In my first year of naturopathic practice I met a patient who came in with some significant health concerns. She was irritable, she wasn’t sleeping, she was constipated, and she had low back pain. We talked for about an hour, reviewing her health history. When I asked about water intake, her response was “I don’t drink water” –and she wasn’t kidding. She reported drinking 4oz or less of water per day (and two cans of diet coke). I let the diet coke be for the time being, but I gave very clear instructions about increasing her consumption of pure water to 8 glasses a day. She resisted at first, but by turning it into a 2-week health “experiment,” she agreed, skeptically. A few days later, I received an email expressing her surprise and delight. It was very clear to her that her biggest health concerns were water-related. At her follow-up 2 weeks later, she was happy and hydrated –she said all four of her main health concerns were 75-90% improved.
What can we learn from this hydration miracle? The list of health benefits from being properly hydrated seems infinite! Especially living in the desert climates of Colorado, the importance of drinking enough water cannot be understated. I’d like to share with you some of my favorite reasons for staying hydrated.
It makes you smarter!
No joking! A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition states that being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills (PMID: 22855911).
It makes you (look) younger!
Dry skin is prone to wrinkling, and water helps the skin cells stay plump. Appropriately hydrated skin looks younger and softer. An additional bonus: according to chiropractors, because the vertebral discs (between the vertebrae) contain so much water, a well-hydrated spine can actually expand. An adult spine can increase up to ½ inch with proper hydration.
It makes you nicer!
Just mild dehydration can affect mood. The Journal of Nutrition showed that degraded mood and lower concentration resulted from less than 2% dehydration in females. (PMID: 22190027).
Bottom line: enjoy beauty, brains, and likability by drinking 2-3 quarts of water per day. And, if you’d like to talk about other ways to take care of your skin, your mood, or your attention span, consider making a naturopathic medicine appointment. I would be honored to work with you! Shcedule here for Dr. Grace: https://emeraldintegrativehealth.com/schedule-appointments-medical
Dr. Grace Charles was recently elected president of the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors. She is currently accepting new patients in Steamboat Springs, CO at Minds in Motion.
We are so honored to Have Cristen Malia join us at Minds in Motion. Cristen worked with us a few months ago before graduating from her master’s program in counseling. She incorporated yoga into an intensive program we built for a couple local clients who suffered from severe trauma. Cristen had the ability to weave movement into therapy, helping the clients start to have a new safety and familiarity with their bodies that couldn’t be done in talk therapy. We are learning how unsafe our bodies can feel after trauma, and science shows us there is a place at the table for doing yoga and psychotherapy together. Cristen can create safety, attention, expertise and compassion in a setting where a client can explore their healing path through movement, and moving through trauma. Steamboat is so lucky to have this skillset offered here. To schedule with Cristen, go here: https://emeraldintegrativehealth.com/schedule-appointment. Cristen also offers traditional mindfulness based counseling as well.