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Entries in hydration (3)


Tissue Talk: The importance of being hydrated

I always tout drinking more fluids, especially water, in order to work the bladder as a muscle, keeping it strong. The other side to this coin is the benefits of hydration. All tissues function better if appropriately hydrated.

While there has never been research to indicate just how much we should drink and there are varied ideas about how to compute amounts to drink, I tell my patients to use their bladder as their gauge. If you are exercising regularly and have gained control of your bladder issue, you know you are drinking enough if your symptoms subside and you are dehydrated if your symptoms relapse. You can also use your time on the toilet as a gauge: Women should urinate for 10 to 12 seconds and men should urinate for 12 to 15 seconds. If you don't make that mark, you need more fluids.

People tend to think more about hydration in warmer weather, when they're more active. But these MN winters are so dry that it is important to think about hydration year round.


The myth of sports drinks

A good friend of mine, Paul Ashman of Manic Salamander, brought this to my attention:

Sports drinks don't deliver. They have so little in the way of electrolytes in them and the most sporty thing about them is the neon artificial colors. Let's compare labels on the most famous sports drink, GatorAde, which has changed its moniker to G and G2, with V8 juice.

Here's what's in a 20 oz. bottle of G:  130 calories, 34g carbs (11%), sodium 270mg (11%), potassium 75mg (2%), sugar 34g and 0 protein, vit A, vit C, fiber, calcium or iron. 

A 12 oz. bottle of V8 contains: 70 calories, 15g carbs (5%), 630mg sodium (26%), 700mg potassium (20%), sugar 12 g, as well as 3g protein, 3g fiber, vit A (60% daily value), vit C (180%), calcium (6%), iron (6%).

V8 kicks ass and can actually replenish after exerting one's self in sports activities. V8 is a powerhouse of nutrition on the go.


Curious Connections: low back & knees

There are oh-so-many ways that the low back and knees are connected. One that has been catching my attention of late is that people who complain of chronic low back pain invariably have grainy, mealy, lumpy, unhealthy soft tissue on the popliteal fossa (backs of the knees). In the middle of the popliteal folds (transverse crease of popliteal fossa, to be precise) is Bladder 40 (UB40, Wei Zhong), a potent acupoint for low back pain. How did the ancient Chinese physicians make this connection? There are many theories and beliefs about how acupuncture came to be. But I wonder if perhaps some physicians, who were more focused on manual modalities and the cadaver studies done at the time, noticed this difference in the tissues and that perhaps this contributed to the discovery of the acupoint.

Tissues reflect the health of the structures with which they are related. Often these are contiguous (next-door or adjacent) structures, but sometimes these structures are related through their fascial connections (like the low back & knees). It is through these fascial connections that tissues can, in turn, influence the health of other organs and structures in the body. It goes both ways. So keeping the tissues healthy through hydration, nutrition, massage, manual therapies, skin brushing, etc is important to overall health of the internal organs.