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Stay hydrated for a healthy heart

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Most of us are dehydrated. We don’t drink anywhere near enough of the stuff every day to keep us healthy—and a new study emphasizes the point.

You don’t have to part with your hard-earned cash for WDDTY to tell you that water is important. Of course it is, and yet surprisingly few of us drink (or eat) anywhere near enough of it to keep us hydrated.

A recent study underscores the point. Researchers from the US National Institutes of Health discovered that staying hydrated helps maintain a healthy heart and can even slow heart deterioration, which can eventually lead to heart failure. By the time we reach the age of 70, we’re at a much higher risk for heart failure and hypertrophy, when the heart has expanded unexpectedly.1

They tracked the levels of sodium in 15,792 people for up to 26 years. You know if you’re drinking enough liquids from the amount of sodium in your blood. A high serum sodium reading suggests you should be drinking more water; if you’re not, your body will try to conserve the water it has, and this can eventually lead to heart failure.

High sodium levels were reliable predictors of heart failure over the life of the study, with each 1 mmol/L increase in sodium level increasing the odds of heart failure by around
20 percent.  

It’s a new insight into the importance of water for our health. We already know it’s vital for so many functions—even in maintaining a good mood and our ability to remember—but as we’re made up of nearly 70 percent water ourselves, perhaps that’s not so surprising.

How much should you be drinking?

Plus:

  • before and after sweaty exercise
  • the weather is hot and humid
  • you have a fever, diarrhea or vomiting
  • you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
  • you’re over the age of 75

Who’s dehydrated?

Most of us are dehydrated. For instance, the average liquid intake in the UK is 1.7 liters (3 Imperial pints) when it should be closer to 2.5 liters (4.3 pints) if you’re a man and 2 liters (3.5 pints) for women.

Despite this shortfall, the UK is one of the most-hydrated nations in the world. Britons on average drink 53 percent of the daily requirement for maintaining health. According to Water Logic, a water dispenser company, most are doing far worse. 

Knowing your liters and pints

Recommended daily fluid intake.

Why water’s important

  • Maintains a healthy temperature
  • Lubricates your joints
  • Helps the body get rid of waste
  • Protects sensitive tissues
  • Helps keep you even-tempered
  • Helps you concentrate
  • Keeps your heart healthy
  • Keeps up energy levels


 

References

1

European Society of Cardiology Congress, Aug 24, 2021

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Article Topics: drinking, water
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