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Aching Bones? Don’t Blame Your Age, Have a Drink!

A drink of water, that is! Many of us start to notice creaky and aching joints as we get older. For a large proportion of joint pain sufferers, the primary cause is osteoarthritis – inflammation of a joint – usually the knee. Joints that were overused or misused earlier in life are the first to protest as the cartilage becomes worn down and compressed and is no longer able to cushion the ends of the bones from rubbing against each other. When this happens, there’s pain and inflammation – osteoarthritis – and the usual remedy is painkillers and anti-inflammatories, as well as glycosaminoglycans to improve the condition of the joint.

All of these remedies work, but another major cause of joint pain and poor joint health is dehydration. Upping water intake can reduce joint and muscular pain quite a bit.

Drink for your joints

Of course, the wearing down of the cartilage and the lower levels of growth hormone, as well as diminishing bone density, are all natural and will happen to everyone to a certain extent. However, if some people’s joint pain is caused mainly by dehydration, then this is good cause to promote water. Additionally, where genuine arthritis exists, water can still help. Your cartilage contains 70-80% water and the water is held in place by the aggrecan protein, which is made of glycosaminoglycan chains. When these chains meet water, they form a gel, which cushions the joint. If you’re having joint pain, then taking meds and supplements will only work so far if you’re still dehydrated.

Seniors and water

There have been several studies that show older people don’t feel as thirsty as younger people, even when they are dehydrated. Older people tend not to drink as much water as they don’t feel the need, but the need is still there. Furthermore, older people don’t rehydrate as quickly once they do have a drink. This is why seniors should make the effort to drink small amounts of water during the day even if they don’t feel they need it – because they do!

How much water do you need?

Ideally, an adult should have a litre of water for every 25kg of their body weight every day to prevent dehydration and to maintain general health. Water is lost through breathing out, sweating, urine and faeces, as well as the internal cellular processes and digestion. Some foods, like protein-rich cheeses and meats, also “cost” more water to digest than others, so to stay on top of things, and to reduce old-age aches and pains, drink water, your liquid gold!




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