When it comes to water intake, you may have heard the recommendation that you should drink 8 cups per day, but for Lyme patients, it can be a different story. It’s common for Lyme patients to experience excessive thirst as one of the earliest symptoms of tick-borne illness, and it is often overlooked. Well-known Lyme literate doctor, Dr. Lee Cowden (who originated the Cowden protocol) recommends his patients drink three liters or three quarts of clean water, evenly spaced throughout the day. He makes the point that patients need to drink this amount of water per day and not substitute drinks like coffee, caffeinated teas, and soft drinks because all those beverages can be dehydrating. Pure, clean water is recommended.

One key benefit of drinking this amount of water is it helps activate a person’s lymphatic system while hydrating the entire system.

Other benefits of drinking water include:

  • Regulating body temperature, protecting your tissue, spinal cord, and joints as well as fighting off illnesses such as constipation, kidney stones, UTIs, and hypertension.
  • Maintaining the flow of the bowels, circulatory system, and urinary tract (to safeguard against urinary tract infections).
  • According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, general water intake (from all beverages and foods) that meet most people’s needs are about 15.5 cups of water (125 ounces) each day for men and about 11.5 cups (91 ounces) daily for women.

As important as water intake is, not everyone needs to take the same amount. There is a hydration calculator that you can use to calculate how much hydration you specifically need since there are many biological factors that affect the amount of a person’s water intake. A person’s birth sex is important as it has been found that born males generally need more fluid to support their increased body mass, lower average body fat, and increased calorie burn each day. Body weight also plays an important role as hydration needs are influenced by the surface area of the body and metabolic rate.

Hydration Calculator

It is also important to understand some of the consequences our bodies face if we are dehydrated. One of the first things that you will notice is a reduction in physical performance due to water loss. Disruption of mood and cognitive ability will also suffer from dehydration. Headaches can also occur from a lack of proper hydration. Studies have found that participants with a headache will experience complete relief 30 minutes after drinking at least 200 ml of water.

Lyme disease and hydration is essential in treating Lyme disease and MSIDS (Multi-Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome). Proper hydration can rehydrate each cell in your body. To properly hydrate our cells, it is necessary to consume something that will cause the water to be attracted into or pulled into the cell (osmosis). There it is delivered to the body, and it is attracted to the outside of every cell of our body. When sodium is in the water outside the cell, the water inside (the less concentrated) is pull out and the water out is attracted in.

Drinking water might seem like such an easy thing to do to stay healthy but still many people do not take their daily intake. Therefore, if we properly hydrate our bodies, we can eliminate many diseases and relieve the symptoms of many conditions. Here are some important things to keep in mind with hydration and Lyme disease:

  • Healing requires hydration, the better hydrated we are, the easier it is for our bodies to repair damages.
  • Our immune system is hydration-dependent so the better hydrated we are the better our immune system will help fight off any more diseases.
  • Hydration facilitates the production of glutathione which helps our bodies detoxify
  • Lyme disease can bring on several infections. The best treatment to fight any infection is being well hydrated.

Water quality in the United States is said to be one of the safest in the world with over 90% of Americans getting tap water from community water systems. Most of the community water systems in the US are subject to safe water standards. When it comes to private versus public water systems, nonpublic sources consisted of bottled water or water that comes from springs, streams, ponds, and shallow wells not intended for drinking.

  • According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), individual water systems consist of the use of nonpublic sources and private water sources.
  • Nonpublic sources consist of bottled water or water that comes from springs, streams, ponds, and shallow wells not intended for drinking.
  • Private and individual, water systems are composed of private water systems and usually supply water to an individual residence.

Water quality is key to helping Lyme patients since they only want to be helping their immune systems instead of hurting them. 

  • At-home water filtration systems might sound like the best way to make sure contaminates do not make it in your body, but they can be costly. There are many different options for at-home filtration systems such as filtrate pitchers or an under-sink water filtration.
  • It is important to check the quality of the tap water in your area, and fortunately there are many free resources that allow you to do so. This can be done by clicking on the button below and looking up your local water quality.

Check Your Tap Water

The above material is provided for informational purposes only. The material is not nor should be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

About the author: Emilsa Yanes Valdez holds her B.A in Biology from Western Connecticut State University and is currently working on her MA in Public Health in Global Health. Science has always been a passion for her from a young age as well as being able to help others in her community. She hopes in the future to help improve health services in rural communities that are often forgotten.   

The Importance of Water Intake for Lyme Disease Patients