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  5. How Can Water Boost Your Immune System?

How often have you been told to drink more water? If you've wondered why or ignored it most often, you need to read this article.

While water can do several wonders for your body, it is especially crucial today, in the times of Corona. This is because water is one of the most natural immunity boosters that can power up your body.

Keep reading to find out the role of water in boosting your immune system and how you can apply it in your daily life.

Importance Of Water

Each and every system in your body requires water to function appropriately. Your body makes use of the water present in its tissues, organs and cells to maintain bodily functions and help regulate temperature.

You lose water when you digest food and sweat. When you breathe, you lose nearly 1 cup a day! [1] With so much loss of water, you cannot overlook the importance of rehydration by eating foods and drinking fluids that contain water.

Here are some of the major benefits of drinking water:

1. Water Helps Your Body Remove Waste

Good gut health is crucial for your immune system. When you consume adequate water, your body is easily able to excrete waste through defecation, urination and perspiration. With the help of water, your kidneys remove waste from your body in the form of urine. It also ensures free flow of blood and nutrients through the blood vessels to reach your kidneys. [2]

2. Water Aids In Digestion And Prevents Maladies

Water is a significant ingredient in healthy digestion. A major part of absorption of water into your bloodstream happens just after it passes through your stomach and into the intestines. The large intestine, with the help of water improves your digestion and assures good bowel health.

Water helps break down the food you consume and helps your body absorb the essential nutrients more efficiently. The result? You gain the most potential benefit from your diet, boosting your overall health.

Proper hydration level in the body ensures constant regulation of your organs and helps to stave off diseases like hypertension, asthma, constipation, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and kidney stones.

3. Water Prevents Dehydration

Meeting your body’s fluid needs is extremely important for your health. Whenever you contract a disease, survive extreme heat or engage in vigorous exercise, your body tends to dehydrate. [3]

Dehydration can cause constipation, lethargy, headaches, negatively affect your mood and also impact your attention span and memory. Thus, it is important to restore your body's natural hydration level by increasing your fluid intake.

4. Water Helps Your Brain Function Optimally

One of the vital functions of water is keeping the brain cells hydrated to maintain the cerebral functions. With 75% water constitution in your brain, hydration keeps regulating brain activities appropriately.

Water contains trace amounts of electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Adequate electrolytes are crucial for optimal functioning of the body.

5. Water Keeps Your Cardiovascular System Healthy

Hydration is critical for your heart health. A hydrated heart can comfortably pump blood and oxygen, allowing the muscles to function smoothly.

Dehydration can lead to lower blood volume and retain more sodium that in turn makes the blood thick and restricts its free flow.

6. Water Protects Your Joints, Spinal Cord And Tissues

All the cells and organs of our body require water to function properly. Remaining hydrated helps to retain optimum levels of moisture in the blood, bones, and brain.

In addition, water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints.

7. Water Helps You Produce Saliva

Water can be beneficial to improve your oral health. Not drinking enough water can lead to a condition known as dry mouth, where your body does not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth properly moistened.

Besides, saliva helps neutralize gastric acid and ensure free flow of food and drink through the mouth. This way it helps you check gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).

8. Water Helps Regulate Your Body Temperature

Water helps regulate the internal temperature of your body while responding to the external temperature. Sweat is one of the primary means by which water prevents overheating of your body in extreme heat.

Did You Know?

Up to 60% of the adult human body is made up of water; the lungs have around 83% water and the heart and brain have about 73% water.

Does Water Increase Immunity?

Drinking water can help improve the overall immunity of your body. Staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate the bacteria and toxins that cause infection.

With the help of water, oxygen and nutrients are distributed throughout the body, and waste material is flushed out from the body. Thus, it helps keep diseases at bay.

How To Use Water To Increase Immunity?

Your immunity drives the health of your body and determines your capability to fight diseases. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, is viewed as a preventative type of health maintenance.

Here, we talk about certain types of water that can make staying hydrated an even more potent tool in ensuring good health:

Alkaline Water

Alkaline refers to a part of the pH scale. This scale is from 0 to 14 and gives a measure of how acidic or basic a substance is. Alkaline water has a pH level between 8 and 10.

The difference between regular water and alkaline water is its acidity, which means it has more hydroxide than hydrogen ions.

Alkaline contains minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium. It is known to neutralize toxic compounds present in the body. Moreover, your body easily absorbs alkaline water, allowing it to effectively use the water you drink.

Other than that, the known health benefits of alkaline water are:

  • Makes your immune system stronger
  • Improves the performance of your circulatory system
  • Alters the quality of blood
  • Strengthens bones
  • Supports digestion and assimilation
  • Detoxifies
  • Contains antioxidant properties
  • Acts as a remedy to gastroesophageal reflux

Although alkaline water comes with umpteen benefits, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support the use of alkaline water as a treatment for any health condition.

Excess alkalinity in the body may cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal issues. Too much of it also agitates the body’s normal pH, leading to metabolic alkalosis. If you are someone with a kidney condition, the minerals in alkaline water may start to collect in your body, causing more harm.

It is best to consult your doctor before you make any hasty decisions.

Warm Water

While water of any temperature supports overall wellbeing, warm water is thought to offer an array of listed benefits.

  • It results in healthier digestion as it helps break down food faster.
  • Detoxifies the body as warm water can cause sweating, which leads to the release of toxins.
  • Warm water is a vasodilator, meaning it expands the blood vessels, improving circulation. This helps reduce pain and relaxes muscles.
  • Warm water helps lose excess weight as it increases metabolism, absorbs nutrients, and flushes out waste.
  • It helps you get rid of nasal and throat congestion, as it helps mucous move quickly.
  • A soothing warm cup of water can help relieve stress and anxiety

One of the major risks of drinking hot water is that of being burned. While water can feel pleasantly warm on the tip of a finger, it may still burn the throat or tongue. You should test a small sip before taking a gulp. Make sure your water is lukewarm and not too hot before you drink.

Lemon Water

Lemons are loaded with a variety of nutrients like magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, potassium, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. They contain more potassium than grapes or apples!

It can help your body in the following ways:

  • Wards off diseases and infection
  • Improves your immune system
  • Helps with wound healing
  • Helps the body absorb iron from foods
  • Adds a dash of flavour to your water, so you can switch out your sugary dose with lemon water. This helps restrict calorie intake and potentially promotes weight loss
  • The citric acid in lemon juice can also kill the bacteria that causes bad breath
  • The high vitamin C content helps prevent free radicals from causing cell damage, leading to cancer
  • Lemons assist in the formation of collagen, which helps maintain healthy skin
  • It can help relieve or prevent nausea

Note : Don't necessarily add lemon to every glass of water you drink. Lemon juice is highly acidic, so if you drink too much lemon water, it may have negative side effects.

Infused Water or Detox Water

Making your own infused drink can be an excellent alternative to caffeinated beverages and diet sodas. Infused water can help you make drinking water more flavourful using a bunch of natural ingredients.

Note : Don’t confuse infused water with flavoured water. They’re totally different. Flavoured water is made by adding juices or extracts to water

How To Make Infused Water?

You can make infused water by adding slices or chunks of fruit like pineapple, mango, pear, apple, berries, orange, cucumber, passion fruit and veggies like fennel, carrots or celery in your water. Let it sit for a few hours so that the flavours can infiltrate the water.

Step 1

Peel the skin from your chosen vegetables or fruits, add them to the glass and take a muddler to slightly smash and break down the fruits and vegetables.

Step 2

Add herbs or spices of your choice like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, cilantro, parsley, basil or mint for an added burst of flavor.

Step 3

Add clean water to it. You can even mix and match ingredients, like add chunks of ginger to a peach infusion or pair a few slices of green apple with cinnamon sticks.

Infused water has many health benefits. A few of them are: [4]

  • Delivers nutrients in a natural, non-harmful way
  • Immune defence
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Hydration
  • Weight management
  • Appetite control
  • Prevention of heartburn
  • Breath freshener
  • Supports fat burning
  • Supports healthy skin texture
  • Supports kidney health

How Much Water Should You Drink?

Giving your body enough fluids is a positive sign. However, the intake of water is no one-size-fits-all thing! Your water needs will vary depending on several factors like health conditions, medications, physical activity, age, among others.

The 8×8 rule states that you should drink eight servings of eight ounces (about 236 ml) of water each day. This amounts to a total of 2 litres a day. There is no science behind it, it’s only arbitrary. [5]

If you are a mother who is breastfeeding or an athlete who lives in a place with hot weather, your requirement for water increases. It is evident that water needs are highly individualistic.

The bottom line though is to keep yourself hydrated. Try experimenting and see what works best for you!

water balance poster with human body symbols

 

 

Note : Besides water, other foods and beverages you consume also contribute to your overall daily intake of fluids and help keep you hydrated.

How Often Should You Drink Water?

There is no thumb rule that determines the frequency of your water intake. Basically, the best time to drink water is all day long and allow your body to auto regulate.

It’s best to space out your water intake and drink water consistently throughout the day.

Your body needs more water:

  • When you are more physically active
  • When you are in hot climates
  • When you have diarrhoea or vomiting
  • When you’re running a fever

Wrapping Up

Although there is no magic drink that can instantly boost your immune system, certain nutrients present in water play a vital role in preventing chronic diseases. Along with drinking plenty of water, incorporate lots of nutrients in your diet, manage stress, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. These all together will definitely reap positive results.

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