water infusion for hydration

Hydration for PKD: How To Mix It Up

Jun 14, 2023

About 60% of our bodies are made up of water.  It is essential for life and good hydration helps deliver nutrients to cells, aids digestion, regulates body temperature, removes waste, and even helps maintain blood pressure. All cells in the body need water.  This includes your kidneys!  With Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), it's especially important to have good hydration practices. 

In this post, I am sharing some ways to mix up your hydration, add fun flavor infusions, and support your proactive hydration practices.


Hydration and PKD


With PKD, good hydration helps suppress the vasopressin Pathway.  In short, vasopressin is a hormone that is released when the body needs more fluid, like if you were becoming dehydrated.   Vasopressin signals a whole cascade in your kidneys, including increased fluid secretion, a known driver of cyst multiplication and growth.


For a more in-depth look at hydration and the vasopressin pathway check out Fluid and PKD, How Much Should You Drink? 


Other perks of good hydration for PKD include a reduced risk of kidney stones and proactive prevention of dehydration, which can negatively affect kidney function.  


It’s great to have set fluid goals with PKD, it’s even better to meet those goals.  Sometimes, that can be tough.  I get it, It can be a bit boring and repetitive sipping on that H2O day after day.  


I want you to have some fun with your hydration, to add some color, flavor, and pizzazz.  Mixing up your hydration with some fruit and herb infusion might even feel a bit fancy.  Treat yourself! 


Adding new flavors and infusions to your water is an easy way to add variety, and help meet your hydration goals. I tend to throw whatever fruit and flavors I have around into my infusions but I have found a few favorite combinations I want to share with you.


Hydration Infusions


A few things worth knowing


  • You can pretty much add any fruit or flavor you like.
  • Use plain or sparkling water, your choice!
  • Infusions can be kept for up to 3 days
  • Do note, citrus + peel may taste a bit bitter after 24 hours
  • The longer your mix infuses, the stronger the flavor
  • You can reuse your fruit + herb mix, and refill with fluid up to 3-4 times


Is there any nutritional benefit?


There are only minute amounts of vitamins and minerals added from the fruit + herbs.  


No Fail Formula


This is an easy formula, play around with it, and mix up your flavors!

  1. Use a 1 liter (32 oz) or larger bottle, carafe, or pitcher
  2. Add fruit + herbs 
  3. Cover with ice, per preference
  4. Add water to fill the container
  5. Let infuse for a minimum of 15-20 minutes
  6. Enjoy! 


Favorite Flavor Combinations


Here are some of my favorite combinations.  I really like adding citrus with herbs, it's bright and very easy to sip.  If you prefer stronger flavors, just increase the portion of what you are adding.   If you like mild herb flavors, add them whole, and don't tear or cut them.


1. ⅓ Cucumber, sliced + ¼ cup mint + ⅓ cup blackberries 


2. ½ cup Watermelon, cubed + ¼ cup mint + ½ lime, sliced 


3. 3 Strawberries, sliced + ½ lime, sliced 


4. ½ cup Watermelon + ¼ basil 


5. ½ Orange, sliced + ⅓ cup blackberries or blueberries  


6. 2 teaspoons Fresh Ginger, sliced + 1 Rosemary Sprig 


7. ½ Lemon, sliced + ½ Lime, sliced  

8. 3 Strawberries, sliced + ½ Lemon, sliced + ¼ cup Basil  

9. ½ cup Honeydew Melon, cubed + ⅓ Cucumber, sliced + ¼ cup Mint, torn 


Did you try one of my favorite combinations? 

Tag me @the.pkd.dietitian on Instagram with a picture of your "fancy" sipper.  Have a favorite combination of your own, do share! 


Until then, happy hydration and PKD health.

Diana, The PKD Dietitian


Learn More about working with Diana, The PKD Dietitian, at www.thepkddietitian.com

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