Whether you are seeking to lose weight, feel more energized, recover from being sick, or recover after large or spicy food challenges, WATER definitely needs to be your BEST friend. Water makes up over 60% of your body and plays a major key role in every function that your body performs. It helps keep your immune system strong by flushing out bad bacteria, and it also helps keep your skin clear too. Most importantly for this article and website, water keeps your digestive organs healthy and running at peak performance which allows the rest of your body to function properly. Drinking plenty of water after a large or spicy food challenge will definitely speed up your recovery time so that you can start feeling better again sooner. For more general information about how to recover after eating challenges, if you haven’t read them already, read Recovery From Quantity Food Challenges and Recovery From Spicy Food Challenges. These are all ways that water benefits digestion:

8 Ways That Drinking Water Benefits Your Digestive System

1. It keeps all of your digestive organs hydrated and energized – Many times when people are feeling tired and fatigued, the main reason they are feeling like that is simply because they are dehydrated. Over 60% of your body is made up of water, and this is especially true for your muscles and interior organs. To operate properly at their maximum potential, your digestive organs need to be hydrated with water, just like a machine needs motor oil. During a food challenge and especially afterwards, your digestive system will be working long and hard to process everything you just consumed. If you just completed a quantity challenge, your body has to digest a lot more food than it is typically used to. If you just completed a spicy challenge, your body has to figure out how to digest food that is way spicier than it is typically used to. Drinking plenty of water ensures that your organs will be hydrated and equipped to handle the task at hand, which is to digest the challenge meal you just finished.

2. It flushes out the excessive amount of sodium consumed – The most unhealthy part of a large quantity food challenge is not the thousands of calories you are quickly consuming, which mostly consist of fats and simple carbohydrates (sugars). It is the thousands of milligrams of sodium that you are consuming!! This really doesn’t apply to spicy food challenges, but it definitely does to quantity challenges. Your body uses sodium to control blood pressure and blood volume. Sodium is also needed for your muscles and nerves to work properly and function at their maximum capabilities. While sodium is a necessary nutrient, your body doesn’t need all the sodium that is included in the three liters of ramen soup you just consumed, or even the six pound burrito you just ate. Too much sodium in your diet can lead to high blood pressure and serious build-up of fluid that leads to serious health issues. Water is the nutrient that flushes out the excess amount of sodium that your body does not need, so you need plenty of water to flush out plenty of sodium. As we will talk about below, sodium also causes your body to retain water which then causes temporary weight gain. Water counteracts this issue too!!

3. Water helps move the food along through your system – Water is not as powerful as indigestible dietary fiber, but it definitely helps to move food through your stomach and intestines during the digestion process. A large majority of your digestive organs is made up of water, and we mentioned above how they need to be hydrated, so it makes perfect sense that water helps move everything through and out your body. It is pretty difficult to swallow food when your mouth is completely dry isn’t it? It’s pretty hard for your digestive system to move food and waste through it without enough water too. Along with the excessive amount of food you just ate, you need an excessive amount of water to help move all that food through your body in a safe manner. The water will help move all that spicy food through your body too. Water will help eliminate everything as quickly as possible.

4. It removes and flushes remaining toxins out of your body – Water plays a major role in keeping your body healthy and immune system strong, and that is because water flushes out all the potentially harmful bacteria and toxins from your body. People that consistently drink a lot of water typically get sick a lot less often because of their strengthened immune system. People with poor nutrition habits typically have more toxins in them due to the processed and “unhealthy” foods they consume, paired with their lack of drinking enough water, and therefore they are more likely to get sick. Most food challenges aren’t exactly considered “healthy” or good for you, and there may be a fairly high level of toxins brought into your body through consuming those meals. Drinking a lot of water for the next few days after your challenge will help eliminate all of those toxins and keep your body healthy and immune system strong. It will help you feel better faster hours after the challenge too.

5. Water keeps your metabolism running at full strength – As talked about above, water makes up a majority of your body, especially your muscles and interior organs. Your muscles and organs need water just like machine engines need oil. If your muscles and organs are operating at their full potential, your body will require a lot of calories to keep all of it’s processes running at that high level. Therefore, you will have a higher metabolism which you will need to both process and burn off the additional calories you consumed via your food challenge. Drinking water will help you minimize the direct weight gain during the hours after your challenge, and it will also help burn the excess calories during the days you spend eating lightly and working out more afterwards.

6. Water will quench your extreme thirst after the challenge – Especially after a very salty challenge filled with sodium, you will really crave a large glass of ice cold water. Different reactions involving sodium cause your body to retain water, and therefore a challenge meal filled with loads of sodium will really cause a significant amount of water to be retained and drawn away from all the other body processes it needs to be helping with. Therefore, your body really starts craving water shortly after your big meal, if you aren’t drinking it already. If you don’t fulfill that need, your body adapts and everything slows down, causing your recovery to take longer. Prevent your body from craving water by beginning to drink it as soon as you are able to after the challenge.

7. Drinking water will help fight sugar cravings hours later – Whether you are into food challenges or not, drinking water helps fight sugar and junk food cravings along with other unnecessary signals that your body gives you. Water helps regulate your hormone and blood levels throughout your body, and unbalanced levels create a recipe for nutritional disaster. These cravings can potentially get even worse and more difficult to deal with during the 48 hours after a large quantity food challenge, and this especially applies if that challenge was high in sugars or greasy fats. Your body will be working overtime to digest and process everything you just ate, and your hormone and blood levels will be more prone to becoming unbalanced. Begin drinking water after your challenge so that your body continues running properly with balanced blood levels and remains stable. This will help keep you from experiencing negative cravings later on during your next few non-challenge related meals.

8. Water will help you get rid of your excess weight quicker – As mentioned above, an excessive amount of sodium will cause your body to retain water, which of course then means you will be temporarily carrying around excess water weight. For more information about this, read our Expect Your Weight To Fluctuate Significantly article. Also as mentioned above, water helps flush out potentially harmful toxins along with excess sodium, so drinking plenty of water will help you lose most of the temporary excess weight gain that you will encounter after consuming all or most of a large quantity food challenge. It will help eliminate any excess weight and regulate your body after a spicy food challenge too. Flushing out the excess water weight along with helping to maximize your metabolism that burns off the excess actual weight that you gained from the challenge makes drinking plenty of water something that you most definitely should do after completing your food challenge.

To make a long story short, the human body is not known for being able to quickly adapt to rapid changes. If you force it do something, it will more than likely produce the opposite result of what you were originally wanting to happen, which is typically something negative. For example, you cannot lose weight drastically but cutting most of your typical calories and working out heavily. Your body will quickly go out of control and you will experience harmful side effects from that. Given enough time though along with proper guidance, your body will gradually adapt to the new changes and produce the outcome you have been working towards. With that being said, if you aren’t drinking enough water, your body will adapt and retain any water available so it has enough to perform all of it’s necessary functions. If you are drinking plenty of water though, your body will adapt to this “excess” and no longer retain any excess water. That is why if you are seeking to get rid of excess water weight, you need to drink more water!! Drinking plenty of water will counteract all of the major “downsides” of attempting food challenges. It truly is nature’s ultimate digestive aid!! Remember that there is no substitute for pure, natural water. Juices, flavored beverages, beer, coffee, and other liquids are made up mostly of water of course, and drinking those will produce better results than not drinking anything. They won’t have the same effect as water though, so don’t think that drinking beers after your challenge will make you recover just as fast as if you were drinking water. Water is your best friend, and not your pet or significant other, and don’t ever forget that! 🙂

Thanks for reading “Water Is Nature’s Ultimate Digestive Aid” and checking out FoodChallenges.com!!

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