If you’ve been in to see us, there’s one thing all our therapists recommend after a massage session:
“Drink plenty of water.”
The Internet is full of information on hydration, but it turns out that the Internet is as good at spreading myths and misconceptions as it is at spreading facts.
Here are 7 myths about water to watch out for, and the facts you need to maximize your self care.
1. Drinking a glass of water before taking a bath helps lower blood pressure.
This simply isn’t true. According to the University of Washington, blood pressure is controlled by hormones, not your water intake. Decreasing the salt and sodium in your diet and increasing physical activity is the best way to lower your blood pressure.
2. Everyone should drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
This oft-repeated rule of thumb is just a starting point. Every body is different, and fluid intake should increase with heat and exercise to stay hydrated. But there’s no need to force-feed yourself water if your urine is a pale yellow and odorless and you’re not thirsty.
3. Caffeine dehydrates you. It’s like drinking negative water.
Caffeine is a dihurettic, which means it makes you need to urinate more often. According to the Mayo Clinic, however, caffeine poses no real risk of dehydration. While cafeinnated beverages like coffee and soda can be considered part of your fluid intake, water is still best. Water has no extra calories and doesn’t cause headaches or insomnia the way cafeinne does. Water, in fact, has been shown to reduce headaches and staying hydrated generally improves sleep.
4. Water keeps your skin looking young.
According to UW, your skin is about 30% water, so it naturally follows that staying hydrated is key for healthy skin. It should be remembered, however, that a number of other factors determine the health and longevity of your skin including genetics, age, sun exposure, diet, and more.
Hydrating may make a visible difference in someone who’s usually dehydrated, but you can’t expect that drinking your eight-a-day will keep you looking twenty forever. While water is not a magical youth potion, it is essential for maintaining health and that goes for your skin as much as any other part of you.
5. Drinking cold water helps you lose weight.
The logic goes like this: your body burns approximately 8 extra calories warming up a glass of ice water in your stomach so your body can process it. You do that ten times, and that’s a total of 80 calories.
That sounds pretty good, right? It might even help you burn off that stick of string-cheese you binged on or that small handful of grapes. Yep, that’s it. You can’t expect dramatic weight loss results from drinking ice-cold water.
Staying generally hydrated is essential to weight loss, but the primary proven method is a combination of increasing physical activity while decreasing calorie intake.
Drinking plenty of water may not offer all the magical benefits some Facebook memes may promise, but the real health benefits are well worth remembering this important aspect of health.
As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.
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