Each task you perform requires your brain to collaborate with the musculoskeletal system. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones – they must all be in good working order to allow for joints to move properly.
What fuels your machine so that you have pain-free movement with a full range of motion? Water – among other things such as exercise and proper nutrition.
Water helps keep joints lubricated. A component of synovial fluid, water is necessary to help prevent joint friction. Synovial fluid lubricates and cushions the joints and cartilage surrounding them, keeping bones from rubbing together.
Water helps build muscle to further protect the joints. Muscle tissue consists of about 75 percent water, which helps to form protein in muscles, stabilizing and protecting joints. Dehydration can reduce muscle tone by preventing muscles from contracting.
Joint pain improves with hydration. Hydrated cartilage is soft and smooth. When dehydrated, however, it can cause friction, which leads to pain. Similar to a soft, flexible wet sponge, cartilage becomes stiff when it dries out. Water also helps to reduce swelling, thereby reducing pain.
How much water you need depends on your size, weight, activity level, and environment (temperature and humidity). In general, you should aim to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water (including beverages that contain water) for each pound you weigh, every day. You don’t just have to drink your water though. Many raw vegetables and fruits such as watermelon contain a high water content.