Written by: Michelle Cooper Day, Women’s Pelvic Health Physical Therapist
– and the down side for many women…
We all know about the benefits of water:
- Regular bowel movements – helps with digestion and keeps our bowels moving
- Healthy skin – moisturizes skin from within, decreases wrinkles
- Flushes out toxins – urination and sweating after drinking water rids our body of waste preventing kidney stones and UTI’s
- Immune system booster – keeps our eyes and mouth moist to repel infection
- Headache prevention – dehydration is the leading cause of headaches
- Increases our energy – keeping the brain hydrated helps us to think, focus, and concentrate
- Zero calories – adding some cucumber or a few berries gives water a natural flavor
- Joint lubricant – keeps our joints moving smoothly and muscles fluid
- Mood booster – water is required for the brain and body to produce the right neurotransmitters to prevent depression and insomnia
- Keeps us cool – water is required so we can sweat to cool our body on those hot summer days
How much water should you drink is a common question? Estimated amount for women is eight 8 ounce glasses per day with a gradual increase to that amount if you have been drinking less. A half ounce per pound of body weight is the recommended amount with more on hot days or if you are working out and sweating. Your urine should be slightly clear yellow in color and not dark.
Unfortunately, many women do not drink enough water because they report it increases their urinary incontinence episodes especially when exercising. If pelvic floor muscles are not functioning as they should, urine can leak from the bladder despite our best efforts. Kegels are often recommended to help the muscles strengthen but Kegels aren’t for everyone (see previous article) and many women do not know if they are actually doing a Kegel correctly.
Michelle Cooper Day, MPT, is a specially trained physical therapist that treats women’s pelvic floor muscles. She can determine if these muscles are flexible, coordinated and strong and help you with a plan to improve your bladder control so you can drink the necessary water to keep you healthy. These visits are covered by insurance under physical therapy including Medicare.
Recipe: Cucumber, Mint, Cranberry Spa Water
- Fill a pitcher with water.
- Add slices of cucumber, washed mint leaves crushed, and fresh cranberries. You can substitute blueberries, strawberries, pineapple slices. I tend to avoid lemon and citrus fruits because it can irritate the bladder.
- Refrigerate until chilled.
- Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy the fresh flavor!
- Store in the refrigerator.