This article is part of a series on improving your immune system. Find more on the immune system series here.
What Happens When the Fascial System is Dehydrated?
In short, a dehydrated fascial system leaves you feeling stiff, achy, and tired. (Check out these 5 tips to help you make sure you are drinking enough and keeping your body adequately hydrated.)
Dehydration causes fascia to become tight and prone to microtears. Microtears cause inflammation. Inflammation causes more of the fascia’s fluid to dry up and stagnate. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle that eventually will leave you feeling pretty lousy.
Dehydrated fascia also contributes to muscle weakness. Remember, fascia covers and penetrates the entirety of every muscle. When the fascia is too tight, it essentially shrink wraps the muscle. This extra pressure keeps the muscle from being able to contract fully, rendering it weaker. The same principle applies to organ function.
And this scenario only addresses the dehydration variable.
Naturally, the symptoms will be worse if you are dehydrated and add overuse, poor posture, accidents, surgery or trauma to the mix.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Make a concerted effort to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces every day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, aim to drink at least 75 ounces of water. Your urine should generally be clear if you’re drinking enough.
It’s a good idea to consume the majority of your water earlier in the day. This provides maximum lubrication for your fascia when you’re active and it needs it the most. Drinking more water earlier in the day also reduces middle of the night trips to the bathroom. It generally doesn’t take more than a few weeks for the bladder to adjust to increases in fluid consumption.
Be sure to drink a glass of water 15 minutes before you do your Myofascial Release self-treatment or are coming in to my office in Chapel Hill for an appointment. As the fascia is being manipulated, it will absorb the water like a sponge, maximizing the effectiveness of your efforts.