Let the Water Flow!
How much water do you really drink? I have a habit of filling 3 – 32 ounce bottles every day and that’s how I can best keep track. What is your method for remembering to drink and when you drink your water? I find that it’s much more difficult when I have a lot of different tasks on my plate. To be on the safe side, I start with 32 ounces first thing in the morning, well before any breakfast. If you drink coffee, it takes even more water to keep you hydrated.
I once had a client who came to me with excruciating knee pain. When I assessed her lats (vastus lateralis) I discovered she was totally dehydrated. How did I know? The knees are at the crossroads of the body. It’s the only place where the entire fascia comes together. There are only tendons and ligaments crossing over and attaching to bone at the knee. When dehydrated, the tendon/ligaments are flat. When hydrated, the tendons/ligaments are nice and pulpy.
I asked her what she drank on a daily basis. She said she drank two full (16 oz) glasses of milk and at least 2 12-ounce coffees’ with milk. I decided to ask if she was open to a little experiment. She said yes and all I did was ask her to add ½ cup of water to her diet every time she drank anything. Both coffee and milk are diuretics, which means they take lots of water to be digested in the body. This means that the water in her body gets used to processes the milk and coffee and subsequently peed out. By adding water before she drinks her diuretics, her body will have a chance of hydrating better.
She was a High School athlete and her pain had been so bad, she wasn’t able to participate in Track & Field, her favorite extra curricular activity. With the new habit of adding water before every diuretic, she was down to 1 glass of milk and 1 coffee/milk per day in two weeks time and was able to run again. In three weeks, she was able to participate in all Track & Field events. By the fourth week she went to the state finals. She told me she got more energy from drinking water and no longer needed coffee to stay energized. Besides, she said; “When I drink the ½ cup of water I feel full and don’t need anything else.”