If you have ever had a massage chances are, at the end of the massage the therapist told you to drink more water. The problem with this suggestion is that most people have no idea what this means. You don’t know how much you are drinking now, or how much you should be drinking, so you say you will (while knowing full well you won’t), thank your therapist and leave.
Here is the common formula for exactly how much you should be drinking. Divide your body weight in half. That is the number of ounces of water a day you should be drinking. Your body triages the water you drink. It uses your water for your most vital functions first. It makes sure you have enough water for your blood to flow correctly, and that it can continue to produce saliva and tears.
Your soft tissue is lowest on the totem pole when it comes to your water intake. You will die if you don’t have enough water for your vital functions to work. You will not die if you don’t have enough water for your muscles and soft tissues. You will have problems, and you will have pain, but you will not die.
It is essential to make sure that you are bringing in enough water so that after your vital functions are taken care of, there is enough water left over to saturate all of your soft tissue fully. This is why your water intake is based on your bodyweight. The more soft tissue you have, the more water you need to drink.
It’s often hard for people to jump from their current intake to where they need to be. We tell our clients to do it in baby steps. Add an extra 8 oz this week, another eight next week, until you get to where you need to be. You should also know that caffeine and alcohol are diuretics meaning they take away from the water that you put in your body. For every glass of caffeine or alcohol, you have to add another 8 oz to your daily intake.
Keep in mind you get some water from fresh fruits and vegetables so if you don’t like drinking as much water then you can up your daily servings of fruits and veggies. But they aren’t a substitute. Also, if you have a hard time drinking straight water, try adding some tasty flavor using fresh citrus, cucumber or mint. Or get creative and come up with your own recipe!
We love helping our clients by giving them detailed instructions on how they can be taking better care of their bodies. Have a self-care question for our Master Therapist? Call (916) 488-4223 and ask for Kym or submit an inquiry here.