With New Year’s resolutions still being very strong, many people are aiming to make healthier choices for this year. This can include cutting out a few fatty foods and replacing them with fruits and vegetables or you may be in search of an exercise program. The Physical Therapists at Progressive Physical Therapy are movement specialist and can aide in the development of the most effective regimen. But whether you work with a Physical Therapist or create your own work out plan, you are definitely going to get thirsty and here are a few reasons why you should choose water over any other drink.
The body’s main chemical component is water. About eighty percent of the body’s composition is water and averages about sixty percent of the human body’s weight. Eighty-five percent of your brain, eighty percent of your blood and about seventy percent of your lean muscle is composed of water. Water is the essential chemical needed for the body to complete everyday cycles like flushing toxins out of the body, carrying nutrients to the cell, and moistening areas like the nose, eyes, ears, mouth, and throat.
Lack of water is called dehydration. Dehydration occurs when the body does not have enough water to complete normal functions. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include: headache, dry mouth, mild to excessive thirst, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness in muscles. As low as a two percent drop in the amount of water in the body can cause a loss of clarity in short term memory; thus, making basic math difficult and causing a deficit in one’s ability to stay focused on the task.
Many doctors, dietary nutritionists, and health enthusiasts are recommending that the average person should take their body weight and divide it by two in order to determine the necessary amount of water in ounces they should be drinking every day. For example, if a person weighs 200 pounds, they should drink at least 100 ounces of water a day. Because the body finds it difficult to extract water from any other source than water itself, some health enthusiasts recommend that if you drink a cup of tea, coffee, soda, or any sugary or caffeinated beverage then you should add an extra eight ounces of water to your daily amount. Carbonated and alcoholic beverages typically steal large amounts of water from the body. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and soda act as diuretics in the body, depriving the body of the necessary water content need to function normally.
According to Ben Wolford, DPT at Progressive Physical Therapy, drinking more water can have many positive effects on the body. It can hasten recovery during injury rehabilitation and also help heal chronic joint pain. Water regulates body temperature, transports nutrients and oxygen, carries away waste, and cushions the body from injury. It can also promote better digestion, healthier skin, a positive attitude, and aid in weight loss. Having sufficient amounts of water in the body causes more oxygen in the blood stream, which helps with the positive attitude, increased energy and improved healing. Water naturally suppresses the appetite and assists the body in metabolizing stored fat. Studies have shown that having a decrease in the amount of water a person consumes will cause the fat deposits in the body to increase. In contrast, the increase of water intake will reduce the amount of fat deposits, helping the person live a healthier life. Water can also assist all organs and systems within the body. Some organs and systems that may benefit from additional water intake include: kidneys, colon, brain, endocrine system, immune system, and the digestive tract. Within these organs and systems, water plays a major part in cleaning out the toxins in the body.
So the next time your Physical Therapist asks if you want a drink of water or you just need a thirst quencher, remember all the benefits of drinking H20!!
If you have questions about the benefits of an exercise routine or if physical therapy would benefit you, call any of our offices in Cumberland, Keyser or Romney or check out our website at www.progressive-pt.net
Article submitted by Benjamin Wolford, DPT at Progressive Physical Therapy in Keyser, WV