Drinking Water and Your Gut Health

Everything we do throughout the day contributes to water loss in our bodies, even breathing! It’s so important to replenish that water and hydrate as often as possible. Why? Because water works with stomach acids to break down food, traveling through your system to soften your stool for more effortless bowel movements. When water breaks down food, your body can absorb more of the nutrients from that food. 


Facts about drinking water:

  • Men and pregnant women usually need more water than most. 
  • About 20 percent of our daily fluid intake comes from food.
  • Drinking water during or after a meal can help with digestion.
  • Sometimes it can be hard for your body to tell the difference between being hungry and thirsty. Drinking water instead of snacking can often satisfy your hunger.

How much water should you drink?

That varies depending on the person, their size, and their food intake. We often hear the “8 glasses a day” rule, but it depends on your lifestyle and genetics. We recommend that you ask your healthcare provider what’s right for you. Just remember that if you are exercising, you will need to drink more water that day. It’s also recommended that you drink water throughout the day and not just in the morning or at night. This is especially important to do while enjoying meals. 



What kind of water you drink matters.

Studies have shown that alterations in drinking water pH can affect your gut microbiome. Alkaline water, specifically, is a good option because it has colon-cleansing and detoxifying properties. Alkaline water has a higher pH level than drinking water. Because of this, some believe it can neutralize the acid in your body. According to Healthline, “Alkaline water must also contain alkaline minerals and negative oxidation reduction potential (ORP). ORP is the ability of water to act as a pro- or antioxidant. The more negative the ORP value, the more anti-oxidizing it is.” 


Filtered water is often a better choice over tap but it depends on where you live and where your tap water comes from. A good water filter can remove unwanted contaminants like pesticides, metals and bleach. The most effective way to remove these contaminants is to install a filtration system in your home or use alternative purification methods like pitchers with filters. If you drink water out of your refrigerator, make sure you are changing the filter when suggested. If you want to be extra safe, or you’re just curious about what’s in your water, buy a digital water tester. They are affordable and can give you a lot of information about the water you’re drinking. 


Tips on staying hydrated: 


  1. Always have a water bottle handy! Get a nice insulated water bottle or a reusable tumbler. Picking a container you like to drink out of will help you to consume more water. 
  2. Eat foods with higher water content like fresh fruits, vegetables, soups, and smoothies. 
  3. Set a timer! Many of us use our phones as a way to set little reminders throughout that day, and reminding ourselves to drink water is so important. If you have a smartwatch, set a timer to go off every hour and get your hydration on! 
  4. Infuse your water with fresh fruit, herbs, or a splash of juice if that helps you consume more. 





Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/alkaline-water-benefits-risks#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

https://www.superchargeyourgut.com/blogs/news/gut-health-and-hydration

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