Experts keep warning us about the importance of drinking enough water in a day, and now more reasons are emerging why we should do this. Even mild dehydration can have quite serious health consequences, say researchers from the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory.
Possible consequences of dehydration
Most of us learnt in school that the human body is about 70% water (those with a larger proportion of lean muscle have more water whereas obese people less); so when water levels in the body fall, there can be serious consequences.
We’re not talking about dehydration to the point of a dry mouth, dry skin or other palpable signs of dehydration. Even a small drop in the body’s water levels could create problems for us. Physiology professor Lawrence E.
Armstrong stresses the importance of drinking water through the day because we don’t really feel thirsty until we are already about 1 to 2% dehydrated!
So even if you have a sedentary desk job you still need to drink water. It isn’t just runners and others who are visibly sweating it out who need to replenish their fluid levels; it’s all of us.
Physical as well as mental performance can be negatively impacted by inadequate water intake.
The researchers found that dehydration reduced alertness and impaired memory. It also increased tiredness, anxiety and tension. In particular women seemed to have greater symptoms of dehydration than men.
Water therapy for chronic pain
Not only is water vital for survival and performance, it is also therapeutic in nature. Water therapy could help the millions of people who live with chronic pain who are now discovering.
Water therapy or aquatic therapy may not only help in relieving pain but could also help in improving function and speeding up the rate of recovery. In particular the pain associated with rehabilitation after injury can be controlled with hydrotherapy because working out in the water places far less stress on the weight bearing joints.
Water therapy can help people who have undergone surgery such as joint replacement, or those who have suffered traumas, fractures, and soft tissue injuries due to automobile accidents, and so on. People with bone injuries and spinal problems such as disc herniation, sprains and strains can also derive benefit.
Athletic injuries that need physiotherapy will also benefit when exercises are performed in water, which cushions impact and relieves weight from the joints. Pregnancy discomforts, arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid pain, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and various other conditions can be eased.