Water makes every part of your body function, so when it comes to your kidneys, drinking enough water can cut your risk for kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
As Dr. Thurman explains, kidneys eliminate body waste every time you pee and it’s essential for good health:
"Kidney stones are caused by crystallization of certain minerals within the urinary system. In general, good hydration keeps the urine diluted, reducing the risk of kidney stone formation. We generally recommend that people with kidney stones drink at least 2 liters (about 68 ounces) of fluid each day."
But it is possible to drink too much water for your kidneys to handle so don’t gulp your water too fast:
"It is possible to consume more water than the kidneys can eliminate, however, or to consume it too quickly for the kidneys to balance. Some medical conditions also reduce the body’s ability to keep the balance, including kidney failure and heart failure. In these settings, water accumulates and fluids in the body become diluted. This can be a serious problem."
So stay hydrated and make sure you’re drinking what you need; here’s an easy way to make every sip count.
ABOUT OUR EXPERT
Dr. Joshua Thurman, MD is a board-certified nephrologist and Professor of Medicine specializing in renal medical diseases and hypertension at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He has been in practice for more than 22 years.