The Whys and Ways Wise Ways of Staying Hydrated

Why is it important to stay hydrated during coronavirus? I’m sure we’ve all seen photos like the one I’ve posted below, the photo that lists all the ways to keep the immune system healthy in times of stress. Keeping hydrated is on the list and is one of the more important reasons to keep the inner workings of the body healthy and functioning.

But why? Simple — water keeps our upper respiratory tract hydrated, and in turn, the moist environment traps viruses and other pathogens (bacteria, parasites, allergens). But how does the body get rid of those pathogens? Well, sometimes a cough or sneeze will dispel them. If the forcing of air out of the airways does not dispel the foreign invaders, then the body will destroy the pathogens with the immune systems. If the body is invaded by the pathogens it will typically take some time for the invaders to be identified. The body will fight them on two fronts. The first is the immune system recognizing and physically destroying the viruses. The second, the negative feedback system within the body will turn the heat down in your body (chills) and then way up (fever). This is all in order to create an environment inhospitable to the pathogen. It’s like trying to get rid of an unwanted roommate by turning the heat way up or way down.

Water helps mobilize the immune system. Keeping hydrated makes it easier for the white cells to reach the invaders, it helps wash the debris away when the pathogen is destroyed, it helps the lymph system drain the pathogens faster, it creates a faster highway for bone marrow to send out white cells and instead of the blood being thick like syrup, and it helps the thymus send out T-cells which can then navigate the arteries, veins, and lymph system without trudging through sludge.

How should you stay hydrated? Drink some water, drink it now, drink it later, drink when you’re sitting on an alligator. Drink it with some ice, drink it with some steam, drink all three ways water can be deemed.

Why do I prefer water over other liquids? Other liquids such as sugary drinks with other additives all add up to large molecules pulling water out of the interstitial fluid and back into the bloodstream. When the kidneys filter out large molecules like salt and sugar the polarity (the attraction of one atom or molecule to another) causes water to follow the sugar/salt to the toilet, forever to be lost among a never-ending swirl of toilet paper and waste — what a shame.

So on your video call with loved ones tonight you can say, “Hey grandma, I respect that you are trying to hydrate with that Jack and cola but the body prefers water.”

— Dr. Jackson Draeger, D.C.

Be sure to contact us at our Green Bay, Mosinee, or Antigo locations with any questions you may have about hydration, the coronavirus, or chronic pain relief. We look forward to hearing from you.

Click here if you want a good general overview of how the immune system works.