About 60-70% of your body weight is made up of water

Important functions of water

Water helps your kidneys remove waste products from your blood in the form of urine. Water also helps keep the blood vessels open so that blood can flow freely to the kidneys and supply them with important nutrients. But when you’re dehydrated, it’s harder for this delivery system to work.

If you don’t drink enough water – what happens?

This is the most common question that we encounter in our day-to-day lives. The answer is simple – if you don’t drink enough water, especially in summers you will get dehydrated and this will reduce your B.P. which in turn will reduce blood supply to essential organs like brain,heart and kidneys .This will reduce the ability of your organs to  function properly.

Now, the perplexing aspect of this question is –

Does dehydration really damage your kidneys?

Mild dehydration can cause fatigue and impair your body’s normal functions. Severe dehydration can cause reduce blood supply to your kidneys and hence cause  kidney damage, so it’s important to drink enough water when you work or exercise, especially in hot, humid weather.

This risk is increased in people who have diabetes,high blood pressure and those on medications for blood pressure or water tablets

Should you drink eight glasses of water a day?

Keep your kidneys healthy by being “water-wise”. This means that you are drinking the right amount of water for yourself. A common misconception is that everyone should drink eight glasses of water a day, yes that’s right if you have normal kidney functions.  However, during hot weather conditions or after strenuous exercise, you will need to  drink  at least 3 -4 litres of water due to dehydration from  excessive sweating.

If you have kidney disease or any heart condition please seek advice from your doctors about how much water you are allowed to drink in a day.

Daily water intake  depend on age, climate, exercise intensity  and medical conditions.

While all liquids are valid when it comes to fluid intake, water is one of the healthiest options for maintaining kidney health.

What are the effects of dehydration?

Dehydration over time can lead to crystallization of salts and the formation of kidney stones.

Dehydration can increase the risk of  Kidney stones and urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney stones can harm your kidneys.

It can also increase your risk of heat stroke and also brain stroke.

Some people mistake alcoholic  drinks as water but such drinks can increase your risk of dehydration

Its important to drink more  water especially when you are taking alcoholic drinks.

People who drink adequate water especially during summer months are less likely to suffer from kidney stones,heat stroke and brain stroke.

How to know whether we are drinking enough water?

Check the color of your urine. Your urine is the best indicator of whether you have enough fluid intake or not. If the color of your urine is white or pale yellow, then it indicates that you are well hydrated.

If your urine is darker than this, it may indicate that you are dehydrated.

Keep a water bottle close at hand when you walk or exercise.

Avoid carbonated drinks like soda,coke,pepsi or any other “energy drinks”

Alternatives to water can be  fresh fruit juices,fresh lime juice,( home made), coconut water or sugar cane juice

Bottom Line

Drinking enough or adequate water is very important for the vital functions of the body. Avoid carbonated and alcoholic drinks. Drink a minimum of 2-3 liters of water per day even if you are not thirsty.

This above advise does not apply to people with kidney disease, please discuss with your nephrologist about your water allowance per day if you have kidney disease/heart disease, or you are on dialysis before making any changes in your routine fluid intake.