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How Water Prevents Kidney Stones

According to Kidney.org, 1/10 people will have a kidney stone at some point in their life.

You’ve probably been told about someone’s unfortunate experience with kidney stones, and heard how painful it can be. Maybe you’ve even had kidney stones yourself, or you’re dealing with them now. Either way, these stones are not something we want if we can help it. Fortunately, there’s one major thing you can do to keep kidney stones away (or pass them faster). First, let’s establish what kidney stones are and how they form in our bodies.

Kidney stones form when minerals in our urine build and solidify. Calcium usually binds with either oxalate (a nutrient that can inhibit mineral absorption in your body) or phosphorous (a mineral in your bones). Then the compounds crystallize. These crystals get bigger over time, eventually becoming like stones. These stones move from our kidneys through our urinary tract, and are very difficult and painful to pass.

So how can you keep kidney stones from forming? The answer is easy: drink water. Not only is water the best way to avoid getting kidney stones, but it can also aid in healing if you ever do suffer from them.

Here’s 3 main ways water can help prevent or remedy kidney stones.

1) Hydration

The number one cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water. This is because your kidneys need lots of water to filter out the waste and excess minerals in your body. Without good hydration, the metabolic wastes mentioned above—calcium, oxalate, phosphorus—can’t be eliminated or diluted properly. That’s when kidney stones form.

Water not only prevents stones by flushing out the minerals in your kidneys, but water helps treat stones, as well. If you currently have kidney stones, drinking lots of water will help you pass them faster and easier.

2) Reduced sodium

An additional cause of kidney stones is a regular high intake of sodium. Lots of sodium leads to higher calcium levels in urine. The more calcium in your urine, the more prone you are to having kidney stones form. High sodium levels in your bloodstream also affect the kidney’s ability to cleanse your body effectively, therefore less minerals are flushed out.

Yes, sodium and electrolytes are necessary for your body to function properly, but too much salt isn’t good. If you tend to snack a lot, you could be in potential danger. Salty chips will increase your sodium levels, and one of the sources of oxalate is chocolate. Drinking lots of water not only lowers the amount of sodium in your body through excretion, but it fills you up so you’re less likely to snack. The more you drink a healthy amount of water, the more balanced your sodium levels will be.

3) The Right Nutrients

Another preventative benefit of drinking water is that it can supply you with the right nutrients when infused with certain fruits. Lemons and limes hold natural citrate—which bonds with calcium in the urine. This keeps calcium from combining with other chemicals and hardening into stones. Citrate also keeps the acidity of urine low, so that uric acid can’t crystallize into stones, either.

Citrate can also be found in citrus drinks like store-bought lemonade, but the sugars in these drinks would do your body more harm than good. Not only does fruit-infused water taste great, but it gives your body that extra protection against kidney stones.

Staying hydrated is crucial in the prevention of kidney stones. Water cleanses your kidneys, lowers sodium levels in your body, and has extra benefits when infused with fruit. It’s important that you drink enough water every day to keep your body healthy and functioning properly. It’s also important that you drink clean water. You can’t properly cleanse your body with water that has potential toxins or chemicals.

The best water to drink for a healthy body and healthy kidneys, is spring water. Cedar Springs offers pure spring water that is naturally filtered and bottled fresh from a Canadian spring. With the right water, and the right preventative methods, you can decrease your chances of developing kidney stones.