Whenever I sit down at Ed’s desk, I see a giant water bottle next to his computer. Noticing the contrast with my mug of hot tea, I asked him why hydration is so important.
It can help you think more clearly
It’s well known that water makes up a large portion (about 60%) of your body. If you don’t have enough of it, it can cause your tissues to shrink – this includes your brain! When you’re dehydrated, you’re asking your brain to work MUCH harder to perform simple tasks like planning or spatial navigation. Water also helps with cushioning the brain and spinal cord – which allows your nervous system to be more effective.
It helps with digestion
Regardless of your dietary habits, water is essential for processing nutrients and eliminating toxins. Think about baking a cake and trying to work the batter when you haven’t added enough wet ingredients. How much easier does it become when there’s a liquid element added? Your digestive system is constantly trying to separate toxins from nutrients, and water encourages it to do this effectively.
It can help with headaches
This is pretty widely accepted. Dehydration is often linked to headaches. Even if you’re a regular headache or migraine sufferer, staying hydrated is one of many things you can do to give your brain extra support to handle them. Another one is regular chiropractic care! Check out our post on natural migraine management here.
It wakes you up
In our office, we have a couple of early starts during the week. While we do love a good coffee, water is so much better for waking up our bodies and kick starting our brain. Anyone else have a house plant? You’ve seen how a drink of water can turn it from droopy to perky within hours. Our brain and body reacts the same way to a good morning drink. Tip: drink lukewarm or room temperature water first thing in the morning. It’s harder for your body to absorb cold water from the fridge.
It lubricates your joints
Feeling achy or stiff? The disks in your spine and the cartilage in your bones is made up of about 80% water. Long-term dehydration can reduce your joints’ shock-absorbing abilities and increase pain in these areas. Plus, imagine how much better your chiropractic adjustments will be when your spine is properly lubricated!
It delivers oxygen through the body
Your blood is about 90% water and a key delivery system for oxygen around your body. Less water in your blood cells make them less effective when doing this job. Supporting your the oxygenation of your body means better functioning for your organs, tissues, and brain at the very least.
It makes minerals and nutrients more accessible
Are you taking supplements? Eating healthily? Your body needs water to dissolve these nutrients and send them through your bloodstream. Otherwise they can get bogged down in the digestion process (remember that thick cake batter?)and eliminated with your waste.
Your bodily functions need it
When you’re dehydrated, your body restricts different functions in an effort minimise its water loss. This can include reducing the efficiency of your airways and temperature regulation functions, making asthma or allergies heightened.
It sounds like there isn’t a function in the body that doesn’t benefit from a healthy water intake! So how can we start drinking more? Ed suggests:
There you have it! Better for your body, better for your brain, better for your spine – no wonder your chiropractor is so keen on hydration! Now I’m off to find myself a water bottle…see you in the office soon!
Shenee – Office Manager
Ed has been practicing in Tauranga since 2009, and established Precision Chiropractic in 2012. Prior to this, Ed spent several years in a chiropractic practice in Albany, Auckland.