Natural disease prevention doesn’t get much safer or more powerful than plain old water.
The fact is, you can ward off a long list of problems—from headaches and fatigue to low mood and difficulty focusing—simply by making sure you’re drinking enough water every day.
But staying properly hydrated is more than just a simple trick to give your mood and energy a boost. As new research shows, it could actually save your life…
Dehydration harms your heart
As part of new research presented to the European Society of Cardiology, scientists set out to determine whether hydration habits (as measured by sodium concentrations in the blood) could predict future heart failure down the line.
Their study featured nearly 16,000 adults, all part of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Subjects were middle-aged (between 44 and 66 years old) at the start of the study, and received five health evaluations until age 70 to 90.
The researchers divided them into four groups based on their blood sodium concentration at the first two visits. Then, they analyzed rates of heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy (thickening of the heart’s main pumping chamber—a precursor to heart failure) and health results of the fifth visit, 25 years later.
In the end, higher blood sodium concentration in midlife was linked with both conditions. And that association remained significant, even after researchers adjusted for outside factors, including age, blood pressure, kidney function, blood sugar, body mass index (BMI), and smoking status.
Bottom line? Good hydration throughout your life could slash your odds of developing heart failure down the line. So if you haven’t been drinking enough water—and unfortunately, most people don’t—it’s time to get your habits back on track.
How much water is enough?
No doubt you’ve heard the “eight glasses a day” advice before. But the fact is, that may or may not be enough.
To set the record straight, you should actually be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day. So a 160-pound person would need 80 ounces of water daily, as a general rule of thumb.
But if you exercise—and I certainly hope you do—you need to drink more.
For every 30 minutes of physical activity, you should add another eight ounces to your daily total. (Caffeinated beverages do not count toward this total. In fact, each cup of coffee you drink requires yet another cup of water to make up for it.)
I realize that may sound like a lot… but it doesn’t take long to make a habit of it. You can start by downing a full glass of water first thing in the morning, before each meal, and before bed.
This simple routine will make a big dent in your daily requirement—and ultimately, deliver an equally big payoff to your health, in both the short and long term.
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“Drinking sufficient water could prevent heart failure.” Science Daily, 08/24/2021. sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210824104113.htm