It’s in every living cell, tissue and organ, and it’s second only to oxygen as the thing we need most to survive—pure, clean water. We can’t live without it, and we can’t live well without enough of it. We are constantly in need of water as we lose water with every breath and every activity of the body. We are especially at risk for dehydration when we exercise, or we are ill—this is when dehydration, even mild dehydration, can take its toll, causing you to feel tired and drained of energy. Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk.
Dr. Julie Scarano, a doctor of chiropractic who is trained in prevention and wellness (in addition to providing care for neuromusculoskeletal conditions such as neck or back pain, for which chiropractors are most well-known) believes it’s better to prevent dehydration than to treat it. She also reminds you that the 23 intervertebral discs in your spine have high water content and that dehydration can be associated with spinal pain.
Here are some preventative tips to help avoid dehydration:
• Choose your beverages wisely. Avoid or limit fruit juices, sodas, alcohol and high-sugar sports drinks.
• Drink a glass of water during and between meals, as well as before, during and after exercise.
• Plan outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day.
• Eat foods that are high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables.
• Make water your go-to beverage of choice.