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It’s wet and cold and training is somewhat harder outside, particularly the boot camps and British Military Fitness sessions…
Today is all about water as it’s during this time we generally don’t drink as much as we should. It’s easy to think we don’t need it as much because we sweat less and don’t feel thirsty. However if anything it’s even more important…

In cold rainy weather the last thing I feel I need is water. After the exercise, all I crave is a hot shower.
Later on I suddenly feel very tired. The cause? dehydration. So why do we need water so much even if we don’t feel we are sweating?

Staying hydrated protects the immune system…why?

Firstly it helps the system to get rid of toxins and allow movement through the digestive tract… dehydration is often associated with constipation, this is because one of the functions of the large intestines is assist in removing and taking out water from what’s been digested.

Water is also required to produce lymph fluid, this is like a secondary circularity system whose job it is to remove bacteria from the body when fighting infections.

These are very serious points but I most commonly see joint issues and musculature problems and this is what we need to know when in pain. Fluid is necessary to allow muscle fibre to move, repair, joint mobility and transport of nutrients through the tissues, all these require water.

It is hard though in winter, especially when there’s the choice of brew and I struggle myself so here’s a few tips to help.

On average you need 2 litres of water a day and more if you exercise. Having a container at home or office that you can refill will help you monitor your consumption.

Drink little and often and when ever you feel like a cup of tea or coffee have a glass of water first, or if you feel a bit peckish have some water, often hunger is a sign of dehydration, not the need for food.

The closer to water the better! Don’t give your body a job to do when drinking, ie we know alcohol makes the liver and kidneys work hard, most fluid does..

This doesn’t mean stop everything just count pure water for volume.

Now what about “it make’s you go to the toilet more?”.. well this is true especially if you drink tea and coffee as they are stimulants and diuretics. However as your switch fluid to water it will generally balance out. Unless you drink a litre in the evening then there’s a very good chance of getting up later on 🙁

If you need to help with flavour go natural, ie lemon, honey or cooled down herbal drinks, maybe cordials without sugar and additives such as sweetener (look them up).

If you are outside training like the crazy boot people (just kidding…) a warm water with a touch of lemon and honey is really nice! Have a flask back in the car and make it a habit, take a flask walking maybe.

I hope thats useful, so on that note I’m off for a pint! Of water that is…

Keep healthy keep happy

Martina

Manchester Osteopaths
Prestwich Osteopathy