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The effects of dehydration on the musculoskeletal system.

Did you know that roughly 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated according to a publication by the National Library of Medicine. Wow! That's a LOT of dry bones!

Most of us already know that it's really important to keep our bodies hydrated. But did you know that your muscles are 70-80% water (depending on age/gender)  and that your bones are a whopping 31% water?

Hydration is very important because severe dehydration can lead to a condition called hypovolemic shock. This condition can cause the body to have dangerously low blood volumes, putting one at risk for heart and kidney ailments, and possibly death. 

Well, before you get to hypovolemia due to dehydration, perhaps you will notice headaches, muscle cramping and pain, or achy joints.  Headaches are a sign that you may not be getting enough blood flow. Remember that dehydration can cause a decrease in blood volume, and blood carries oxygen to your brain. 

Muscle cramping and pain can be caused by a buildup of toxins in your body. Water helps flush out toxins. When we don't get enough water, toxins can build up in our bodies and cause inflammation which leads to pain and maybe some swelling. Dehydration can also lead to a lack of lubrication of our joints which leads to achy, painful joints. 

Drinking an adequate amount of water/fluids daily can ward off unnecessary aches and pains, and serious disease.  How much water one should drink per day is debatable: some say 6-8 eight ounce glasses per day, and some say half your body weight in ounces.  If you are feeling pain, discomfort or a general feeling of being unwell, please  check with your doctor to help you get to the bottom of things, and allow your doctor to help guide you to what's best for your particular situation. 

Sadly, some people just "don't like water". They find it boring.  However, there are lots of ways to liven up water! Add flavor packets. Infuse your water with fruit. Try Gatorade, Powerade or other hydration drinks that are flavored and contain electrolytes...if you're dehydrated, your electrolytes are probably low or depleted anyway.  

In the meantime, have a drink! Cheers to your good health! 


National Library of Medicine.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555956/)