Penrose Physical Therapy
Jan 2021
Jennifer Penrose
Jennifer Penrose

LACEY (WA) – Let’s start with something super basic. Hydration. As you may already know your body changes as we age (that’s something we are likely too aware of). Did you know the communication between your brain and the receptors that detect dehydration become less sensitive as we age? I often hear the words, “I’m not thirsty” from my 40+ clients to which I have to respond, “If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.” Try to plan out when you can drink your 8-10 glasses of water a day. An easy tip to implement is have a large glass of water ready to drink for when you wake up. Having been dehydrated throughout the night, the glass of full water can help in a variety of ways. Then try to have 4 glasses by early afternoon.

Importance of Hydration

What does water do for you physically? If you have back pain but; drink your 8-10 glasses of water a day, you will find that you feel less back pain over time when you wake up. The increased water helps clear inflammation. Increased hydration flushes the entire system. The discs will often swell from inflammation at night if you have not had enough water to drink during the day and create more pain when you wake up.

Hydration also affects physical performance and mood. Mild levels of dehydration can produce disruptions in mood and cognitive functioning. Mild dehydration produces alterations in a number of important aspects of cognitive function such as concentration, alertness’ and short term memory in children (10-12y), young adults (18-25y) and in the oldest adults (50-82y). As with physical functioning, mild to moderate levels of dehydration can impair performance on tasks such as short-term memory, perceptual discrimination, arithmetic ability, visuamotor tracking, and psychomotor skills.

Hydration can also be helpful with those who get somewhat “light headed” when moving from lying down to sitting up due to the blood pressure changing with positions. It is called orthostatic hypotension. The postural hypotension (or orthostatic hypotension) can be mediated by drinking 2-2.5 cups of water. This intake of water changes the pressor effect and your heart rate within 15-20minutes of consumption. The changes can also last up to one hour.

Health and Hydration

It’s well known that our body cannot survive without water. However, mild dehydration and chronic diseases are a concern. Good hydration is associated with a reduction in urinary tract infections, hypertension, fatal coronary heart disease, venous thromboembolism (blood clots), and cerebral infarct (strokes). There is also strong evidence that hydration does help decrease the formation of kidney stones.

Water makes up 55-60% of your body. It is a vital nutrient that you need. Your body will perform better if you are hydrated. You will do better cognitively, physically, and your mood will be better. Your tissues need to be hydrated to move better and you will feel better. I do get asked, “How can I tell if I am hydrated enough?”

Are You Hydrated?

Well… the best thing is to see that your urine color is practically clear or very faint yellow. If it is dark and concentrated, then you are likely dehydrated. It is a simple test. Sometimes it is the everyday basic things we do on a consistent basis that make all the difference in our lives. Plan out your 8-10 glasses of water a day; start small if that seems too lofty of a goal and work towards it.

I look forward to talking to you next week. I hope your 2021 is off to a great start with more water, more veggies, and lean proteins! In the meantime, feel free to email me at for any questions you may have. Or call us on (360) 456-1444.


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