There is a lot that you can do to enhance your immune system, but it appears that simply sipping on water or a hydrating beverage throughout the day could lead to stronger immunities.
The immune system, quite frankly, is extremely difficult to understand and study. A good scientific study, in principle, takes into account all the potential variables, changes one, then measures the results. But with the immune system, there are many variables that we simply don’t understand, likely many we have yet to discover. This makes clear studies on the immune system difficult, but not necessarily impossible.
One of the useful studies that looked at hydration and immunity came from Taiwanese researchers. Basically, researchers separated a large group of wrestlers into two camps. The first was restricted from water consumption, while the other drank as much water as they wanted. After a complex lab experiment (we won’t dive into all the terminology and acronyms), the results showed that the water-restricted group had a weaker response from their immune system.
But why does hydration improve immunities? While the exact details of how drinking fluids improves the immune system are still not fully understood, there are a few things we do know. For one, staying hydrated naturally eliminates toxins and other substances that may cause illness.
How to Stay Hydrated: Gradually, Consistently
Different organizations have different suggestions for how much water a person should drink in a single day. Healthline, for example, cites the “8×8” rule, which states that most people should drink an eight-ounce glass of water eight times a day. This would equal about two liters a day. The Mayo Clinic, on the other hand, recommends as much as 3.7 liters of fluid a day for most men, and 2.7 liters a day for most women. It’s important to note, however, that the Mayo Clinic’s recommendation “covers fluids from water, other beverages and food,” not just water alone. They say that about 20% of a person’s fluid comes from food.
No matter how much you consume, it’s best to drink water gradually instead of all (or most) in one sitting. This is why the 8×8 rule is so popular; it’s not only easy to remember, it encourages you to consume water in a steady, gradual way.