Did you know that one of the best secrets to preventing pain is completely free? It’s something that all of us have right at home: good old H2O!
The Connection Between Staying Hydrated and Alleviating Pain
Your body already has a lot of built-in pain relievers working for you. Some of these systems are designed to get rid of harmful substances, and others contribute to healthy joints by building cartilage. Special brain chemicals called endorphins calm pain naturally and make you feel happier. Water plays a big role in all of these systems.
H2O helps with pain relief in five main ways:
Lubricating the right tissues
Getting rid of toxins and pain-causing substances
Delivering nutrients throughout the body
Stimulating the production of pain-calming endorphins
Keeping joints healthy
Staying hydrated can help to reduce inflammation in your knees, ankles, toes, shoulders, neck, elbows and wrists. Water lubricates and cushions all of your joints, keeping them as comfortable as possible. Drinking plenty of water also protects your nerves and spinal cord.
Painful Conditions That Benefit When You Drink More Water
Everyone needs water to stay happy and healthy, but this miracle liquid is especially important if you have chronic pain conditions:
Gout: Getting plenty of water can help prevent gout attacks. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why this is helpful, but it can make a big difference. Water appears to help your body clear out excess uric acid.
Migraines: Dehydration is a common trigger of migraine headaches.
Other headaches: When you’re running low on water, it can cause a dehydration headache, a pulsating or throbbing aching on both sides of the head.
Kidney stones: Not getting enough water can lead to the formation of these painful stones in some people. Staying hydrated reduces your risk significantly.
Arthritis: Did you know that about 60% of cartilage is made of water? Staying hydrated is essential for slowing down cartilage damage and preventing friction pain.
Water isn’t a magic painkiller, but staying hydrated is an essential part of pain relief. Make sure to get your 8 glasses a day if you experience any of these conditions frequently.
Other Benefits of Drinking Enough Water
Getting plenty of water is actually one of the most important things you can do for your health. The benefits of H2O go way beyond pain relief. It supports natural weight loss, good digestive health and healthy blood sugar control. It keeps your skin looking radiant and nourished. Water is even related to higher energy levels and a positive mood!
How does this wonderful liquid help you slim your tummy? For one thing, it can calm sugar cravings. Drinking water with meals helps you avoid overeating. You feel satisfied with smaller portions.
Water also benefits your digestive system. Eating lots of fiber is important for all of us, but it doesn’t do much unless you also stay hydrated. Plus, water helps you eliminate toxins from your body without any extreme cleanses.
Tips for Staying Hydrated
I know that it’s not always easy to stay hydrated. During the winter, you’re probably not always inclined to reach for a glass of cold water. Other times, you may simply forget to drink enough.
One thing that helps me to look forward to drinking water is adding fresh fruit: lemon, orange, strawberries, cranberries or blueberries. To avoid forgetting, I follow the habit of drinking one glass of water each time I eat a meal or grab a snack. Tea counts too, so a cup at night helps!