It is the organ that inspired the name of a bean and the shape of countless swimming pools, the kidney. You are familiar with the shape, but do you know what the organ does for you?
Well first off you have two kidneys and they are located just below your ribs on either side of your spine. They are each about the size of your fist. Although they are small, about 0.5 percent your body weight, they are mighty and receive 20 to 25 percent of the blood pumped by the heart. The kidneys main purpose is to regulate the composition of blood, by:
- keeping the concentrations of various ions (little bits of molecules) and other important substances constant
- keeping the volume of water in your body constant
- removing wastes from your body (urea, ammonia, drugs, toxic substances)
- keeping the acid/base concentration of your blood constant
Essentially your kidneys filter out wastes and remove them from your body in the form of urine.
The kidneys also: help regulate your blood pressure, stimulate the making of red blood cells, and maintain your body's calcium levels.
About 1 in 10 Americans will experience a kidney stone in their lifetime. Drinking your recommended amount of daily water is one of the best ways to ward off kidney stones, as well as eating a diet low in salt and animal fat, as well as not exceeding the normal dietary amount of calcium.
Check out the FitSugar Calculator to find out how much water you should be drinking daily. Your kidneys will appreciate it greatly.