Is water good for your kidneys? It’s a common question with a simple answer: yes, water is good for your kidneys. There are a few exceptions to that rule, but generally speaking, water is not only beneficial to your kidneys, but vital to its function.
Why Your Kidneys Need Water
Your kidneys need water because your body needs water. Imagine that your body is a city: water acts like a vehicle bringing minerals and nutrients to all the factories and services (aka: organs), and expelling waste. Just as water is necessary to move the good stuff around your body, it’s also necessary to haul the bad stuff away.
Your kidneys remove toxins from your body with water, and also use water to deliver hormones throughout your body. Water is crucial for your body’s health in general, and water is good for your kidneys too. If you’re not adequately hydrated, you leave your kidneys and entire body vulnerable to many risks.
Risks of Dehydration
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Clearly water is critical for your kidneys and your body on the whole. You want to take care of it, but how much water should you be drinking? Well, it depends. Historically, eight cups of water a day has been the standard recommendation. While eight cups a day isn’t a bad goal, it’s definitely not a perfect measure for everyone, and it falls quite short of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s findings.
The Academies found that a person’s total water intake—water consumed by drinking, as well as by consuming foods such as melons and vegetables—should be around 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women.
Fluids can also be obtained through a variety of means; water isn’t the only option. Water can be supplemented with the following:
What if You're on Dialysis?
For most people, drinking quite a bit of water is ideal. However, if you are on dialysis, your water intake actually needs to be limited. Dialysis is highly effective, but it simply isn’t the same as the 24/7 function of healthy kidneys, and consuming too much fluid while on dialysis can lead to edema—swelling that typically occurs in the face, wrists, ankles, and feet. People with kidney failure should always consult with their nephrologist to maintain an optimal level of hydration.
Urine is a Good Indicator of how Hydrated You Are
Fortunately, you often don’t need a professional to tell you if you’re getting enough fluids each day—your urine can tell you that. Urine that’s a very faint yellow or clear color is a strong indicator that you’re giving your kidneys the support they need, whereas urine that’s a darker yellow, you need to drink more water. It’s normal for the color of your urine to change slightly from day to day, but monitor it to ensure it’s staying relatively the same and that you’re staying fully hydrated.
Water is Part of a Kidney-Friendly Diet and Lifestyle
Following a kidney-friendly diet and staying hydrated can work wonders, helping your kidneys to perform better and longer, even if you have kidney disease. Milwaukee Nephrologists is dedicated to helping our patients gain a greater understanding of kidney disease, and what their options are for avoiding or treating it.
Our board-certified specialists make Milwaukee Nephrologists your go-to experts on all-things kidneys. Whether you have been treating renal disease for years or if you or a loved one are at risk of kidney disease, Milwaukee Nephrologists can help. To schedule an appointment, contact us today for an examination, or learn more about kidney health on our blog.