What are the Best Liquids for Detox?

Colorful beverage with cranberry and mint

Please read this first: First Steps to Take After Toxic Chemical Exposure

Why drinking liquids is super important for detox

Extra hydration is a VITAL part of every detox. Think about how you get rid of toxic substances – you breathe them out (requires water moisture), you urinate them out (requires even more water), and excrete them through the bowels. (There is water needed there too.) We have to have water to detox.
Other detox-related activities like cycling, treadmill, sauna, taking herbs for sweating, or taking diuretics all increase the need for water. Thirty minutes in a sauna at 140F can result in 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces) of water as sweat leaving the body just from the skin!

The body will compensate by pulling water first out of the space between the cells. The balance of water in between the cells is tightly controlled. Once that gets skewed, damage occurs to the kidneys and liver.

When you are detoxing and doing activities that cause you to sweat (such as sauna, hot baths, or aerobic exercise), you will need to replace that lost water. A good rule of thumb is 4 ounces of pure, clean water for every 15 minutes of sweating. You want to be peeing every hour.

If this sweating is from hiking up a place like Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale Arizona, where humidity is very low (104F, 1% humidity) you will need even more water. Consider doubling that to 8 ounces or more as the lack of humidity and the high temperature will place a greater demand for cooling.

So get serious about increasing your water intake, especially while doing a detox!

What liquids do you want to AVOID while detoxing?

While you are detoxing, you want to avoid caffeine and alcohol entirely and only drink diuretic-herbal-teas when you are on a specific protocol, like before trying to sweat in a hot bath.

Diuretics that pull water out of your body are:

  • caffeine
  • alcohol
  • diuretic herbal teas

What is a hydrating liquid?

“Hydrating liquids” are any beverages you drink that are NOT also diuretics (which pull water out of your body.)

Hydrating liquids are:

  • water
  • juice, nectar, coconut water
  • milks
  • soup
  • most herbal teas

What are the Best Liquids for Detox?

The best fluids to drink for detox are water, soup, non-diuretic herbal teas, and organic animal milks. (Of course, don’t ingest anything you are allergic to!)

You may notice that we did not mention plant-based milks, juice, nectar, or coconut water. This is because those beverages normally contain a lot of fruit sugar (fructose) which is not good for your health at all and specifically not good for detoxing.

Always read the ingredients of anything you are putting in your mouth to make sure they are organic, with no added sugar, and are free from additives, like gums, artificial colors, flavoring, and preservatives.

You will note that all the hydrating liquids listed contain water, and as we know, water can be polluted. So what can we do about polluted water?

What can we do about polluted water?

  1. Never put any chemicals or prescription drugs down any drain or spill them onto the land — you don’t want to be part of the pollution problem!
  2. Get your water tested.
  3. Filter it if you need to.

Water Testing

If you have town or city public water, (supplied by your municipality,) you can ask the Water Department for their water test report. However, it may not represent what is actually coming out of your faucet because the sample is taken at the water treatment plant, but then your water must travel through miles of likely old pipes and your own house plumbing before you drink it. And they may not have the budget, technology, or personnel to test for all the contaminants that you should be concerned about. Generally, they follow federal and/or state drinking water standards but do not normally test for lead, pesticides, radon, etc.

If you have well water, some state departments of public health or town health departments may provide free or reduced-cost water testing, however, although you may be able to test from your own kitchen faucet, as stated above, they may not test for all contaminants.

While getting your municipal water test results is a good place to start, we don’t recommend relying on the water test results provided by your municipal water department exclusively. Instead, you should test your own water at your kitchen tap.

For instructions on how to find water testing labs and which water test kits we recommend, please see: How to Test & Purify Your Home – Our Best Recommendations for Home Test Kits, Water Test Kits, Air Purifiers, and Water Filter

How to take toxins out of your water

If you don’t have the time or money to do testing, and just want to start drinking clean water now, you can skip the testing step and just buy a filter to filter your water.

You can filter your drinking water using a water pitcher, but this may not be enough if you have a lot of contamination. The next least expensive option would be an under-the-counter 3-stage filtration system. If you can, an even better option is a whole-house filtration system.

Shower filters are also available. These are very simple to install yourself. If you are on well water, a shower filter can keep groundwater contaminants out of your lungs and off your skin. If you are on city water, you will be exposed to Trihalomethanes (THMs) through your shower. THMs are compounds formed from the chlorine added to sanitize the water on its long journey from the treatment plant to a residence. THMs are carcinogenic. THMs form as the water travels to the home and as the water is heated for use. The largest source of THM exposure comes from breathing in the steam from a hot shower.

A shower filter is especially important if you have radon in your water, as it is actually more dangerous to inhale the radioactive radon particles than it is to drink them.

Whatever filtration system you choose, you will need to change the filters regularly. Improperly maintained filters are WORSE than no filter at all because they can breed bacteria. The more expensive filters will have a reminder light or timer that tells you when to change the filter.

Pitcher filters need to be changed more frequently, based on use. Larger filtration systems are usually changed every 6 months or when the water stream out of the filter decreases by half, whichever comes first. But always follow the filter manufacturer’s filter changing guidelines, because all water filters are made differently, so need to be changed at the interval specified by the manufacturer.

To make choosing a water filter easy, we have put together a list of filters we personally use or have used and were happy with for good price, ease of installation, and ease of filter change. For your convenience, here is our ​hand-selected, “best-of-the-best”​ list of Water Filters that will help transition a person to a healthy and toxin-free lifestyle.

Now that you have filtered your water, read on to see how much liquid you should be drinking daily.

How much fluid?

How much fluid should you be drinking every day? Does coffee count? What fluids should be avoided? Please see: How Much Water Should You Drink?

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