Of all home remedies for gout, water is the cheapest, and often the most effective of gout cures.
Maintaining adequate hydration helps reduce uric acid concentration, which helps prevent gout attacks. Drinking lots of water also helps most other gout treatments – medical or alternative.
The kidneys play a vital role in gout management. Drinking plenty of water helps the kidneys flush uric acid from the body. Even if you take allopurinol to inhibit uric acid production, you still need water. It helps the kidneys get rid of the by-products of allopurinol. All medical or home remedies for gout that reduce uric acid will work better if you drink plenty of water.
One of the most common triggers for gout attacks is dehydration. As the body loses water, the concentration of uric acid rises in the blood. Once this reaches a critical point, uric acid crystals will form. You can easily prevent this by including water as your home remedy for gout.
Water as a Home Remedy for Gout
To use water as a home remedy for gout you need to drink at least 12 8-ounce glasses per day (5 UK pints, or almost 3 liters). This can take some getting used to, but if you persevere for a week or two, you soon get used to it. I try to drink about 25% more than that, and only seem to get gout attacks when I lose the water drinking habit. You need to increase this during hot weather or exercise.
Treat water as a medicine. Take a regular dose – sip from your glass or bottle regularly rather than guzzling a large volume each hour. You’re not likely to overdose – you have to drink over a gallon an hour to risk adverse effects. You do need to take care that there are no impurities in the water. If your supply is not clean opt for bottled or properly filtered water.
Water can be consumed by itself, but milk, juices etc are also effective. Most fluids can be included as part of your water intake, but avoid sugary drinks, and always read the label. Most forms of water are absolutely fine, including:
- Soda water / club soda / carbonated water
- Sparkling or still spring water
- Plain tap / bottled water
2018 Update: Natural Soda Water Prevents Gout
Recent lab research suggests that a specific Chinese natural soda water is good for gout. Because that gout study reveals:
In conclusion, drinking natural soda water may have a significant role in alleviating uric acid caused injury and preventing gouty inflammation. Moreover, the higher concentration of HCO3 in [Chinese Soda Water] may be a possible key compound playing a role in gout reduction from soda water. Further studies are still needed to be performed to confirm these results.
But note the warning at the end of that conclusion. Because the authors note their study is preliminary. Specifically, we need:
- Comparisons with different types of natural soda water.
- Specific chemical analysis of different soda waters. Especially with respect to boron content.
- Human gout patient studies instead of test-tube reactions.
Other aspects of water and gout
When buying bottled water, be sure to check for unwanted minerals, and spring or well water should be tested to avoid risks of metal salts that can raise uric acid. Some drinks contain caffeine or other diuretics, however the amount of caffeine in normal cups of tea and coffee is not significant . In fact, coffee has shown to have a beneficial effect on gout for many people.
Alcohol, particularly spirits and fortified wines, can have a diuretic effect, and so you must strive to drink plenty of water after you have taken alcohol.
Home Remedies For Gout: Next Steps
Now that you can see how good water is for gout, it’s time to assess your fluid intake.
Also check the other natural gout remedies in this section.
If you have questions or opinions about home remedies for gout, please discuss them in the gout remedies forum.
2011 Update: There is emerging evidence that orange juice may rank higher in gout natural remedies than water.
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Home Remedies For Gout References
- Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a review. Maughan RJ, Griffin J. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2003 Dec;16(6):411-20.
From the abstract:
The aim of this review is to evaluate the available literature concerning the effect of caffeine ingestion on fluid balance and to formulate targeted and evidence-based advice on caffeinated beverages in the context of optimum hydration. […] no support for the suggestion that consumption of caffeine-containing beverages as part of a normal lifestyle leads to fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested or is associated with poor hydration status. Therefore, there would appear to be no clear basis for refraining from caffeine-containing drinks in situations where fluid balance might be compromised.
- Zhao, Qingsong, Lipei Wang, Xiongbin Wu, Tingting Liu, Jinmei Xu, Ming Li, Bo Li, Min Guo, and Zhifeng Cheng. “‘Shi Han Quan’natural soda water prevents development of gout.” International journal of rheumatic diseases 21, no. 1 (2018): 330-337. Natural Soda Water Prevents Gout PDF.