Home » Heart Health » 5 Surprising Ways Drinking Water Benefits Your Heart Health
Water plays a vital role in the human body, making up 60-70% of an individual’s weight. It is crucial for various bodily functions such as digestion, absorption, transportation, elimination, and circulation of biomolecules, as well as maintaining body temperature. When dehydrated, the heart has to work harder to pump blood, which can strain the heart and increase the risk of heart disease.
As the temperatures soar, staying hydrated becomes crucial for optimal heart health. Proper hydration helps the heart pump blood quickly through the vessels to the muscles and enables muscles to function efficiently. According to John Batson, M.D., a sports medicine physician and American Heart Association volunteer, “When the body is well hydrated, the heart doesn’t have to work as hard.”
This goes hand-in-hand with research presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2021 (Ref. Link). It stated that maintaining proper hydration throughout one’s life can decrease the risk of developing heart failure. The author, Dr. Natalia Dmitrieva of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), emphasized that “good hydration throughout life may decrease the risk of developing left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure.” In summary, the study suggests that keeping the body hydrated can slow down or even prevent the changes in the heart that lead to heart failure.
We have outlined below the five ways in which drinking water can have an impact on your heart.
Being well-hydrated means having adequate water in the body to support its functions. The amount of water a person needs varies based on climate, clothing, and exercise intensity and duration. People who sweat heavily or have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may need to drink more water. Medications that act as diuretics can also cause the body to lose more fluid, making you reach out for a glass of water more often.
Thirst is not always the best indicator of hydration needs. A better way to gauge hydration levels is by looking at the color of your urine. Clear and pale urine is a sign of good hydration, while dark urine indicates a need to drink more fluids.
To determine the specific amount of water needed, one can weigh themselves before and after exercise to see how much water loss occurs through perspiration. It’s best to replenish a pint of water for every pound of sweat lost. Athletes training in hot weather may lose 5 pounds or more of sweat during practice, so it is essential to stay hydrated. Not sweating during physical activity can be a warning sign of dehydration and heat exhaustion. Together with hydration, we recommend a Smart Heart Monitor such as the Frontier X2.
Drinking enough water can help lower your risk of heart disease by reducing the risk of a heart attack. Adequate hydration can also help lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health by improving blood flow, reducing inflammation, and preventing heart failure.
The amount of water you should consume for heart health varies from person to person, depending on factors such as age, sex, weight, and activity level. However, a general guideline is to drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of water daily. Pay attention to your body’s thirst signals and urine color. Pale and clear urine indicates good hydration, while dark urine indicates dehydration. Drinking more water in hot weather or when sweating a lot (working out, running, or cycling) is also vital.
When it comes to heart health, plain, clean, and safe drinking water should be your go-to. It’s also important to be mindful of drinking water that contains added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or other chemical additives. These can be detrimental to heart health.
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