food well. Just make sure you drink lots of water outside of mealtime so you will be hydrated enough to digest properly.
What are the additional benefits of water?
Apart from just drinking water to avoid dehydration and meet your body's needs, there are many other benefits! As mentioned above, water will increase your metabolism, which can help you maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. It also boosts your brainpower and alertness. Water will keep your immune system functioning properly.