In the era of juice cleanses and liquid diets, there are plenty of myths about how much water you actually need to drink in a day and how these fads affect your kidneys. March is National Kidney Month, so to raise awareness, Primo is tackling two major kidney health topics: How much water intake is necessary for healthy kidneys and does the kind of water you drink affect your kidney health.
Are You Properly Hydrated?
You hear it everywhere, “flush the toxins out of your kidneys - drink more water.” But what is the right amount of water you need to drink, and could you be drinking too much water? A 2016 study* found that in its healthy volunteers, “increased fluid intake improved the ability of the kidneys to excrete sodium, whereas the antidiuretic action of vasopressin resulted in substantial sodium retention.”
On the flip side, in the same study with a cohort focusing on chronic kidney disease patients returned inconclusive results on the effects of increased water intake and the severity of the kidney disease. Overall, the study proved adequate hydration provides some advantage in patients but was unable to verify or provide recommendations, as is the case with other longitudinal studies.
What does all this mean? Essentially, there are no negatives associated with adequate water intake! It can only benefit your kidney health, but what about drinking too much water? It’s likely you’re not drinking too much water, rather you are more than likely not drinking enough H2O! History of kidney stones and living in extreme weather conditions** are general reasons to consider more-than-adequate hydration, but otherwise, there’s no need to majorly increase your intake.
And while we wish we had a specific number of glasses or ounces to hit your hydration goal, there is no set amount of required water to maintain healthy kidneys. Rather, to maintain proper hydration, the Institute of Medicine estimates that “men need approximately 13 cups (3 liters) of fluid daily, and that women need approximately 9 cups (2.2 liters) of fluid daily.”*** That’s your best guideline!
What’s Better for Kidneys: Tap or the Alternatives?
Tap water contains more than a few toxins, but what about minerals like calcium and magnesium? We’ve all heard about calcium and oxalate kidney stone components, but surprisingly, not enough calcium in your diet can cause the formation of kidney stones and allow oxalates to pass from the body safely. So shouldn’t the calcium in tap water solve the issue?
Dietary calcium is the answer, not supplements nor additives. Therefore, the calcium in your tap water really isn’t doing much for your kidney health. Rather supplementary calcium can actually create kidney stones. So it’s in your best interest to go the Primo water route and bring water into your home without the toxins in tap.
Hydration Keeps Your Kidneys Happy
There are countless reasons to drink more water: healthy skin, weight regulation, digestive health, and blood pressure maintenance.**** But one that will always stand out is healthy kidneys. Humans are about 60% water and our kidneys filter around 120-150 quarts of fluid daily.**** It’s no surprise that proper hydration is a key element of kidney health, and by ensuring you drink enough water for your lifestyle and drink alternatives to tap that remove the toxins, your kidneys will stay happy and healthy much longer.
*Wu L, Chen W, Liaw F, et al Association between fluid intake and kidney function, and survival outcomes analysis: a nationwide population-based study BMJ Open 2016;6:e010708. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010708
**Dasgupta, S. (2015, July 28). Top Five Myths About Human Kidneys. Retrieved March 5, 2019, from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/top-five-myths-about-human-kidneys-180956088/
***National Kidney Foundation, Inc. (2017, April 26). 6 Tips To Be "Water Wise" for Healthy Kidneys. Retrieved March 5, 2019, from https://www.kidney.org/content/6-tips-be-water-wise-healthy-kidneys
**** McIntosh, J. (2018, July 16). 15 benefits of drinking water and other water facts. Retrieved March 5, 2019, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814.php