Updated: Jul 23, 2021
Water is essential... There's no doubt about it... especially when it comes to optimizing kidney function and health in general. But how much do you really need?
Why Is Water Important?
Before birth, fluids played an integral part in our sustenance and development. We consume it from our mothers and spend many months floating in amniotic fluid. At birth, as much as 75% of a baby's weight is made up of water. As we grow older, however, this tends to decrease to around an average of 55% to 60% of body weight. Maintaining this balance is very important and underscores the vital relationship between water and kidney function. Regulating the volume of water in the body is an essential role of the kidneys.
A human can die from dehydration, within a matter of a few days, if they are completely deprived of fluids. It is equally dangerous to drink an extremely excessive amount of water in a short period of time. This causes the level of sodium in the blood to drop dangerously low and it can be fatal. This is known as hyponatremia and is commonly referred to as water intoxication..
The Relationship Between Water and Kidney
One of the primary roles of kidneys is to regulate the volume of water in the body. They constantly monitor the blood to ensure it has the correct balance of water and other chemicals. Once an imbalance is detected, the kidneys spring into action to bring the body's water volume back into balance.
How Do Kidneys Regulate Water?
When there is excess water in the blood, the kidneys produce a high volume of urine to get rid of the excess water and you are likely to visit the bathroom quite frequently.
The reverse happens when there is a fluid deficiency. Less fluid is filtered by the kidneys and less urine is produced. Fluid deficiency, over an extended period of time, can place a strain on the kidneys and result in urinary tract infection and formation of kidney stones.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Some health experts recommend drinking six (6) to eight (8) glasses each day, along with other drinks. This is a general guide but in some cases you may require more than eight glasses per day. It depends on your body mass index (BMI), and the amount of fluids lost due to physical activities or health conditions.
So be sure to drink adequate amounts of water every day. This will not only help to prevent kidney stones but will also help to ensure that the kidneys and other biological systems function properly. This essential relationship between adequate water and kidney function cannot be overemphasized.