The Importance of Hydration in Recovery
During active periods of drug or alcohol addiction we neglect to take care of our bodies. As part of recovery, hydration must play a central role in our mission to become healthier. A person who is in recovery may not feel like drinking a lot of water. However, the body needs this fluid to heal and going without it will only make the recovery process more difficult.
We are watery!
The Journal of Biological Chemistry states that the brain and heart are made up of 73% water; the lungs 83%; the skin 64%; the muscles and kidneys 79%. Even the bones are 31% water. Dehydration is a condition that occurs when the loss of bodily fluids (water) exceeds the intake. Dehydration can negatively affect us to a remarkable extent, making us physically fatigued, mentally inattentive and less focused. The common headache is usually a great sign of dehydration. This is cause when our system draws water from the head to supply the body.
How to increase water intake
We always hear about the importance of drinking water and most of us know that we should consume 8-10 glasses per day, but more often than not, we don’t make that quota. However, there are simple practices to ensure we are getting enough water every day:
- Start your day with a glass of water when you wake up.
- Keep a record of the amount consumed
- Add a squeeze from half a lemon to water to make it more interesting.
- Consume foods that have high water content, such as soups, vegetables, juices, and fruit.
- Create more incentives to drink water by trying vitamin water or natural-flavoured fruit squash.
- Avoid too many caffeinated beverages as they can increase fluid loss.
- Increase water intake during exercise and period of increased activity.
- Use reusable bottles. Tap water is cheaper than bottled and more environmentally friendly.
- Remember, hunger is often confused with thirst. Drink water before reaching for a snack.
Hydration during recovery
Water is very important as it plays a role in almost every bodily function. It helps us retain the required levels of moisture in our sensitive areas – eyes, nose, or mouth etc. as well as blood, bones, and the brain. In addition, water acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints and helps protect our spinal cord. It also eliminates toxins from our organs, aids digestion, improves focus and concentration, and increases energy.
During physical recovery, our body uses a considerable amount of energy and fluid trying to expel toxins through the urine. The regular turnover of fluids means taking in more water than we are used to, hence why we should make a conscientious effort to hydrate our body. Water is vital for overall health and wellbeing and is an integral part of addiction recovery and treatment. In addition to bodily systems and mood, hydration also helps us get through withdrawal, detoxification, and abstinence from intoxicants of any kind.