Link Between Dehydration and Heart Health
Your heart is amazing. Each day this impressive organ pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood throughout your body!
If your heart doesn't function properly, your quality of life is dramatically diminished. One way to enhance heart health is by adopting proper hydration.
Edin Sehovic, Founder of Evidence Nutrition, states chronic dehydration can risk heart disease. "Over time, chronic hydration, also called hypohydration, has detrimental effects on long-term cardiovascular health." Even a short period of chronic dehydration negatively affects heart function.
Adults are made up of around 60-70 percent water since water is crucial for healthy cells, tissues, and organs, like the heart.
Unfortunately, about 75 percent of U.S. adults are chronically dehydrated. Are you one of them? If so, you may be putting your heart health at risk.
New Study Shows Link Between Heart Disease and Hydration
It's important to note that simply drinking more water doesn't automatically equate to heart health. This is especially true for individuals with underlying health conditions that directly or indirectly affect the heart.
With that said, dehydration thickens the blood and puts added stress on the cardiovascular system. Being properly hydrated helps to prime your pump, making it more efficient. In other words, your heart works less hard to do its job.
But just as important, adequate water intake is directly tied to a reduced risk of heart disease. A study published in the European of Cardiology looked at individuals' daily, adequate water intake.
In this study, nearly 16,000 middle-aged adults were assessed over 25 years to see how hydration affected the sodium balance in their blood. Hormone levels and kidney function (contributing factors to heart health) were also assessed during the study.
After the hydration study, researchers found that poor water intake can correlate with heart disease. The study showed that insufficient fluid intake places additional strain on the heart muscle itself.
Natalia Dmitrieva, the study author and senior researcher with the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, found poor water intake can lead to blood sodium levels above 142 millimoles per liter [mmol/L].
The researchers settled on this trigger point because they've determined that releasing a hormone that keeps the kidneys from urine excretion could result in higher blood pressure.
This sodium concentration in the bloodstream during middle age is associated with heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy. In left ventricular hypertrophy, the wall of the heart's main pumping chamber thickens up, resulting in increased pressure within the heart in addition to poor pumping action. The study also indicated that maintaining good hydration can reduce or even prevent the chances of heart failure.
Interesting note: The study participants were 44-66 years old at the start of the study and 70-90 years old at the study's conclusion.
What about the "Pee Test"?
Experts agree that urine color is a good indication of fluid intake. Clear or light-yellow urine indicates proper hydration, while dark-colored urine is a definite sign of dehydration.
How much water should you get?
Of course, this is excellent news, but getting the right amount of water is also essential. Believe it or not, getting too much water is a real possibility. And each water requirement depends on factors like gender, health, and physical activity. Athletes need more water due to the physical demands of intense exercise.
Active individuals and those who play or work outdoors in hot weather have naturally higher water intake needs.
Guidelines from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommend 91 ounces of water daily for women and 125 ounces for men. Unfortunately, many of us do not reach even the recommended amount of fluid intake.
The PÜL SmartCap Solution to Dehydration
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European Society of Cardiology. "Drinking sufficient water could prevent heart failure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2021.
"How the Heart Works & Pumps Blood Through the Human Body." WebMD. Retrieved 10-29-2021.
Taylor, Kory. "Adult Dehydration-StatPearls-NCBI Bookshelf." National Center for Biotechnology Information. Accessed 29 October 2021.
"Left ventricular hypertrophy." Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 11-1-2021.
Interview with Edin Sehovic, Founder of Evidence Nutrition. October 2021.