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Can Drinking Water Make You More Flexible?
What yogi doesn’t want to improve their flexibility?
Practice, proper breathwork, and technique can go a long way for overall flexibility. There is another factor that can help increase the flexibility of something you INGEST. THE WATER!
Water is probably the most underrated nutrient of all. Not only is it responsible for beautiful skin, but it is also responsible for all cellular functioning like:
- provide cushioning for our tissues, joints and organs
- transport oxygen and nutrients
- digestion and elimination of waste
- regulation of body temperature
- circulate blood and lymph
- absorb heat from muscles.
Most people drink less pure, unaltered water than they should for these processes to work optimally. In fact, it’s estimated that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Mild dehydration has been reported to slow metabolism, increase hunger, trigger daytime fatigue, and hinder concentration.
What most people don’t know is that chronic dehydration can also affect flexibility or our ability to adapt to vinyasas and difficult sequences. How?
Throughout the body we have connective tissue called fascia. Fascia is a three-dimensional tissue that wraps around every muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, organ, gland, nerve, and every cell. Our fascia keeps everything in its place. Animals have them too. Imagine an uncooked chicken leg. You may notice the thin, stretchy, somewhat slimy white film covering the entire leg, but also between the skin and the muscles and between the muscle segments. We have this same vaporous fabric and when fully hydrated it is stretchy and slippery. When the fascia is dry, it is dry and stiff. Our fascia can be compared to saran film. If you try to slide 2 pieces of plastic wrap over each other, it won’t work. They will stick to each other. However, if one of them gets a little wet, they will slide over each other. No gluing.
Much like saran film, when dry the fascia adheres to the surrounding tissue making movement with full freedom or ease more difficult or limited.
Your water needs are extremely variable and depend on your overall health, activity level, metabolic rate, time of day and temperature (including air humidity) from where you are. The standard recommendation for daily fluid intake is to drink one-half to one ounce per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should consume 75 to 150 fluid ounces per day. If you’ve lost water weight during a workout or event, it’s important to also consume fluids to replace that weight. It is recommended that for every pound lost during exercise, an athlete drinks approximately 20 ounces of fluid.
If you only drink one glass of water a day now, don’t start drinking a few liters a day thinking it will benefit you. It’s actually best to increase your water intake gradually to avoid stress on the kidneys, puffiness under the eyes, swelling around the ankles, or other signs of inflammation. Too much water too soon can even be fatal for someone who is severely dehydrated or dehydrated for years.
To gradually increase your water consumption, here are some useful tips:
Add only one glass of water per day to the amount of water you have already drunk. If you drink one glass a day, make it 2 glasses a day.
You should feel the need to urinate more. If so, add another glass of water to your daily water intake.
If, however, you do not have an increased need to urinate, reduce by half a glass and as you go, increase your water intake more slowly. Instead of adding one glass at a time, add half a glass or even less until you reach your hydration goals.
As your tissues become hydrated, your body will begin to eliminate excess salt. Now is a good time to start adding a small pinch of unrefined sea salt, such as Celtic sea salt, to your water. If you smell salt, you’ve added too much. And don’t worry – it won’t cause water retention like typical table salt. Celtic sea salt tends to do the opposite due to its electrolytes and balanced mineral content. Typical table salt often contains aluminum anti-caking agents and other additives linked to fluid retention, kidney problems and high blood pressure. THIS is the type of salt to avoid.
If you’ve ever been drinking enough “electrolyte-rich” water every day, you might be interested in how to improve water absorption for the increased flexibility aspects:
In the morning, drink a glass of lukewarm water. This will rehydrate you after several hours without water and help eliminate waste products accumulated during nighttime metabolic processes.
For best absorption, it is recommended to sip (rather than swallow) room temperature water throughout the day to ensure the liquid is absorbed and used effectively instead of being quickly drained of. the stomach.
As a general rule, water should not be consumed too close to meals as this dilutes hydrochloric acid in the stomach, aiding digestion. Water should be consumed 45-30 minutes before each meal and 1-2 hours after each meal.
Ideally, you should drink your salt/electrolyte-rich water after massage, body work (including foaming/body rolling), yoga, and other stretching sessions. Your tissues are more susceptible to water absorption after direct fascia manipulation and treatment.
Manage your stress. Physiological and psychological stress can affect the way we absorb water. Stress can actually make us more dehydrated. So relax, rehydrate and release!
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