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June 2011 Tip of The Month

Category: General
Hydration and Back Pain

Hydration is so important for so many reasons that we could have a tip on some benefit of it every month. Most people are inadequately hydrated. Most people experience back pain at some time. This is not a coincidence. For a big part of the solution, Read More:

In our bodies, every organ, tissue, and cell must have an adequate amount of water so they can function properly. This is particularly true for the discs and muscles that support the spinal column. Spinal discs serve as hydraulic shock absorbers and experience downward pressure when we stand or sit. In order for the disc to function properly it must have an adequate water supply. A disc that becomes dehydrated loses hydrostatic pressure and cannot support the load placed upon it. Think deflated automobile tires. When this happens the disc becomes inflamed, causing soreness and pain. Nerves can be impinged. Discs become susceptible to herniation, rupture and disc disease. All of this is painful. Simply consuming the proper amount of water on a daily basis can help prevent this.

How much water should we drink? The short answer is: "More".

The long answer involves the fact that beverages having a diuretic effect are very popular and easy to get. Diuretic beverages like coffee, colas, black teas, iced tea, cranberry juice and alcoholic beverages have a net dehydration effect on the body.
Since most measures of dehydration are too subjective to be reliably useful (color of urine, day time fatigue, dry mouth, excessive thirst, etc.), simple math is the best solution. Per day, shoot for one cup (8 ounces) of water for every 20 pounds of body weight... more if you're consuming any of the diuretic beverages mentioned above. Example: a 200 pound man needs 10 cups of water per day. If he drinks one cup of coffee and an alcoholic beverage per day, he'll need more like 15 cups of water. Non-diuretic beverages like Gatorade, milk, etc., may be counted as water. More detailed adjustments need to be made based on air temperature and amount of exercise.

My most actionable advice:  drink 2 cups of water first thing every morning. Put it right on your night stand the night before.

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