We’re always being told to drink water, in the media and here at Beehive Healthcare by all of our professionals. This is particularly suggested at the end of treatments such as massage or acupuncture. But why?
What’s so good about water?
During physical treatments, such as a massage, toxins are released; unhealthy cells which are then transported by the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of your immune system.
The lymphatic system has multiple roles:
- Drainage : it acts as a one-way drainage system by moving fluid from body tissues into the blood circulation
- Help fight infection: Lymph fluid it contains white blood cells called lymphocytes, which fight infection
- Waste disposal: it gets rid of any cell waste.
Lymph fluid travels through your body, circulates through your tissues to cleanse them and keep them healthy and then drains away through the lymphatic system.
When you don’t drink enough water, the lymphatic system slows down its flow, which can result in lymphatic fluid retention with all the toxic cellular waste that is supposed to be moved away from the body. Drinking water actually reduces the chances of fluid retention as it means the lymphatic system can operate properly.
This in turn means that the cells can’t get enough nutrients and cleansing they need. At this point, rather than repairing cells and tissues, the lymph is unable to perform its function and remove infection or toxins.
Aside from the lymphatic system, proper hydration serves in so many processes within the body. It enables you to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
When you drink enough water, you serve your body with a tool to balance health and well-being, you create a harmonious and healthy space for your body’s organs, systems and functions.
There are a lot of myths surrounding hydration. Thirst is our body’s way of telling us to hydrate and it is finely tuned to do so along with our organs keeping our body balanced. Sometimes though we are so far away from being aware of our body signals, though that we do not know the messages to go and grab that bottle or cup of fluid – there are so many designed cups/mugs/bottles/vessels/ these days that you easily be able to treat yourself to one which would go along with your unique style and make you want to drink that water from it.
If water is too boring for you when it comes to flavour – you can infuse your favourite fruits throughout the night and have water with your favourite flavour ready for the next day.
Doesn’t all liquid have the same effect?
Not all, no. Certainly you can get fluids from food as well as water. And many drinks do contribute to hydration, just not as effectively as water. Some drinks, however, actually work against hydration.
For example alcohol is a diuretic. It acts on the kidneys to make you pee out much more than you take in, which is why you need to go to the toilet so often when you drink. Because alcohol makes you go to the toilet, it can quickly lead to dehydration, which causes the symptoms associated with bad hangovers. It’s also why your mouth might feel like the driest place on earth the next day. So, unfortunately alcohol is not going to hydrate you.