What do you reach for as a beverage before a meal and as you eat a meal? Is it pop? Milk? Water? Juice? Tea? Coffee? Alcohol?
What you reach for to nourish your body can have a huge impact on your aching elbow joint and the pain of tennis elbow.
Joint Anatomy Made Easy For Those With Tennis Elbow
Your elbow joint is constructed like other joints in your body. It includes the articular cartilage that covers the bones, a joint capsule, a synovial membrane, synovial fluid, ligaments, and fat pads. Overlying this anatomy are muscles.
Inside the articular capsule there are nerves, but no blood supply. Instead, the blood supply lies outside the capsule.
The elbow joint is nourished from the blood supply slowly by nutrients diffusing into the joint space itself through synovial fluid and by exercise.
Inside the joint, the synovial fluid nourishes the joint. This synovial fluid is very high in hyaluronic acid, glucose and all the vitamins, minerals and electrolytes found in your blood. This is our first clue that leads to what to drink when you have tennis elbow.
The synovial fluid also has a high water content, too; our second clue. You can think of this synovial fluid as one of the two ways a joint is lubricated. The second way is by the cartilage producing a film of water and electrolytes / ions on the joint surface.
Get Ready For Clue #3 And Clue #4
But there are times when synovial fluid won’t nourish your joints. Inflammation interferes with the nourishment because the synovial fluid now includes immune complexes, immunoglobulins, and inflammatory compounds like prostaglandins. This is our third clue to what to drink as a beverage during the day.
And if the pH of the synovial fluid is acidic, the fluid won’t nourish your joints, either. Thus, this is our 4th clue as to what to drink.
Anatomy Provides The Clues; Now Apply Them To What You Drink
So let’s examine those anatomical clues and deduct what is best to drink when your elbow is killing you and not recovering quick enough.
First, let’s collect those clues.
Clue 1. Synovial fluid is high in nutrients.
Clue 2. Synovial fluid is high in water.
Clue 3. Inflammation produces inflammatory compounds that end up in the synovial fluid.
Clue 4. Synovial fluid should not be acidic.
Use The Anatomical Clues To Solve Your Tennis Elbow
If your beverage choices are coffee, tea, fruit juices, vegetable juices, sweetened beverages, pop, milk and water, which ones are the best choice for you with tennis elbow?
You’d want a beverage that is high in nutrients. High in water content. One that doesn’t produce any inflammation. And one that doesn’t cause an acidic reaction in the body.
Can I Still Drink My Morning Coffee Or Tea?
That leaves coffee out. Coffee contains caffeine, which produces a diuretic effect in the body. This means more water comes out of you in the form of urine, than what went in when you drink coffee. Coffee also causes an acidic response in the body, which is bad for your joints, especially those trying to heal.
Tea has a lower level of caffeine than coffee, which means that its overall effect is still to pull water out of your body. Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, is quite an interesting doctor. He proved that in many cases, what people don’t need is drugs like painkillers, but water!
The Truth About Caffeine And Caffeinated Beverages
According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, coffee and tea act on the central nervous system and create energy from ATP and from releasing calcium from its stored form in the cells. After this is done repeatedly, the stored amounts of ATP and calcium dwindle down to very low levels.
This is why people who drink these beverages end up depending on them for energy boosts.
But the real problem is that when the energy is diverted from these two stores, the capacity of the body to create energy from water is very low.
Eventually the person becomes dehydrated, and with dehydration come a whole host of health issues. His book is essential reading for you if you drink coffee and tea or take painkillers for pain.
Are Fruits And Vegetable Juices Okay?
Fruit juices can provide your joints with antioxidants and electrolytes, so they’re a good choice of beverage for a few servings a day, but don’t overconsume them.
Too much juice at one time can create a blood sugar rush, and the insulin that is needed to counteract it will produce more inflammation. (See the article, How Carbohydrate Foods Can Cause Inflammation in Your Elbow)
Vegetable juices are a good choice of beverage because vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and often electrolytes. You can juice up a great drink with tomato, a bunch of green onions, clove of garlic, green pepper, a parsnip, and 2 carrots. It’s tasty and nourishing. But is it enough? No!
Your joints still need the #1 beverage – water!
What About Carbonated Beverages And My Achy Elbow Joint?
Sweetened beverages and pop do you more harm than good. Sugar creates inflammation in the body and results in an acidic condition. Even diet pop is really of no help, because it can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate water and food.
How About Good Old Milk?
And milk is composed of a high percentage of water, but for some people who are allergic to it, milk can create inflammatory compounds in the body, and to someone with tennis elbow, these inflammatory compounds are headed straight for the elbow joint!
An Evening Cocktail Won’t Hurt Me, Right?
Alcohol is dehydrating to the body, and the more dehydrated you are, the more elbow pain you will have. Dehydration causes pain in the body anywhere, not just at the elbow joint.
What To Drink Is An Awfully Simple Solution
So again, your #1 beverage to drink when you have lateral epicondylitis – tennis elbow, is WATER! Plain old water. Do drink the number of ounces of water equal to at least half of your body weight in pounds each day. And see the difference in pain level.
Remember that your elbow joint is nourished from blood supply when you exercise. When you exercise, you can easily increase this blood supply to your elbow joint.
So do learn the best way to exercise your elbow joint by reading Tennis Elbow Secrets Revealed. This book will change your life, too!