While we all know how important it is to drink water, the majority of us fail to drink enough of it. In the United States alone it is estimated that 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration.
And the symptoms of chronic dehydration come in many forms:
Headaches, Fatigue, Dizziness, Joint Pain, Muscle Cramps, Weakness and more.
Prevent "Summer" Migraines
One sign that you may be dehydrated is if you are suffering from an increase of “summer migraines”. Studies have shown that the risk of migraines jump about 8% for every 9-degree temperature increase. This increase in migraines happens when the volume of blood drops in the body, preventing proper blood flow and oxygen to the brain, resulting in dilated blood vessels and the production of pain signal; this is frequently reported by patients as experiencing a “sick headache”.
This can also lead to fatigue and dizziness preventing you from doing basic tasks and enjoying day-to-day activities.
*Remember if you are thirsty, your body is telling you that you are already dehydrated*
Everyone knows what a sponge at the kitchen sink looks like the first thing in the morning…it is dried out and crumbly. I always like to advise my patients to avoid looking and feeling like a “dried out kitchen sponge.”
Without water, your joints will inevitably feel stiff and cause pain. Patients often complain of cracking and popping in their joints when they are dehydrated. Drinking water regularly prevents this from happening by increasing blood volume and improving circulation. When you supply your body with water, it is able to lubricate the joints and allow for an increase in mobility. Staying properly hydrated and making sure to replace the electrolytes that could have been lost, can help you avoid heat exhaustion and muscle cramping.
This is especially important if you live an active lifestyle or live in the subtropics (another name is the state of Florida!)
Dr. Kandel, how much water should I be drinking?"
If you are struggling to meet your daily water intake, consider bringing a cool bottle of water with you wherever you go. For those looking to drink more throughout the day, an easy way to remember is to have a glass of water every hour.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men, or approximately 1 gallon (8 x 16oz. water bottles)
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women (about 6 x 16oz water bottles)
And, if you are an athlete or pregnant, the water intake is recommended to be increased.
If you are not someone who enjoys drinking water, adding a bit of flavor can do the trick. A natural sweetener like honey or fruit is a great way to introduce some flavor. Lemon water is a common favorite. And, if you love to drink soda pop, STOP!; try drinking carbonated water for a healthier change.
“The brain is 75% to 86% water; keeping the brain well hydrated helps combat cognitive slowing, fatigue, memory loss and loss of focus and attention...after a trial of 1 gallon per day for 7 days my patients notice a dramatic improvement and can never go back to being dehydrated!”
“To Cure Sometimes, To Heal Often, To Comfort Always”
If you have any questions related to hydration or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the Neurology Office for more help.
Neurology Office, Joseph Kandel M.D. and Associates
“Concierge medicine without the concierge price”