Hydration and Joint Health

Hydration and Joint Health

There are many possible causes of joint pain. Arthritis, Lyme's Disease, muscle strains and even barometric pressure are possible causes of joint pain and stiffness. But did you know that dehydration can also be a source of joint pain? That's right, your daily intake of water largely affects not only your overall health, but the health of your joints as well. To better understand just how water affects your joints, it's important to know what joints are and how they work.

Take your knees for example, the hinge, or joint, is what allows for movements like walking, running, squatting or dancing. The joint is comprised of the femur, tibia, and fibula bones in your leg. These bones are held together by ligaments, and are able to move across one another thanks to the cushion-like meniscus and articulate cartilage. A liquid called synovial fluid fills the space around the cartilage and joint, allowing for easy movement.

In order to stay healthy, joints require three things: water, proteoglycans, and collagen. Water lubricates your joints while proteoglycans draw in and hold the water in place. Collagen is the protein that keeps the proteoglycans there. When your body lacks water, the proteoglycans have nothing to draw in to keep your joints lubricated and healthy. Water also helps your body to maintain an adequate blood volume which sends nutrients through your blood and into your joints, and helps to move waste out of your joints.

While water is not a miracle cure to joint pain, especially for those suffering from arthritis or joint pain due to other external factors, making the conscious effort to drink water throughout the day is a sure-fire way to help keep your joints well lubricated.

Good joint health enables us to lead full, healthy, and active lives. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends that women drink 91 ounces of water daily and men drink 125 ounces. It can be an adjustment when trying to remember to drink more water throughout the day....

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