The Importance of Hydrating Your Colon
Your intestines are a 25-foot conduit. For good gut (intestinal)
function you need to keep that the food being digested
moving along. This function will be greatly impeded if your
intestines are dry. When you eat, your food goes from your stomach to
your small intestine, and then to your large intestine, or colon. You need
a well-hydrated colon to process the food matter and move along, or
slide long, the walls of the colon. But if you don’t have enough water
in your body already, the colon will soak up water from the food that is
being processed as waste. This makes you have hard stools that are
difficult to pass and constipates you.
In order to avoid constipating backup in your colon, you should drink
plenty of water and eat foods that are high in water content. You
should drink plenty of water throughout the day. This amount should be
increased if you are, for example, living in a hot, humid climate and
sweating, or exercising vigorously and sweating.
Foods that Constipate
Remember, your body is made of approximately 60% water. If you eat too
many water-depleted foods, your intestinal tract will become bound up
and you can become constipated and bloated. For example, as a snack, I
used to eat snack chips that were natural, lower-calorie and gluten-free
(more easily digestible.) However, snack chips by their nature are dry
and have low water content, and I wound up constipated, bloated, and
with a gut. Foods with low water content include bread, peanut butter
, and other nut butters, chips, crackers, chocolate cake, and cookies.
Foods that Hydrate
So to keep your intestinal tract hydrated–to keep the food being
digested moving through the “slippery tube,” you not only should you
drink plenty of water, but eat foods–even snack foods–that are high in
water content. These foods include fruits and vegetables. These foods
actually provide you with water as they are almost 100% water by weight.
Soups can as well. Nuts and seeds, brown rice, and even some bread
(gluten-free preferred.) These foods provide you with extra water. Even
some animal proteins (which may have a higher water content) and that
have quicker digestive transit times– like fish and chicken–may be
eaten and digested fairly quickly as well.
Drinks to Avoid
Drinks with caffeine such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks with added
caffeine such as most colas, should be drunk in moderation. Caffeine is
a diuretic (a substance that removes water from your body) and so will
dehydrate you. Alcohol is also a diuretic that should be drunk in
moderation or avoided.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
How much water to drink daily depends on each person. But the U.S.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined
that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups of fluids a day for
men and about 11.5 cups of fluids a day for women. Now, these recommended
fluids are from about 80% water other drinks and 20% from food. More
commonly, a rule of thumb is drinking about 8 glasses of water a day for
a total of 64 ounces per day. But again this varies from person to
person and the other factors as mentioned such as the weather, how much
physical exertion you are putting out, and the foods that you eat.
How do I know if I’m Drinking Enough Water?
You are probably getting enough water if you usually don’t feel thirsty. You should make
water your main beverage to prevent the dehydration of your digestive system and of
your body in general. Drink
water whenever you feel thirsty. As your body often mistakes thirst for
hunger, drink water before and during a meal. You will eat less.
Why It’s Important to Drink Water Every Morning
You should drink 2 glasses of water every morning before your first
meal. Think about it. You just went 8 hours without drinking any water or other
beverages. Even if you don’t feel thirsty,
your body probably is Drinking water in the morning also kick starts
your metabolism. Drinking water in the morning will also help you get
rid of toxins by flushing out your digestive system.