18514 N. Dale Mabry Highway - Lutz, FL 33548 - Telephone: 813-968-9411 - Fax: 813-963-2407


Dr. Mike Radice

Proper Hydration For Better Health

Although we should never disregard it, proper hydration seems especially important during Summer. So, let’s get to the “why’s” and the “how’s”:

Water acts as an amazing anti-inflammatory treatment. It helps our body’s own processes address inflammation, helping reduce pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms.

It’s good for the gut. Water has the ability to raise pH in acidic conditions AND to lower pH in alkaline conditions. For the best environment possible for good gut flora and probiotics, good hydration can be key to maintaining the optimal pH. It also keeps us “regular”, which helps the GI system efficiently eliminate wastes and toxins.

It’s actually brain food. Studies indicate that even mild dehydration can impair cognitive function and mental performance. Some even note that these bad effects could be long-lasting. So, keep your brain and body hydrated to stay sharp!

Proper hydration helps with fatigue. Much like keeping the brain at its cognitive best, the muscles and lymph system need water to function efficiently. Dehydrated muscles fatigue faster and generate more waste. A dehydrated lymph system is less efficient in eliminating those wastes, causing a doubly bad effect. All this leads to the body spending way too much energy in these systems, leading to overall fatigue. Therefore, stay hydrated to stay energized!

Your skin and complexion will thank you. The only difference between a grape and a raisin? WATER! Wrinkles, crow’s feet, etc. all stem from the skin’s loss of elasticity. This is a natural process, but is accelerated by dehydration. The integumentary system (fancy word for skin) also benefits from proper hydration with fewer irritations, including eczema, acne and more.

Hopefully, the benefits of proper hydration levels I’ve outlined are worth doing something to get them. Most simply – “Drink water.” The standard response I get is, “But Dr. Mike, I do drink water.” My response to that is, “Great, drink more!”

I found a great rule of thumb for proper hydration:
Every day we need to take in 50% – 75% of our body weight in ounces of liquids to maintain our systems properly.

So, a 150 lb person should be drinking 75 – 115 oz per day. That’s in the vicinity of 3 quarts of good fluids per day.

What’s a “good” fluid? Water for sure, juices, decaffeinated teas and coffees (watch the sugar, though!), and milk (cow or other) are all good examples. Caffeinated drinks can have a diuretic effect, opposite of what we’re going for here. Also, carbonation, sugars/sweeteners, and the acidity of sodas make for a poor choice overall and one I recommend to avoid as a hydration option.

Infused waters are extremely easy and are a good means to break up the monotony of drinking “plain” water. Citrus, cucumber, even berries can add an interesting twist and keep you on track to reaching your hydration goals. I also recommend to many patients to leave your goal amount of water out in plain sight as a good reminder to drink more.

However you get there, get there. Having a goal amount is a great way to start. And some people ask me, “won’t I have to go to the bathroom more?” The answer is “Yes, and that’s a good thing. That means the body is doing its job.” So, set a goal, try your best to reach it. It can only help you Grow Healthy and Stay Well.

18514 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Lutz, FL 33548
Tel: 813.968.9411  |  Fax: 813.963.2407

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