Kidney health is dependent upon the amount of fluids you drink per day. Long periods of dehydration result in the production of highly concentrated urine, full of nitrogenous waste products and minerals. If the concentration of urine gets high enough, the waste products can crystalize and form stones. Kidney stones are crystalized urate and oxalate. Once a kidney stone has formed, is deposited into the urinary tract where it needs to pass.
Small stones are easy to pass, but larger stones can be extremely painful, and block the ureter and urethra. Maintaining proper hydration is the best way to prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place. By drinking the right amount of water, it is possible to keep urate and oxalate concentrations below crystallization levels. Men between the ages of 30 and 60 are most at risk of developing kidney stones. Around 10-20% of men will have a kidney stone in their lifetime, as opposed to 3-5% of women.
Men require 10 glasses of water per day, and women require8. Researchers in Australia and Canada have found that maintaining proper hydration reduces the risk of chronic kidney disease. Be careful not to overhydrate, stick to the 8-10 recommended number of glasses per day, and drink more if it’s hot outside or you’re doing physical exercise.
Quick tips to keep hydrated: Kidney Health
- Water is the best choice for hydration
- Drink at a moderate pace
- Women require 8 glasses per day, and men require 10
- Adjust your water consumption for how much you sweat
- If your urine is dark yellow, you are dehydrated
- Keep a bottle of water with you while you’re exercising
Following these tips can help you stay hydrated and reduce your risk for developing kidney stones.