By Dr. Bill Booker, DC and Dr. Denia Tapscott, MD
Before we get to the larger discussion of hydration and its effect on your immune system, we want to make this Public Service Announcement:
DRINK YOUR WATER!
It seems so simple, but yet so few of us do it.
When we say, “drink your water,” We mean A LOT of water. Here’s an easy equation to determine what is your proper daily water consumption:
One half of your body weight in ounces EVERY DAY
For round numbers, if you weigh 200 pounds, then you need to drink 100 ounces of water per day. This means WATER! Sorry, but coffee and wine don’t count toward your daily consumption.
A hot topic these days is whether water needs to be in a special form, like alkaline water or hydrogen water. That’s for a different discussion, but just know this: drinking the proper amount of regular, ordinary water is great!
The fundamental benefit of water is that hydration helps all of your body’s systems function at optimal levels. Water helps to flush out toxins and ensure your cells are getting the oxygen they require to function.
More specifically, water improves the immune system in several ways:
1. Water helps to oxygenate the blood, which pumps up cells so they can function at full capacity.
2. The more water you drink, the more efficient your kidneys operate in flushing out unwelcome toxins through urination.
3. Water increases the brain’s production of melatonin, a hormone essential to improved sleep. We have already spoken about how important sleep is to an improved immune system.
4. Drinking water increases lymph production. The lymph system acts as the body’s “trash collector.” The lymph floats through the blood collecting unwanted bacteria and viruses, destroying them and removing them from the body.
Simply put, the more hydrated you are, the healthier you will be. So drink your water!
While we are talking about hydration, let’s discuss another secret little trick.
Green Tea and The Immune System
Green tea has been shown to increase antioxidant properties and cancer prevention properties, reduce coronary heart disease, and help with UV protection. Those are all hugely important benefits, but in the area of improved immunity alone, green tea is remarkable.
Several studies have shown that green tea has antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses. Green tea contains molecules that have the ability to suppress the activities of bacterial and viral factors, and even reverse the body’s inability to fight certain bacteria.
It is recommended to consume four cups of iced or hot green tea per day. Now, you know why.