We all know that a balanced diet and adequate sleep and rest are essential to optimal immune health, without which we would become more susceptible to disease and infection. But the role of proper hydration is often overlooked when it comes to immune support.
How staying hydrated helps support immune health
Proper hydration supports immune health in various ways:
- It helps transport nutrients in the bloodstream and to the cells of the body
- It also helps transport immune system cells (i.e. white blood cells ) from the bone marrow and thymus to the rest of the body
- It supports adequate production and circulation of immune cells and blood cells
- It aids in lymphatic draining
- It clears detoxification pathways
- It oxygenates the blood and eliminates toxins
It also has other health benefits, including:
- Arthritis and joint problem prevention as proper hydration lubricates the joints
- Mental and emotional wellness as sufficient water is needed for the brain to produce serotonin
- Better sleep since the needs sufficient hydration to produce melatonin
- Proper digestion since drinking plenty of fluids can help prevent constipation
How much water to drink each day
The amount of water you need to support immune health and various bodily functions each day varies with age, weight, and gender. According to the Better Health Channel, the average woman should aim for about two litres or eight cups of fluids each day (including water, herbal tea, and other hydrating drinks) while the average man needs about 2.6 litres or 10 cups.
Your lifestyle and environment also affects how much water you need – as a general rule, the more active you are, the more fluids you need to stay hydrated. Even simple tasks like walking or gardening in warm and humid weather can result in significant water loss, so be sure to drink enough water.
Further, if you consume caffeine or alcohol on a regular basis, you might need more water. The Susan Samueli Institute of Integrative Health recommends an additional cup of water for every cup of coffee or alcoholic beverage consumed.
Although caffeinated drinks can contribute towards the total amount of fluids consumed each day, caffeine has a mild diuretic effect that can cause the body to lose some water (i.e. frequent urination).
Research suggests, however that while diuretics don’t necessarily dehydrate the body, they can cause some symptoms of dehydration, such as headaches and a dry mouth.
How to stay hydrated for immune health
Choose water as much as possible – While caffeinated beverages count towards your daily water intake, it’s still best to choose clean, filtered water whenever possible. Water is calorie-free, sugar-free, inexpensive, and readily available, with none of the diuretic effects of caffeine and alcohol.
Have access to clean water at all times – To help ensure that you consume the recommended amount of water each day, make sure that you have access to clean drinking water at all times. You don’t have to go to the shops for bottled water each time you’re out. Just bring a personal jug that you can fill with water. Our Mini BMP Waterman has a built-in filter to remove contaminants from tap water.
Keep track of your water intake – There are many fitness apps that can help you keep track of how many cups of water you’ve consumed for the day. This will help you see patterns in your water consumption.
Set reminders – Set alarms and notifications to remind yourself to drink more water as you go through the day. It’s easy to forget simple things like drinking water when you’re so busy working, cleaning the yard, or looking after the kids. Getting notifications from your phone or wearable device can call your attention to daily water intake.
Snack on some fruit – Oranges, apples, blueberries, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes aren’t just healthy, they’re also hydrating. Add more water-rich fruit and vegetables to your diet to stay fully hydrated throughout the day.
Waters Co believes that everyone should have access to clean drinking water to stay healthy. Take control of your health and well-being today by making sure that your drinking water is clean and free of contaminants. Visit our store for personal water bottles and bench top filters.