Yes. Proper hydration is a fundamental requirement to maintain the health of our bodies. Our bodies are 75% water and 25% solid matter. Water is needed to eliminate waste and provide nourishment, in addition to regulating billions of other activities in the body. Hydration takes place when the minerals connect with water and provide electrolytes, cellular fluids, and tissue balance. This balance is crucial to preserve the electrical charge of our cells, as well as maintain a healthy pH of our tissues and cells.
There is a staggering number of people who are severely dehydrated at a cellular level and virtually have no idea. Many believe they are hydrating by drinking coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks, and even beer. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, all of the aforementioned beverages can be DE-hydrating! Those beverages have a diuretic effect which encourages the body to eliminate fluid, rather than retaining it. Irregular fluid levels can lead to numerous diseases including congestive heart failure, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, kidney failure, hypothyroidism, and many more.
Water is essential to the functions of our bodies and the maintenance of our cells structures. Water serves as a means to transport nutrients, hormones and more. In the presence of chronic dehydration, histamine is released to insure the organs have enough water to operate properly. If we do not provide the water necessary to do so, the body will have to pull it from its own resources. When histamine becomes overactive one can experience symptoms involved with allergies, asthma, constipation, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain and inflammation that presents itself in various ways such as a migraine headache.
How is dehydration related to joint pain?
Cartilage is composed of mainly water and as these surfaces drift over one another cells can become worn. New cartilage is supposed to replace these damaged cells but require water to transport the nutrients necessary to perform the repair. This can quickly escalate into chronic joint pain and/or conditions that cause joint pain. With regards to Gout, proper hydration is also essential to carry the uric acid out of the body through urination and bowel movements.
Cellular dehydration can negatively impact just about every part of the body. These imbalances can cause:
Pain: Joint pain, Muscle Pain, Headaches, Arthritis, Brittle Bones
Skin: Itchy, Dry, Psoriasis, Eczema
Hair: Dry, Coarse, Alopecia
Nails: Dry and Brittle
Eyes: Dry and Irritated
Colon: IBS, Constipation, Colitis
Immune System: Allergies
Digestive System: Acid Reflux and Ulcers
Mental Health: Depression and Mood Swings
Blood Sugar Imbalances: Type 2 Diabetes and Hypoglycaemia
Heart: Abnormal Blood Pressure and Abnormal Cholesterol
Kidneys: Fluid Retention
Well being: Poor Sleep, Low Energy, Food Cravings (sugar)
By the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. All of the above are warning signs of potential dehydration. Mild to moderate cases can usually be resolved with proper water intake. Severe dehydration can be a bit more complex to address. Simply consuming the proper amount of water won’t necessarily deliver the body from this condition given the body has already reached a point of chronic electrolyte imbalance. Water and electrolyte replacement will be necessary to correct at this stage. Distilled and reverse osmosis water supplies could be useful during short term applications for someone that does NOT have a hydration problem. These water sources could be used during a quick cleansing time period as they act like diuretics and tend to push minerals out of the body. In the presence of dehydration, it is important to stick with a good, pure filtered water option. Do not be fooled by substitutes that claim to be healthy, such as Vitamin water. You can safely enjoy a high-quality coconut water, some yogurt, and cottage cheese, all in moderation, to help restore the electrolyte imbalance. A cup of full fat yogurt with 1 tsp of Fenugreek powder is said to be an extremely valuable home remedy. Be sure you are consuming a high quality salt on your fresh (NOT processed) foods. Avoid table salt. Taking an Epsom salt bath can also help to absorb magnesium through the skin and as a bonus can help relieve the pain, soreness, and inflammation associated with chronic dehydration.
In terms of water needs per individual, we recommend about 1/2oz per pound of your body weight, adjusted up during times of water loss like sweating.