Drink more water. That is a great goal for 2021! In fact, during a recent video call when I was asked what my professional and personal goals were for the upcoming year I replied, “My goal is to drink more water!” Can you relate?
Water is the main component of the body and regulates all of its functions. In fact, water is stored both inside and between our cells. That balance of internal to external water pressure is what allows cells to live, function, and repair themselves. As we get older, the body isn’t as sensitive to thirst indicators and does not concentrate urine very well (thus the nighttime trips to the bathroom). That means that even as water goes into the body, it doesn’t often stay around long enough to provide the complete benefit of absorption. The pressure inside and outside the cells increases and the cells dehydrate and collapse, leading to increased conditions of aging. The researchers call this condition hyperosmotic stress.
Since muscle function is a leading indicator of strength and endurance, adequate hydration of muscle fibers is very important to overall personal independence. Your physical therapist will help you get back to your favorite activities and remind you of the importance of healthy and hydrated muscles.
Need some fun ways to increase your water intake?
- Choose water! This may be both the hardest and easiest suggestion. When the waiter asks what you want to drink… choose water every time.
- Make it fun! Add a tea bag, fruit, or cucumbers to your water to change up the taste.
- Set a goal! Find a fun water bottle and start your day with a goal to finish it in a certain amount of time. The Mayo clinic suggests 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women per day.
- Replenish! If you go to the bathroom, get a drink of water to replenish. Water out, water in!
- Explore! Flavored sparkling waters, watermelon, and even spinach are almost 100% water and will help you reach your daily goal.
Here’s to a well-hydrated 2021!
For more information and to find a physical therapy clinic near you, please visit us at PT&Me.com.
Lorenzo I, Serra-Prat M, Yébenes JC. The Role of Water Homeostasis in Muscle Function and Frailty: A Review. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1857. Published 2019 Aug 9. doi:10.3390/nu11081857
MayoClinic. Water: How Much Should You Drink Every. 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2021 from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256#:~:text=The%20U.S.%20National%20Academies%20of%20Sciences,%20Engineering,%20and,cover%20fluids%20from%20water,%20other%20beverages%20and%20food