Water is an incredibly important aspect of our daily lives. We drink water, cook with water, bathe in water, and take part in many other activities involving water.
• While most people think our bodies are 70% water, the answer is a bit more complicated. Adult bodies vary on average from 50% to 65% depending on age, sex, and fitness level. Children on average are usually somewhere between 65% and 78%.
• How much water should you drink? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 3.7 liters (15.5 cups). The adequate intake for women is 2.7 liters (11.5 cups). However, this number can vary based on your health, your level of activity, and environmental conditions.
• Many of us have heard of the “8/8 rule”, or 8 ounces of water, 8 times a day. Why? Because it’s easy to remember. Since following this formula puts both men and women under their recommended daily adequate amount, it may not result in proper hydration for most people.
• EVERY system in your body depends on water to function properly. For example, water flushes toxins or waste out of vital organs (Digestive), carries nutrients to your cells (Circulatory), and provides a moist environment for ear, nose, and throat tissues (Respiratory). Your body uses water in its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate temperature and maintain other bodily functions.
Dehydration – When your body uses more water than it’s taking in.
• You lose water through breath, perspiration, urine, and bowel movements.
• Symptoms of dehydration (MILD)
– Dry, sticky mouth
– Sleepiness or tiredness
– Thirst – Decreased urine output
– Dry skin
– Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Symptoms of dehydration (SEVERE)
– Extreme thirst
– Irritability or confusion in adults
– Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants
– Very dry mouth, skin, and mucous membranes
– Lack of sweating
– Little or no urination- dark yellow or amber color
As massage therapists, we tell our clients to drink plenty of water. Why?
• Drinking water before a massage is recommended, as it makes it easier to perform deep work because the muscles are easier to manipulate (think dry sponge vs. wet sponge).
• Drinking water after a massage helps the body stay hydrated. This ensures the kidneys and other organs can process the various waste substances that move throughout your body. Hydration also aids your muscles, fascia, and skin in staying limber after your massage.
Tap, bottled, or filtered water?
• Many bottled water distributors bottle and sell from a municipal water source (tap water) that has been filtered. The FDA regulates how these are labeled and does weekly source testing.
• Bottled water is expensive (between 400 and 2,000 times more costly than tap water) and takes an extensive toll on the environment. Roughly 70% of plastic water bottles do not get recycled. Of those that do, only about 7% become new bottles.
• Bottled water most often contains microplastics, which has led to the rise in plastic pollution in our oceans, lakes, and streams. It has also contributed to plastic pollution found in plants, animals, and even humans.
• Tap water is tested daily to adhere to EPA standards. Tap water may contain heavy metals, traces of pharmaceutical medications, and other contaminants despite these standards.
• Tap water goes through a variety of processes to ensure water quality. However, those processes are not the same across the board and differ by community. The type of pipes in your home can also contribute to the overall quality of the water as older pipes can lead to a higher risk for contamination.
• Filtered water is tap water that undergoes further filtration to remove additional contaminants. The upfront cost is a bit more in the beginning, but over time saves you more money and is safer than the other two options.
• There are plenty of filtering systems for water depending on your level of filtration needs. These include ultraviolet light, carbon granular filters, carbon block filters, and reverse osmosis. A test of your local water supply will give you the best idea of which type of filter is best for you. However, any filter at all is better than going without one.
Sources: 1. How Much of Your Body Is Water https://www.thoughtco.com/how-much-of-your-body-is-water-609406 2. Nutrition and Healthy Eating http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283 3. Dehydration http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dehydration/DS00561/DSECTION=symptoms
4. Synthetic Polymer Contamination in Bottled Water https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6141690/ 5. Should Bottled Water Be Banned? – Top 4 Pros and Cons https://www.procon.org/headlines/should-bottled-water-be-banned-top-4-pros-and-cons/ 6. Water Treatment https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/water_treatment.html
7. Importance of Water Quality and Testing https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/water_quality.html 8. Drugs in Our Drinking Water? https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/drugs-in-our-drinking-water
9. Millions in Michigan exposed to potentially unsafe chemicals in their water https://www.freep.com/story/news/2017/07/26/millions-michigan-exposed-potentially-unsafe-chemicals-water/509172001/
Irene’s Myomassology Institute is a nationally accredited massage therapy school located in Southfield, Michigan. Scholarships and Financial Aid are available for qualified students to help them pay school tuition. Our students graduate with a state license prepared for a successful career as a massage therapist. Irene’s lifetime job placement services maintain an abundance of massage career opportunities for our alumni. Irene’s student massage clinic provides affordable massage to the public with discounted prices for seniors and veterans. Irene’s massage supply store equips massage therapists with the necessities to manage a successful career.