Our moms all nagged us to bring our water bottles to school, and the doctors never tire of the refrain that drinking water does wonders for your body’s overall health. But what are the specific benefits that a water-chugging habit will bring, especially as it relates to kidney health?
FLUSHING OUT TOXINS AND EXCESS SODIUM
Studies show that drinking water helps reduce bloating after a meal by flushing toxins and sodium from the body, at least in the short term. However, water can’t counteract the negative effects of a high-sodium diet in the long-term. Overall, drinking more water won’t make up for a salt addiction, but it does help regulate all kinds of functions in the body, so drinking sufficient water can only be a net positive for your health.
BLOOD PRESSURE MAINTENANCE
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for kidney disease and other conditions. Water helps regulate your blood pressure levels, so it is definitely your friend when it comes to preventing disease and staying healthy!
When your body doesn’t get enough water, capillary beds shut down, putting more pressure on the “pipes” of your body, your capillaries and arteries, and increasing your blood pressure. Drinking up and staying hydrated makes your circulatory system happy and brings you back to a normal level.
PREVENTS KIDNEY STONES
To prevent the formation of kidney stones, adults should consume 2 liters, or 10 glasses of water each day, according to the International Kidney Stone Institute. Water is the best solvent for our bodies, breaking up salt and minerals so that they can’t join together to form stones.
Kidney stones can be excruciatingly painful and sometimes even require surgery to remove. Do yourself a huge favor and drink lots of water so you never have to experience the cruel and unusual pain of passing a kidney stone!
Keeping your weight down helps prevent against kidney disease, and water has some serious weight loss benefits you may not know about:
- Firstly, drinking water increases the number of calories you burn, or your resting energy expenditure. In fact, it will increase 24-30% within 10 minutes of drinking a glass of water!
- Water burns fat as well as calories. This process is called lipolysis, and studies of animals show lower percentages of fat when animals drank more water.
- Water is a natural appetite suppressor. When older adults drink water before a meal, they eat less at the meal.
- Water keeps waste in your body moving, so you don’t feel bloated and and bigger than you actually are.
- Drinking more water makes it easier to reduce your intake of unhealthy, sugar drinks like sodas and processed juices.