As a teen, I ate a pretty well and played sports daily. Despite these healthy habits, I had recurring joint pain and periodic migraines. One simple health tweak changed all of that.

I got hydrated. Here’s why that helped.

Water’s Importance
Water is the most critical nutrient in the body; and therefore, it is fundamental to overall health. Humans can survive for about 6 weeks without food but only several days without water. Sadly, water is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States despite our access to it.

Water helps the body in the following areas:

  • Athletic Performance: Water improves oxygen delivery to muscle and brain cells. It transports nutrients needed for energy to cells. Water moistens oxygen for easier breathing. It aids in healing and thus recovery time.

  • Digestion and Detoxification: Water is necessary for the creation of digestive juices and for the removal of waste and toxins.

  • Inflammation Reduction: High blood pressure is due to inflammation, and drinking enough water is an effective way to reduce those numbers. Getting hydrated can relieve headaches by reducing the pressure in the vasculature of the head. Water lubricates and cushions bones and joints, thus sufficiently hydrating reduces joint pain.

  • Heart Health: Sufficient water helps prevent dangerous clogs from forming in the cardiovascular system.

Calculating Your Need
55-60% of a person is composed of water. A 100 lb. woman and a 250 lb. man have different volumes of fluid in their bodies. Therefore, these two individuals need to drink unique amounts of water based on their size.

So how much do you need? Write down your body weight and then divide that number by two. That’s how many ounces of water your unique body needs each day to function well.

If your calculated amount of water exceeds 1 gallon (128 oz.), aim for 100-128 oz. per day. Too much water can be a burden on the kidneys.

Action Steps

  1. Reduce diuretics. This includes coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and alcohol. Diuretics dehydrate the body.
  2. Drink frequently. Always carry a filled water bottle to encourage you to hydrate throughout the day.
  3. Increase slowly. Add an additional 10 ounces of water a day until you reach your calculated amount. Don’t flood the body suddenly.
  4. Up your minerals. If you are urinating frequently due to the increased water, it means you’re not absorbing it well. Adding a pinch of sea salt to your water will increase absorption and decrease bathroom visits.

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