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Staying Hydrated in the Summer Months

As we usher in June, we’re breaking down the benefits of adequate hydration this Summer. In addition to our overall health, hydration is a crucial step in maintaining kidney care. To filter properly, our kidneys require sufficient water to effectively remove waste from the body and as we know, inadequate hydration can lead to impaired kidney function and, over time, serious health issues. However, there are several steps we can take to be more mindful of our kidney health. To start, let’s learn about the way adequate hydration impacts our body’s function.

Kidney Function and Waste Removal

It’s no surprise that water is fundamental for the kidneys to filter out waste, but did you know that when we don’t consume enough water, our kidneys must extract it from other sources in the body? This process is what we technically term “dehydration”.

Temperature Regulation and Cardiovascular Health

Additionally, proper hydration supports various physiological processes, including body temperature regulation (i.e., sweating) and maintaining cardiovascular function. This is because hydration helps maintain blood volume and reduces strain on the heart.

Prevention of Dehydration-Related Issues

During summer, the risk of dehydration increases significantly. Dehydration can affect everything from physical performance to cognitive functions. It can lead to symptoms such as fatigue and can exacerbate the heart rate as the body struggles to maintain blood pressure levels.

It’s All Connected: The Risks of Dehydration

The body contains water in three main compartments: intracellular, interstitial, and intravascular. Dehydration disrupts this balance, causing water to move from cells to these spaces, affecting blood pressure and, subsequently, heart function. Chronic dehydration can lead to kidney strain as the organs work harder to reabsorb water, increasing the risk of kidney dysfunction and shut down due to accumulated toxins.

Hydration Strategies for Diverse Populations

For the average person, drinking water to quench your thirst should be indicative of the amount of water you need to consume each day. However, for those who do not crave water as often, or simply forget, monitoring urine color can be an effective way to assess hydration, as darker urine suggests a need for more fluids. If you are a highly active individual, replacing lost fluids and electrolytes is crucial to maintaining performance and preventing cramps and aches.

All in all, while hydration is important year-round, we become at higher risk for dehydration during the Summer months. To combat this, be sure to listen to your body and hold yourself accountable to your hydration needs! Curious for more tips on how you can better care for your kidney health? Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and tune in for our bi-weekly blogs!

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