The Importance of Water in your Diet and for Bone and Joint Health
Everyone keeps saying you need to drink more water. But why do you need to drink more water, and how much do you need to drink? These are two very common, and very important, questions and the answers to these may not be as complicated as you might think.
Drinking water helps to maintain the balance of body fluids. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water. The water in your body helps in digestion, absorption of nutrients, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, mobility of joints, and the maintenance of body temperature.
How Drinking Water Can Help with Weight Loss
- It can keep you from mindlessly eating extra calories or snacking since our body perceives thirst in the form of hunger
- It can help you eat less at dinner because it helps satisfy you. Drink a glass of water 10 minutes prior to eating your meal.
- It keeps you from retaining water in your body by improving your kidney function
- It aids in digestion and absorption of nutrients from your diet.
How Drinking Water Can Improve Bone Health
- Your bones are made up of approximately 33% water.
- Water carries calcium and other nutrients through your body to help with bone growth
- It helps in the production of bone marrow
- Water helps fight against osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal issues.
How Drinking Water Can Improve Joint Health
- Water helps keep our joints lubricated
- Water comprises 70-80% of the cartilage in our body.
- Water helps maintain our synovial fluid which works like a sponge, with water filling the space in the synovial membrane to reduce friction and cushion the joint.
- Water prevents the cartilage in our joints such as our meniscus in our knees, vertebral discs in our spine, etc., from becoming more frail or likely to tear, compress, or herniate.
The question is then, how much water do you need to drink? In a perfect world, one would consume approximately ½ their body weight in ounces of water. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you will ideally drink 100 ounces of water a day. That may seem like a lot, and for some, they may not be anywhere close to that amount. Create a strategy that will help you get there gradually so that you don’t overhydrate and flush out a lot of the good nutrients in your body. I recommend starting with simply adding a small glass of water to your consumption 10 minutes before you eat your meals. From there, over the course of a few weeks, add in a few extra water breaks throughout your day.