Has anyone told you to drink more water to help heal your leaky gut?
What!? Drinking water seems too basic to really help with anything, especially leaky gut and symptoms like heart burn, acid reflux, gas/bloating… Right?
After breathing exercises, drinking more water is my go-to first steps for anyone suffering with leaky gut or any form of digestive & elimination distress.
You may have come across how drinking water can support energy, promote weight loss, flush toxins, improve skin and hair, prevent cramping and even prevent headaches. And when it comes to gut health you may have heard that is helps to prevent constipation.
The most obvious benefit is that water can help move matter through the digestive tract, this is how it helps with constipation. This process also aids the purge of toxins and metabolic waste supporting a healthier environment not only for you, but for your microbiome. The bacteria residing in your gut that is critical for digestion.
This healthier environment can lead to less stress on the GI tract allowing it to remain calm and heal when needed. Leaky gut is a condition where the intestinal wall is persistently inflamed and the tight junctures between cells become “loose,” allowing food particles too larger for normal absorption, bacteria, toxins to pass into your blood stream.
Being well hydrated supports the digestion of soluble fiber. Again, this helps with elimination, but soluble fiber is critical for microbiome health. Though your enzymes cannot break down most complex carbohydrates, the microbes in your GI tract do. Soluble fiber is considered prebiotics, microbe food.
Other beverages, especially sugar laden ones, support microbe growth as well. Just not the microbes you want to have reside in your GI tract in large quantities.
And just having a sip of water before you eat can help with the digestion of soluble fiber as well. The digestion of carbohydrates begins in the mouth. By drinking water 5 – 10 minutes before you eat, you can stimulate the production of saliva and kick start the release of your digestive juices.
When your digestive juices are more concentrated, and you are properly digesting the food you eat, this can help reduce the occurrence of acid reflux which in turn reduces the chance for ulcers.
And when you are digesting properly, and your microbiome is healthy – you have less gas and bloating. Less digestive stress overall – less IBS, gastritis and chronic inflammation.
9 Warning Signs You Are Dehydrated
- Your constipated
- You have dark urine and it may have a strong odor – you want your urine to be almost completely clear with no odor
- Frequent headaches
- Dry mouth
- Feeling thirsty
- Craving sugar and/or salt
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle cramps
- Feeling lightheaded / low blood pressure
How Much Should You Drink?
It’s recommend that you drink half your body weight in ounces of water and at least 60 – 80 ounces of water per day.
When you first begin to drink more water, you may have to urinate more often. As your body is re-educated on how to handle and process the water, this will resolve, and you won’t have to find a restroom nearly so often.
5 Tips On How To Drink More Water
- Drink 1 -2 glasses of water upon rising in the morning – you sweat during the night and need to replenish
- Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go. To help keep track of how much water you are drinking, use rubber-bands. If you want to drink 6 bottles of water during the day, start with 6 rubber-bands around the bottle and remove one each time you fill up.
- Drink a glass of water 5 – 10 minutes before every meal (Avoid drinking while eating unless your mouth is dry. Drinking water while eating can dilute your stomach acids, reducing your ability to digest proteins.)
- Drink water before, during and after exercise, or any activity that causes you to sweat
- Eat more fruits and vegetables (preferably vegetables – cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, etc.
Drinking more water alone will not heal a leaky gut, but it does aid the process. Drinking more has shown to not only support elimination and healthy gut microbes, it also helps to reduce the incidence of ulcers, bloating, gas, gastritis, acid reflux and even IBS. All of which helps reduce inflammation supporting a healthy intestinal wall which aids in avoiding or healing leaky gut syndrome.
Your partner in health,
PS: I would love to hear how staying hydrated has made a difference in your life. Share your comments and insights on my Facebook page; Justine Cécile Coaching.
And if you are a woman and would like to dig deeper, come join me over at Designing Oneself on Facebook. Designing Oneself is a place for women who have seen a few things, experienced a few things and want more.
It's a place where we can gather and overcome conventional norms that say we have to slow down as we age. That stomach upset, fatigue, body aches & pains, and cognitive slowing down is not normal. (They may be common, but certainly NOT normal.)