Dehydration is one of the most common underlying causes of countless health issues—everything from headaches and constipation to blood pressure problems. But most people don’t associate dehydration with joint pain and stiffness.
Many of the fluids we consume nowadays--soft drinks, tea, coffee, alcohol--act as diuretics. Several drugs also exhibit a diuretic effect. And a diet rich in protein and fat promotes fluid loss, as well. (Urea, a byproduct of protein, is a well-known diuretic.)
Some of the primary ingredients in joint supplements 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 formwork, 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. Taking joint-supportive nutrients will help, but you also need to rehydrate your joints.
You can start to do this by eliminating or cutting back on the drinks I mentioned earlier that act as diuretics. And you need to be drinking plenty of water every day--1/2 gallon a day is not unreasonable for most people.
At first, increasing the amount of water you drink may not seem like it’s doing much good. In the beginning, it may just make you go to the bathroom more often, but as the matrixes begin to swell again and regain their ability to retain water, that will subside. It’s like trying to water a plant when the surrounding soil has dried up. When you first water it, it takes a few times before it the pectin rehydrates and begins to retain the much needed water. A similar thing happens with your joints.
Another good step to help relieve joint pain is to start adding 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.
Now it's your turn: What do you do to relieve joint pain naturally?