Hydration for Immune System
April 13. 2020
Stay Well-Hydrated for a Strong Immune System
By Maggie Quinn, ND
Hydration is a key element to maintaining a healthy immune system. As most of us are out of our normal routines during this COVID-19 Pandemic, it is important to remember to properly hydrate.
Our immune system is highly dependent on the nutrients in our blood stream, and our blood stream is made mostly of water! If we don’t have enough water, we cannot properly transport nutrients to each organ system. Staying well hydrated is also very important for detoxification pathways, increasing lymphatic draining and making sure we are clearing out any foreign invaders and other waste materials. Dehydration can contribute to muscle tension, headaches, low serotonin production and digestive issues.
I recommend my patients drink a minimum of half their body weight in ounces of water. This means, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink at least 75 ounces of water daily. Now, if you are super active – you may need more water. If you consume caffeine and alcohol – you likely need more water as well. My rule is for each cup of coffee – drink an additional 1 cup of water. For each alcohol beverage, drink an additional 2 cups of water. Perhaps part of your new quarantine, home routine can be starting your day with a hot cup of lemon water!
Your total water consumption can include purified, still water and herbal teas. Adding in electrolytes is also a good way to ensure your body is staying properly hydrated. A low-sugar electrolyte powder or coconut water can be consumed 1-2 times daily. Remember that proper hydration is essential for every organ system in your body, including your immune system!
Maggie Quinn is naturopathic doctor at the UCI Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute and the UCI Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences.