Posted by: stgeorgemassage | July 20, 2016

Water is Life

Water is Life

Over my years as a professional massage therapist the number one issue for senior athletes and active seniors is hydration. Lack of water intake cause everything from muscle cramps to dizziness and overall saps stamina. Folks tend to forget that we live in a desert climate which means we need to increase our water intake an additional 25% over the recommended 8 glasses of water and possibly twice that if we have any level of intense activity.

As a therapist I can easily recognize someone who is well hydrated. The tissue is more pliable and excepts massage manipulation better with a lot less discomfort. People who are lacking sufficient hydration have tight, tense muscles that are subject to greater cramping. Water is the carrier. You can eat great and take supplements but these nutrients can’t get to the tissue without water. Water also carries the toxins away that build up in the body so they can be eliminated.

Here are some simple rules that will help you increase your water intake and keep performing year round at the highest possible levels:

  1. Don’t leave home without it” You will never drink enough water if you don’t carry it with you everywhere you go. Create a habit of making sure you have water bottle everywhere you go. You could not imagine your pioneer ancestors making a trek without water yet we live in the same climate. We’ve gotten too used to traveling in air conditioned comfort and it would only take breaking down and getting stranded one time to change your perspective on having water handy.

  2. Sip it, sip it good” The idea of drinking lots of water can be daunting when you visualize the picture of eight glasses from health class in school. Guzzling down water isn’t very effective in the long run either. We’ve learned that a drip line is more effective in watering plants and that’s true with you too. Develop a habit of sipping all day long, even punctuating your sentences with a pause and a sip. It’s relatively easy to develop an oral habit but unlike smoking or chewing gum, this one is healthy for you.

  3. Not all that glitters is gold” Liquids that are flavored do NOT hydrate you. Water is a basic element and the body immediately recognizes that and restores it to the tissue (you’ve always heard that we are 70% water, right?). When we add flavors the taste buds tell the brain that we are consuming food and so the liquid is processed deeper in the digestive tract and less water is extracted.

  4. It tastes yucky” It is OK to flavor your water with this one exception to rule #3. Citrus like lemon or lime does not trigger the water to be treated like food. I believe that citric acid is so close to our own digestive acids that it doesn’t mask the bodies ability to identify water. Sports drinks do not hydrate as efficiently as plain water. I’ve worked on many a marathon runner who was suffering from after race cramps who only drank sports drinks. Sports drinks are a supplement and for every bottle you drink you need to balance that with 4 bottle of water.

The wonderful thing about water is that you can’t overdose on it, it doesn’t cause cavities, it doesn’t add weight. You will see immediate positive results from increasing your water intake. What have you got to lose?keep-calm-and-drink-more-water

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