By Emily F. Frye, M.D.
Do you ever suffer from one of the following?
- Feeling tired
- Frequent headaches
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Dry mouth
- Trouble concentrating
These are frequent symptoms for many of us. If you are having symptoms such as these, you should make an appointment to see your physician or medical provider to discuss them.
There is one thing that you can try in the meantime to see if your symptoms improve. What is this magical cure? Drinking water!
While it is true some people are limited in the amount of water that they can drink due to their medical conditions, most of us do not drink enough water. In the nearly two decades I have been a family physician, I have learned that most people drink less than half of the amount of water they need on a daily basis.
Our brains are mostly water. When we do not drink enough water, we can suffer from frequent headaches, feel depressed and have trouble concentrating. We also may feel fatigued and not have energy to do the things we need and want to do. Our joints must be bathed with joint fluid to keep moving without pain. Unfortunately, when we don’t drink enough water our joints get stiff and start to ache. Our kidneys filter our blood, and we avoid constipation and absorb nutrients from food better when we are well hydrated.
So how much water is enough water? That is a conversation to have with your medical provider. It depends on many things such as your age, weight, sex, medical conditions and medications or supplements that you take. It is safe to say, though, that no matter what the amount, you should drink more water than anything else. That means you should drink more water than coffee. You should drink more water than tea. You should drink more water than juice or sports drinks or lemonade. Water should be the main refreshment that you drink.
Give it a try! Drink more water than any other beverage, and if you do not have a medical condition that limits your fluid intake, then increase the amount of water that you drink. You will be surprised with how good you can feel after making this change.
I would love to hear from you after you start drinking more water and the positive effects that drinking more water has for you.
Dr. Emily F. Frye is a Board-Certified Family Medicine doctor and lead physician at WellMed at Floresville.