Does Drinking Water Help Lower Cholesterol?
The words “cholesterol” and “water” are often associated with health and wellness, but not necessarily with each other. However, recent studies have shown that drinking water can actually help lower cholesterol levels in the body. This may come as a surprise to many, as we often hear about the negative effects of high cholesterol and the need to lower it, but not as much about the benefits of drinking water in this regard.
First, let’s get a basic understanding of what cholesterol is and why it is important. Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the cells of our body. It is essential for the production of cell membranes, hormones, and Vitamin D. There are two types of cholesterol: HDL (high-density lipoprotein) also known as “good” cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) also known as “bad” cholesterol. Having high levels of LDL in the body can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, while having high levels of HDL can actually help protect against these conditions.
How Does Water Help Lower Cholesterol?
Drinking water helps lower cholesterol levels in several ways. One of the main ways is by increasing the production of HDL in the body. When we are properly hydrated, our bodies are able to produce more HDL, and therefore, lower the overall ratio of HDL to LDL in our system.
In addition, drinking water also helps flush out excess cholesterol from the body. Our kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste and toxins, including cholesterol, from our blood. But in order to function properly, the kidneys need an adequate amount of water. When we are dehydrated, our kidneys are not able to do their job effectively, leading to a buildup of cholesterol and other harmful substances in our body.
Furthermore, dehydration can also lead to an increase in the production of a hormone called angiotensin II, which is known to narrow and stiffen blood vessels. This increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. By staying hydrated, we can help prevent the overproduction of this hormone and maintain healthy blood vessels.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Now that we know how water can help lower cholesterol, the next question is, how much water should we drink? The amount of water needed varies from person to person, depending on factors such as body weight, physical activity, and climate. A common recommendation is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Others suggest drinking half your body weight in ounces of water. So for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim to drink 75 ounces of water per day.
It’s important to remember that water intake should also be adjusted based on physical activity and climate. If you are more physically active or live in a hot and humid environment, you may need to drink more water to stay properly hydrated.
Other Ways to Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
While drinking water can definitely help lower cholesterol, it’s not the only way to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Other lifestyle habits that can help include healthy eating, regular exercise, and limiting alcohol intake. Consuming foods rich in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats, like avocados and nuts, can also help lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, quitting smoking can greatly improve cholesterol levels and overall heart health.
In conclusion, drinking water can definitely play a role in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels in the body. By properly hydrating ourselves, we can increase the production of HDL, flush out excess cholesterol, and prevent the overproduction of harmful hormones. Remember to aim for at least 8 glasses (or half your body weight in ounces) of water per day, and incorporate other healthy lifestyle habits to maintain optimal cholesterol levels. Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized recommendations and to monitor your cholesterol levels.