A common misconception is that everyone should drink eight glasses of water per day, but since everyone is different, daily water needs will vary by person. How much water you need is based on differences in age, climate, exercise intensity, as well as states of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and illness. If you become dehydrated, then it is more difficult for this delivery system to work. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney damage, so it is important to drink enough when you work or exercise very hard and especially in warm and humid weather.
6 ways – Water keeps your Kidneys Healthy
- At least 8 glasses a day:
There is no hard rule that everyone needs 8 glasses of water a day. This is just a general recommendation based on the fact that we continually lose water from our bodies. It is estimated that men need approximately 13 cups (3 litres) of fluid daily and that women need approximately 9 cups (2.2 litres) of fluid daily.
- For end-stage kidney disease:
When the kidneys fail, people don’t excrete enough water, if any at all. For those who are receiving dialysis treatment, water must actually be greatly restricted.
- Reduce sodium level:
Though it is rare for this to happen in the average person, endurance athletes like marathoners may drink large amounts of water and thereby dilute the sodium level in their blood, resulting in a dangerous condition called hyponatremia.
- Your urine can reveal a lot:
For the average person, drinking enough water or other healthy fluids, such as unsweetened juice or low-fat milk to quench thirst and to keep your urine light yellow or colourless. When your urine is dark yellow, this indicates that you are dehydrated. You should be making about 1.5 litres of urine daily (about 6 cups).
- Water helps prevent kidney stones and UTIs:
Kidney stones and urinary tract infections (UTIs) are two common medical conditions that can hurt the kidneys, and for which good hydration is essential. Kidney stones form less easily when there is sufficient water available to prevent stone-forming crystals from sticking together. Water helps dissolve the antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections, making them more effective. Drinking enough water also helps produce more urine, which helps to flush out infection-causing bacteria.
- Beware during medication:
Drinking extra water with certain medications or before and after procedures with contrast dye may help prevent kidney damage. Read medication labels thoroughly before involving contrast dyes.