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Why Hydration Matters For Optimal Gut Health

You've heard time and time again about the importance of drinking water to promote digestive health and overall wellness, but have you ever really thought about why? The importance of proper hydration cannot be stressed enough. What most people don't know is that dehydration can actually worsen gut issues. Here are the reasons why.


Water is the Most Important Factor in Hydration


Water is the most important factor in hydration and it makes up over half of your body weight. Water is essential for many bodily functions, including digestion.
Your body needs water to:
Keep you hydrated- without it, you may feel thirsty and have a dry mouth and eyes.
Keep your blood flowing at the right temperature - if you're dehydrated, your blood thickens and your heart has to work harder to move it around your body.
Move waste products from your kidneys out of your body as urine- if you don't have enough water, these waste products can build up in your body, causing problems such as kidney stones or bladder infections.
Keep muscles, joints and other tissues healthy - without enough water, they can become stiff and sore, which can make everyday activities difficult or painful.

Dehydration Is the Enemy of Gut Health


Dehydration is the enemy of gut health. Your body has an entire system devoted to keeping your intestines healthy and functioning properly. This system is called the enteric nervous system (ENS). The ENS is a series of nerves that control digestion, including the production and release of hormones that regulate the digestive system and help keep your gut happy.


When you become dehydrated — for example, if you don't drink enough water during the day — your body sends signals to the brain that it needs more water. This results in an increase in thirst, which is why you feel thirsty when you're dehydrated.
The problem is that dehydration doesn't just affect your physical health — it also affects your mental health. Dehydration can lead to mental fatigue, confusion and headaches.

The Gut-Brain Axis


The gut-brain axis is the term used to describe the communications network between your gut and brain. Your gut talks to your brain, and vice versa.


Your gut contains about 100 million neurons — more than in any other part of the body, including our brains! These neurons are also called enteric nervous system neurons because they’re found in the digestive system.


These neurons send signals from the gut to our brain and spinal cord, as well as send signals from our brain and spinal cord back to our gut. They help control digestion, and they can affect our behaviour. So, yes, if you are dehydrated your brain and your gut will communicate with each other!

Dehydration as a Cause of Inflammation

Dehydration is a common cause of inflammation in the gut. When you're dehydrated, your blood volume decreases and so does your plasma, the fluid component of blood. Plasma carries nutrients such as water, electrolytes and glucose to cells throughout the body, including those in the digestive tract.

As a result of dehydration, many people experience constipation or diarrhea. In addition, these symptoms can also trigger inflammation in your gut by causing changes in intestinal permeability (leaky gut).


When you're dehydrated, your intestines secrete more mucus to try to retain as much water as possible. This extra mucus coats the lining of your intestines and blocks nutrients from being absorbed into your bloodstream. The blockage causes irritation that triggers an immune response that leads to inflammation in the gut wall — a condition known as a leaky gut syndrome.

Water Helps You Lose Weight and Improve Performance

Hydration is an important part of good health, but it's not something that you can measure with a simple test. Water is found in every cell of your body, so it's important to make sure you're getting enough.


Here are some of the ways water can benefit your gut health:

It Helps You Lose Weight and Improve your Performance
Water is a natural appetite suppressant, which means that drinking more water can help you lose weight. Water also helps increase energy levels and improve athletic performance by rehydrating muscles after a workout.


It Keeps Your Digestive System Healthy
The digestive system needs water to help break down food into nutrients that can be absorbed by cells in the body. The colon is responsible for absorbing most of these nutrients, so if it doesn't get enough water, it won't be able to do its job properly.


It Keeps Your Skin Hydrated and Healthy
Your skin is one of the largest organs in your body and it needs water just like any other organ does. If your skin isn't hydrated properly, it can lead to problems such as dry patches or wrinkles around the eyes and mouth area. Drinking enough purified water daily will keep your skin looking younger than ever before!

 

Hydration matters a lot more than most people realize

The bottom line is that proper hydration can have a significant impact on your overall health. Your gut health is no exception. So make sure you're properly hydrated—not just for gut health, but to keep everything else in check as well.



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