As Summer draws nearer and the sun makes each day brighter we all want to get out, be active and enjoy the warmth. Unfortunately, for those of us suffering with joint pain, especially in the hips and knee, it can be difficult to be as active as we would like to be, and whilst many fit people are exercising and going out for summer walks, it can be frustrating to accept the limitations that reduce our enjoyment of the good weather.
At SkinLikes we seek to help our customers who may be suffering with pain, such as osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, and it is no surprise that since 2008 Joint-Ease is our best-selling product. But while this clean, organic product has been helping thousands of people to ease pain and regain mobility, this article is about a crucial element of life that we all have access to: water.
Tap water in the UK is perfect for our needs and we’re not breaking new ground by suggesting that we do our bit to save the planet by refusing to buy the bottles in plastic containers, but increasing our water intake to the recommended level has a whole host of benefits for the body. So, let’s focus on how our intake of water affects our joints.
What does water do for our joints?
Water helps expel damaging toxins and waste, aids our bodies circulation and temperature regulation, enhances our immune system, helps keep our cells in working order and it lubricates joints and reduces inflammation.
It is what keeps us alive. It’s the fuel for maintaining our essential functions and keeping us hydrated, but our joints depend on water and nutrient intake to keep them lubricated and supple. The sound of metal squealing on a rusty hinge is an extreme comparison but reflects in a way, what is happening to a poorly hydrated joint cavity. Let us explain:
When two bones meet at the joint, cartilage is the barrier that prevents the bones rubbing together and synovial fluid is the cushion that fills the resulting gaps between them. Synovial fluid is made from water and with poor hydration the fluid flow to our joints is reduced. This reduces its capabilities of reducing friction and providing impact resistance between the joints and left like this over time, friction increases and the joint can become inflamed. The result is that if you suffer from joint conditions such as arthritis, this inflammation can be very painful and will certainly reduce your mobility. A painkiller may mask the pain, but proper hydration can address the root cause.
How much is enough water?
The figure commonly cited is drinking 6-8 glasses per day. This can be daunting, so our advice is to drink as much water as you feel comfortable with.
- Upon waking the body will have expelled a lot of water during sleep through sweat and as we exhale, so a morning glass of water is an incredible benefit to replace what was lost overnight.
- Hunger can be confused with the body’s demand for fluids, and as it’s not always food that makes you feel hungry, so a mid-morning glass of water can stave off hunger pangs and prevent snacking.
- At lunch time, water should be washing down your lunch rather than a fizzy drink, while sipping a glass of water in the afternoon, will again ease any hunger pangs.
- What you drink with your evening meal, or even after this, is your choice, but at the end of the day, you should be patting yourself on the back for your efforts.
- An evening final glass will help keep you hydrated overnight, but it’s important not to drink vast quantities at once, small sips throughout the day are best.
I can’t stop peeing!
What goes in must come out and the frequency of toilet trips when you increase your water intake will increase your toilet visits. This, sadly is one of the reasons why people lose heart and decide they don’t want the inconvenience of frequent toilet visits, but this is actually a sign of progress.
Toxins remaining for too long a period within us can cause all sorts of health problems, so when we urinate, we flush the body of excess water and our organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are expelling their waste too. Thus the quicker and more frequently we flush out this waste, the better job that our organs can perform. It’s a no-brainer!
A quick test
If you check the colour of your pee, a hydrated body will produce light to almost clear urine. A dehydrated body will produce darker colours and the more dehydrated you are, the darker the colour will be. Deep yellows are a sign your water intake is below par and your joints as well as your physical and mental performance will almost certainly be working at sub optimum levels.
The Enemies of Hydration
Your attempts to stay hydrated can be thwarted by sweating, drinking too much tea and coffee (caffeine), fizzy / sugary drinks, alcohol, adding salt to your food or purchasing ready to cook meals that are generally overfilled with it, diabetes, diarrhoea, vomiting and illness. All of these factors can reduce the available water in our bodies leading to a state of dehydration and especially so if you regularly consume sugary drinks or your diet is high in salt.
We often take for granted one of life’s basic survival sources – water, but it’s a vital, plentiful and natural option to help you enjoy increased mobility without the need for drugs. With proper nutrition, hydration and the power of essential oils all provided by Mother Nature, increased mobility and enjoyment of a pain free life will hopefully be an attainable goal for most of us and help us get out and active when the sun shines!