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How can water prevent injuries?

What an interesting concept. Drinking water to prevent injuries? How can this be possible!

As chiropractors at Canberra Spine Centre, we help people recover from breakdowns every day.

One of the aspects of our care is to help people understand the stress loads on their bodies, and how to reduce or prevent these.

Guess what? How much water you drink can have a profound effect on your health! In this article, we’ll cover the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘how much’ of water.

As we are approaching the heat and summer, our bodies will have different needs at this time of year based on our habits.

Summer for us will mean that we start doing things a bit differently.

Habits that change; more time in the sun, sweating in general by this increased temperature, doing a bit more exercise, that after dinner walk or early morning movement part of our day is much more desirable when its not a freezing Canberra morning.

Many in the silly season will drink more alcohol and we may still have our coffee when the sun comes up in the morning.

All of these factors will aid our bodies to become dehydrated if we are not suitably topping up our water intake.

Our body is made of about 70% water. That means we need to constantly be filling up our body with the best resource on the planet!

Our muscles and ligaments need to be supple and mobile in our bodies. If we are dehydrated, their mass literally becomes less, which means that they are tighter and less flexible in our bodies.

This puts a greater strain our musculoskeletal system, which will lead more easily to an injury.

A tear or a rupture of a muscle, tendon or ligament occurs much more quickly if each cell of the muscle is tighter and less flexible. To avoid this, we need to have the right amount of fluid in our bodies!

If we are adequately hydrated, the water gets digested through our system, transported to the blood stream and moves to the areas that it is required. This includes our muscles and ligaments.

Let’s think of our muscles like dough. We have the structural components of flour and yeast, but without the water liquid, it would sit there as dust.

The water is that binding agent that causes the activation of yeast to make the dough stringy, malleable and flexible.

This is how we want our muscles! The amount of water will affect our inner workings! The more the better, our bodies will be able to remove any excess*.

This flexibility keeps our bodies supple and much less likely to be injured!

So, How much do we need?

The newest recommendation is that we should drink 1 litre of water per day, for every 25kg of body weight.

Yes, that is a lot! If you are eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, that will count for some of that water intake, (watermelon, cucumbers and lettuce especially)

We also must remember that alcohol, black/green tea and coffee dehydrate us, as they are diuretics which mean they make us go to the toilet more often (for number ones).

If you are having these additional products, you will need to have more water than this recommendation.

How can this be achieved?

Starting your day with two glasses of water before coffee or breakfast is a great way to up your intake. If you prefer hot drinks, boil the kettle and drink it as hot water, maybe with a slice of lemon in it.

Have a water bottle at your desk and keep filling it during the day.

Herbal, decaffeinated teas count as water, but avoid flavouring your water with cordials and soda streams as these have adverse reactions in your body.

*Up to 42Litres per day.

Top Tips for getting water into your day

  1. Have a re-useable water bottle with you at all times.
  2. Use herbal, decaffeinated tea as another intake of water
  3. Have two glasses in the morning before you eat or have a coffee!

Try these tips and see how you feel. Getting the right amount of water makes your body work with greater ease. When it’s under less stress, your body tends to break down less, and you need less chiropractic care!

If you have injuries that aren’t going away and you’re not sure what to do about them, please call us on (02) 6257 9400.

If you would like some more information about the spine and nervous system and how it relates to your health, please check out the other articles on our Facebook page or go to our website:

Also, make sure you read the other interesting articles we post on staying healthy over Christmas this month.