Water and Digestive Health

Water is the most beneficial fluid to drink

One of the most beneficial fluids to drink is water so ditch other alcohol or sugar-laden beverages for your body’s benefit. Whether your water is infused with fruits or taken plain, hot or cold, there is absolutely no substitute for it. Not only does it act as a transportation system, it circulates nutrients throughout the body and moves waste out on a regular basis. It is especially helpful and necessary for the digestive system.

It’s common for the amount of water in the body to decrease as age approaches so this is why increasing your intake as you get older may be necessary. Replenishing fluids in the body are necessary as fluids are lost through activities such as respiration, perspiration, and urination as well as through breathing, sweating, and digestion. Water also helps to regulate body temperature and assists in the digestion of food.

Not only does water help lubricate everything so that food can move through the digestive system more easily for better absorption, but it helps avoid dry mouth and delays hunger. If you drink on a regular basis before you become thirsty, then hydration will be optimized. Waiting until you are thirsty means that you’ve waited too long.

The small intestine absorbs a lot of water and affects the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, liver as well as the small intestine. But by the time the nutrients and food enter the large intestine, 80% of this fluid has been absorbed. Movement of water which affects cell membranes always occurs through osmosis but the absorption of water is also dependent on the absorption of sodium which is one of the body’s electrolytes. Minerals, which electrolytes are comprised of, are needed in large amounts because electrolytes carry an electric charge when dissolved in body fluids such as the blood.

Most of the sodium in a person’s body is in the blood and fluid around the cells. Sodium helps the body keep the fluids balanced and it plays a key part in normal nerve and muscle function. When your electrolytes are low, you are lacking sodium in your body.


Lack of Water
The lack of water in the digestive system can result in many symptoms and conditions which may include ulcers, lack of proper functioning of other organs, heartburn, fatigue, brain fog, partial digestions, and constipation.

In this WebMD link, chronic constipation can be alleviated by drinking plenty of fluids every day and by eating dietary fiber as well as doing exercise. Water is important because it transports food through your intestines and keeps the intestines smooth and flexible. Dehydration is one of the causes of chronic constipation. Food has to travel from your stomach to your large intestine so if you don’t drink enough water, the large intestine doesn’t have enough to push the food through easily. Other causes of chronic constipation are the type of foods you eat, traveling, medicines, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and pregnancy.

The one fluid to stay away from is alcohol because it’s a diuretic and it gets rid of water from your body which leads to more dehydration. You can take caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and colas but in moderation, since they are also diuretics.
 

Drinking Water on an Empty Stomach
When you drink water on an empty stomach upon waking up, these 8 amazing things will happen:

  • Helps rid the body of toxins
  • Improves metabolism
  • Reinforces healthy weight loss
  • Alleviates Heartburn and Indigestion
  • Improves complexion and skin radiance
  • Promotes shiny, smooth, and healthy hair
  • Prevents kidney stones and bladder infections
  • Strengthens the immune system

Check out this link for more information about the above list.

 

Best Time to Drink Water
Dr. Michael Kessler, DC, who writes for the Doctors Health Press website, discusses when to drink water in this article Benefits of Drinking Water Before Bedtime. The top four benefits of drinking water before bedtime include Restoration of fluids lost throughout the day; Burning calories to help with weight loss; Balancing the body’s nutrients, vitamins, and minerals; and Cleansing toxins out of your body.

However, according to recommendations in this article, if you suffer from kidney or heart problems, it is not advised to drink water before bedtime because the increased intake of water will put extra pressure on the already weak kidneys which won’t be able to properly remove fluids from the body.

Drinking water too close to bedtime can also make you go to the washroom and disrupt your sleep so it’s advisable to drink water about two hours before bedtime.

Besides drinking water before going to bed, here are several other times when drinking water is advised:

  • Before a meal
  • When you’re sick
  • When you wake up
  • During exercise
  • When you’re tired
  • When you’re around people who are sick

 

Drinking Cold Water During Meals Is Not Advisable
There is one caution about drinking water during meals; it should be warm or hot water or liquids not cold liquids with ice according to Dr. Stephen Sinatra, an American Integrative Cardiologist. Dr. Sinatra explains that according to Ayurveda doctors, sipping hot water or fluids is better than drinking cold liquid with ice because hot fluids help with digestion. In the East Indian culture of Ayurvedic medicine, “agni” is a Sanskrit word meaning “digestive fire” referring to the mechanisms and enzymes involved in digestion, and “ama” refers to toxins that develop as byproducts of poor digestion. According to the Ayurvedic experts, cold drinks destroy “agni” and promote “ama” which means it affects the enzymes that promote good digestion and creates more toxins due to poor digestion because of the cold temperature of a drink.

 

What If You Stopped Drinking Water?
This is a short comprehensive video about what happens if you stop drinking water. This video is also at the top of the article.

 

LINKS

Benefits of Drinking Water: H2O Nourishes The Digestive System, Helps with Fluid Balance
http://www.medicaldaily.com/health-benefits-drinking-water-digestive-system-fluid-balance-391799

Absorption of Water and Electrolytes
http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/smallgut/absorb_water.html

Overview of Sodium’s Role in the Body
http://www.msdmanuals.com/home/hormonal-and-metabolic-disorders/electrolyte-balance/overview-of-sodium-s-role-in-the-body

The Importance of Water In Digestion and The Digestive System
http://enjoyabetterworld.com/2011/01/27/the-importance-of-water-in-digestion-and-the-digestive-system

When You Drink Water On An Empty Stomach After Waking Up, These 8 Amazing Things Will Happen
http://www.lifehack.org/449117/when-you-drink-water-on-an-empty-stomach-after-waking-up-these-8-amazing-things-will-happen

Benefits of Drinking Water Before Bedtime
http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/food-and-nutrition-articles/the-benefits-of-drinking-water-before-bedtime

Drinking Cold Water With Meals? Think Again
https://www.drsinatra.com/drinking-cold-water-with-meals-think-again


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