Drinking Water For Your Health

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Drinking Water For Your Health

Before you reach for that morning cup of coffee, you may want to drink a glass of water, especially when you find out the benefits this can have on your health, including your knee osteoarthritis.

Drinking adequate amounts of water, as most of us already know, has many health benefits. It keeps our skin healthy and clear, it helps control our blood pressure, and it helps us maintain a healthy digestive system. Staying hydrated can also aid in the prevention of kidney disease, help with weight loss and weight management, it can boost our energy levels, and improve our mood. And, on top of all that, drinking enough water can help support our joints and reduce osteoarthritic knee pain.

All of that from just drinking water?


Today, let’s focus on the effect drinking enough water specifically has on the health of our knees.

Believe it or not, most of the water in our bodies is stored in our connective tissues and joints. This means that it is critical for our tendons, ligaments, etc, to be supplied with enough water, as it lubricates these joints and flushes out toxins. This also means that when you’re dehydrated, these joints can become inflamed, and cause a dramatic increase in knee pain.

One of the ways water helps the knees specifically is through its ability to help create synovial fluid.

Synovial fluid is a thin layer of fluid that provides essential nutrients to the joints and keeps them lubricated. And, according to a study published by the Journal of The National Library of Medicine, this fluid also reduces friction created when moving the joints. Without enough water, this friction increases and leads to more knee pain.

Making sure you are getting enough water, is also crucial for your cartilage.

Cartilage is the strong and flexible tissue that covers the ends of our bones. Protecting the bones, cartilage allows the bones to glide over each other, rather than rubbing against one another. In fact, it is estimated that roughly 65 to 80 percent of our cartilage is made up of water. Therefore, by drinking enough water, the cartilage stays hydrated and soft, and the production of synovial fluid is stimulated, thus decreasing pain and reducing inflammation.

Proper hydration also supports the blood supply needed to keep the body working properly, and thereby protects our organs. It also helps our muscles to function properly- which in turn, helps with our joint function which increases mobility and decreases knee pain.

So how much water should we drink to get these benefits?

Well, before you go chugging glass after glass of water, it’s important to know that though the recommendation is about 1 to 1 1/2 liters of water a day- this water shouldn’t be consumed all at once. Instead, medical experts recommend staying hydrated gradually, throughout the day.

Experts also agree that the best time to get that first full glass of water is first thing in the morning. After a night of sleep, the body hasn’t been getting any hydration, so it’s important to start the day by beginning to replenish the supply.

Furthermore, experts recommend that we should aim to drink a cup of water with each meal, in between each meal, and always drink water before and after exercise. It is also recommended to carry a water bottle with you, as a reminder to drink water, and for an easy-to-access source of it.

The main objective of drinking enough water is to increase the health and healing abilities of the body- And, of course, to prevent dehydration. The side effects and risks associated with dehydration can wreak havoc on your body and your day-to-day life.

Some of the side effects of dehydration include:

– Headache
– Dizziness or lightheadedness
– Sleepiness
– Decrease in urination
– Dark yellow- or amber-colored urine
– Decreased skin elasticity
– Dry mouth and mucous membranes (lips, gums, nostrils)
– Low blood pressure

Not only can dehydration cause those side effects, but it can be specifically harmful to the knees and cause:

Loss of Joint Lubrication: Water is a major component of the synovial joint fluid which prevents friction between the ends of bones and enables smooth painless movement.

Reduced Shock Absorption: Water makes up greater than 70% of the cartilage tissue which acts as a shock absorber during high-impact activities such as jumping and running.

Increases Muscle Cramping: Dehydration can cause muscle spasms and cramping leading contributing to joint pain.

Joint Degeneration: Chronic dehydration can result in loss of blood volume sparking of chain reaction resulting in overall functional decline and joint degeneration.

Fortunately, dehydration can be avoided.

All it takes is a little awareness, and a little extra effort to make drinking water a part of your daily life. It may take some getting used to, especially if you’re not in the habit of keeping a water bottle with you, however with some practice, it can easily become a part of your day-to-day routine.

So next time, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to get that glass of water. Instead, start your day with it, and go from there.

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