While most people know that drinking an ample amount of fresh, clean water every day is critical for optimum health, many are unfamiliar with the numerous health benefits attributed to proper hydration. Depending on who you talk to, the definition of “adequate hydration” may look a bit different. Some sources recommend eight cups, others six or even ten or more depending on a variety of factors, such as gender, body size, heat, exercise levels, and more.
Researchers found that staying hydrated pays dividends in the form of improved digestion, clear skin, and many others. But did you know that paying more attention to your water intake may even help you live longer? True story: a new study found that good hydration may reduce your risk of heart failure. Drink enough H2O now and throughout life; chances are, your life may just be longer.
Study Shows Drinking More Water May Improve Heart Health
Heart disease is a condition in which the heart doesn’t pump enough blood to the body, failing to meet its needs. It affects millions of Americans and is the leading cause of death in the United States.
A study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has found – through examining longitudinal studies that spanned decades – that adults who consumed more water are less likely to experience heart disease. Specifically, the study found that by examining serum sodium levels (the amount of salt in blood), they could see who was at greater risk.
Keep in mind, because serum sodium increases as water intake drops, hydration is a key indicator of who will and who won’t get heartsick, as well as many other health-related problems.
Here Are Some Unexpected Health Benefits of Proper Hydration
“Similar to reducing salt intake, drinking enough water and staying hydrated are ways to support our hearts and may help reduce long-term risks for heart disease,” said lead study author Natalia Dmitrieva, Ph.D. in the paper.
According to the National Council on Aging, proper hydration also:
- Improves brain performance
- Gives you energy
- Helps you regulate your temperature
- Increases weight loss
- Flushes out toxins from organs
- Stabilizes your heartbeat
- Cushions joints
- Improves digestion
- Naturally rids your bladder of bacteria
Conversely, there is a well-attested link between dehydration and disease. The dangers of chronic dehydration include constipation, fatigue, kidney stones (or failure), UTIs, poor digestive functioning, poor concentration, fatigue, and skin abnormalities.
Simple Tips to Keep Hydration on Top of Mind
To stay hydrated, make sure you:
- Always have a glass or bottle of water on hand
- Pack extra water for day trips, car rides, and long days at the office or on worksites
- Drink before or after every meal
- Set an alarm if you tend to forget
- Add lemon, lime, or a few berries to make your water more appealing, if needed
Don’t Overdo It – Too Much of a Good Thing Can Be Bad
It’s important to note that “more water equals better health” is not an equation that holds true at any intake level. Beyond the (average) recommended 6-8 cups for women and 10-12 for men, you risk reducing serum sodium levels too much.
That can lead to hyponatremia, in which case your salt and fluid levels are out of whack. Nausea, fatigue, confusion, and other symptoms may result. Stick to the physician-recommended intake, and you’ll be fine.
Ready to do more for your heart … and your health? Maintain healthy water levels … starting today!
Republished from NaturalHealth365