The Relationship Between Hydration & Inflammation

The Relationship Between Hydration & Inflammation

The long hot summer days are coming, bringing a higher risk for dehydration and chronic disease complications.

Dehydration, inflammation, and pain are not commonly linked, but research shows they are closely related. While dehydration does not cause symptom flare-ups, not drinking enough fluids can worsen your pain.

Watch the video: The Relationship Between Hydration & Inflammation

How Staying Hydrated Helps Manage Pain and Inflammation

Our bodies are 60% water and our organs require water to function correctly. Without sufficient fluids, our bodies struggle to flush out toxins and keep cartilage and other tissues lubricated.

Our bodies store most of the water in connective tissue, such as tendons, ligaments, and joints, to act as a lubricant. When we become dehydrated, the body will redistribute the water where needed. When this happens, toxins can accumulate, and our joints lose much-needed lubrication, resulting in pain and inflammation.

Additionally, drinking enough water increases synovial fluid production. Synovial or joint fluid is a thick liquid between the joints that prevents bone friction and ensures that joints move smoothly.

Therefore, maintaining optimal hydration levels helps flush out toxins and increase joint lubrication, which can help reduce inflammation and pain. 

Tips for Staying Hydrated During Summer

It can be challenging to ensure proper hydration daily, especially during summer, but these tips can help you stay hydrated.

Drink a Glass of Water Upon Awakening

Starting your day by drinking a full glass of water will help rehydrate your body and get you on the right track to staying hydrated throughout the day.

A helpful tip is to keep a glass of water on your nightstand to drink in the morning when you first wake.


Keep Track of Your Water Intake

Monitor your water intake by starting a hydration journal. Remember to write down how much water you drink daily and record any symptoms you may experience.

Gradually increase the amount of water you drink per day and see if your pain and inflammation improve. 

As the temperature rises during summer, you may need to adjust your water intake, but having a baseline can make it easier to know how to adjust them as the seasons change.

It’s a good idea to bring your journal to your next doctor’s appointment so you can work together to create an action plan to address your hydration needs and ongoing symptoms.


Set Goals and Make Hydration a Habit

Set daily hydration goals for yourself. Some people find it easier to set hourly goals rather than daily ones, which works well because it can help you maintain hydration throughout the day.

Try drinking water with meals and substitute sugary drinks for water. You can supplement your water intake with the foods you eat. For example, watermelon, cucumber, strawberries, celery, and tomatoes have high water content and can also provide electrolytes that help balance fluids in the body.

Before adding any foods to your diet, speak to your doctor to ensure these are recommended for your condition.

The Relationship Between Hydration & Inflammation

Set Reminders

Use your phone, fitness tracker, or smartwatch to remind yourself to hydrate regularly. Additionally, you can place reminders such as Post-it notes around your home or office reminding you to drink some water.


Carry a Water Bottle

Carrying a refillable water bottle wherever you go is a convenient way to help you hydrate when you are on the go.


Flavor Your Water

Some find drinking plain water to be boring. If this is your case, try infusing your water with fresh fruits such as lemon, strawberries, cucumbers, or herbs like mint. 

The risk of dehydration during summer is high, making it a real concern for everyone, especially chronic disease patients.

Remember to discuss your unique water intake needs with your doctor and motivate yourself to reach your daily hydration goals.

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