Dilution is the solution to pollution.
I’ve always loved this statement. It relates perfectly to the human body and the process of detoxification.
Water is essential for life and when it comes to detoxification, hydration status plays an important role.
Remember how essential the kidneys are in the detoxification process? They filter our total blood volume 60 times every day! They are also responsible for controlling fluid and electrolyte balance in our bodies. When a person is dehydrated, the level of toxins in bodily fluids become more concentrated. The higher concentration can overwhelm the kidneys.
If the kidneys do not have enough fluid, they cannot properly perform these essential functions.
Proper hydration also contributes to healthy bowel movements. Dehydration is a major factor in constipation. When the bowels are slow and sluggish, toxins that your body wants to eliminate sit around longer and can be reabsorbed! This puts extra stress on the very important liver.
Another way we eliminate toxins is through sweat. When a person is dehydrated, they are less likely to sweat. Drinking enough water everyday helps promote healthy skin (appearance and function).
How much water does a person need?
Have you ever noticed how animals drink water? I’ve never seen one sip! Instead, they dive in head first, gulping as if it’s their last drink. We seem to be the only species that restrains when it comes to water intake. Interesting, no?
Aim for 1.5L-2L per day (or 8 cups). Certain situations require higher intake. These include:
- before and after intense exercise
- in hot weather
- if you are overweight or trying to lose weight
- if you consume caffeinated or alcoholic beverages (which have diuretic effects and cause dehydration); I recommend one extra cup of water for every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage
A good indicator you are getting enough water is your urine appears as a faint, clear yellow. Keep in mind, certain medications and supplements can influence urine colour.
Measure out how much water you drink over 3-5 days. A few suggestions to get you in the habit of drinking more water:
- Fill three or four 500ml water bottles in the morning so you can track how much you need to drink before the end of the day
- Set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you every 30 minutes to drink water
- Create a reward system – “I can have my cup of coffee after I have 2 cups of water”, for example.
In summary, water flushes toxins and waste from the body and transports nutrients to where they are needed. Aim for 1.5-2L everyday as part of your Daily Detox Strategies!
“Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine.” – Proverb