Water is essential to your health. Fluid losses occur continuously, from skin evaporation, breathing, urine, and stool, and these losses must be replaced daily for good health. Fluids are necessary in our body to maintain our overall bodily functions. As adults approximately 60% of our body weight is water (muscles are 70% water, your brain is 85% water.) There are specific receptors in our body that tell us we are thirsty (need more water within our bodies-we are dehydrated) or when we need to excrete water (going to the bathroom to urinate.)
When your water intake does not equal your output, you can become dehydrated. Fluid losses are increased in warmer climates, during exercise, in high altitudes, and in older adults who may not be as aware of thirst signs in the body.
The most important glass of water is first thing in the morning. Your body has been dehydrated while you’ve been sleeping, so start your day with a tall glass of water. It’ll boost your metabolism
Water intake is extremely important after a myotherapy session:
Water helps to “energise” muscles via maintaining their balance of fluids and electrolytes, which if unbalanced result in fatigue
Massage can be dehydrating as fluid is removed out of the soft tissue structures and into the circulatory system where the kidneys filter the waste products. For this reason many people need the bathroom straight after a massage. You need to replace this lost fluid.
Kidneys need water to excrete waste products from your body after a massage.
When the muscle tissue is dehydrated, the skin will not “roll” as smoothly as it should. As Myotherapists we can actually feel the dehydration in a client’s skin and soft tissue structures.
Dehydration can be caused by:
- Insufficient H20 intake
- Vomiting, diarrhoea, draining of any part of the digestive system
- Excessive sweating
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Alcohol and caffeine
Dehydration can have the following presentations:
- Muscle cramps and myofascial pain
- Sunken, soft eyes
- Skin turgor, dry mucous membranes
- Thirst, weight loss
- Rapid, weak thready pulse, low BP
- Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, possible stupor
- increase body temperature, dry mouth
- Increased risk of kidney stones
- Fatigue, headache
Other benefits of water:
- Water keeps your skin looking good
- Is much better for your health than calorie/sugar laden beverages
- Water helps your kidneys which excrete waste products from your body
- Helps maintain normal bowel function
You can determine your hydration levels via your urine colour.