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Water - A Vital Nutrient

Spring is a great time to work and play outdoors, but don’t forget to drink plenty of water.  Adults are roughly 50-65% water, but this percentage varies based on the fat content of our bodies, since muscle contains more water than fat.  Water carries nutrients and oxygen to all your body’s cells, regulates body temperature, and cushions joints and organs to name just a few of its many roles.  We often forget to drink until we get thirsty, but we are dehydrated by the time this occurs.  If we do not drink enough, our physical and mental function can decline.  In one study, a 1.5% water loss in the body reduced the muscle strength of the people participating in it.  A shortage of water in the body can lead to muscle breakdown but drinking plenty of water has the reverse effect.

So how much water should an individual drink for optimal health?  One simple way to figure this out is to multiply your body weight by 2/3 (67%).  For example, if you weigh 125 pounds, you should drink approximately 83 ounces of water, which is equivalent to approximately 10 cups.  In addition to this water intake, consume an additional 1.5 cups for every 30 minutes that you exercise.  An increased water intake may also need to be considered for people living in hot climates.  Is water getting too boring?  Add some lemon to it or drink tea!  Proper hydration will positively impact optimal performance whether you need it for work or play!  It may even prevent a musculoskeletal injury, such as a strain or tear, which is more likely to occur with tense, cramped muscles that are deprived of water.

Listen to your body’s wisdom and contact Cresswell Physical Therapy for tips on staying active while recuperating from injury.  We can be reached for appointments by calling (530) 244-7686.