How a Simple Glass of Water Can Alleviate Joint Pain

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: Bone & Joint Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

The effects of dehydration can be far-reaching--but most people don't realize it can contribute to joint pain and stiffness, even if you don't have arthritis. 

Some of the primary ingredients in joint products are carbohydrate and protein complexes known as glycosaminoglycans (called GAGs for short). Along with sulfur compounds, these GAGs form a thick gel-like liquid that supplies cushioning, lubrication, shock absorption, and nutrition to the cartilage in our joints. But keep in mind, they are primarily only the matrix or framework, much like a sponge. For the sponge to be “full” and “cushiony,” it needs to be filled with water. As we age, these matrixes begin to break down and the ability to keep our joints hydrated lessens. 

You can rehydrate your joints by eliminating or cutting back on beverages that have a diuretic effect (coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol, for instance). And obviously, you need to be drinking plenty of distilled water every day--up to half a gallon a day. Consuming foods rich in complex carbohydrates (such as beans, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, whole fruits, and sprouted seeds) also helps. As they move through the intestinal tract, they provide a “reservoir” from which the body can pull water as it is needed.

Finally, if you really want to jumpstart the process, add meat broth to your diet. The gelatin from animal bones and joints provides the GAGs, sulfur compounds, and necessary minerals in a form that’s easily digested and used by the body.

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