When young people made carrying reusable water containers ubiquitous, they were onto something far more substantive than a trendy fashion accessory.
Staying hydrated may be associated with a lower risk for developing heart failure, proving those water bottles aren’t just for show. New findings from the National Institutes of Health suggest that drinking sufficient amounts of fluids throughout life not only supports the body’s essential functions, but may also lower the risk of severe heart problems.
More than 6.2 million Americans, many of them 65 or older, have chronic “heart failure,” which develops when the heart doesn’t pump enough blood for the body’s needs.
The NIH researchers had done preclinical work that seemed to suggest dehydration might be associated with heart troubles.
Serum sodium levels and fluid intake are easily assessed in routine physicals.
So the researchers looked at those factors in a large group of people.
Among the data from about 5,000 adults who ranged in age from 70 to 90, those whose serum sodium levels were on the higher end of the standard range were found to be 102% more likely to develop left ventricular hypertrophy and to have a 54% increased risk for heart failure.
More study is needed to confirm the preliminary findings.
But, the researchers said, there’s nothing to lose by working to improve one’s hydration game. Women need about six to eight cups of water a day; men need between eight and 12.
So gulp, guzzle or quaff the healthy liquid of your choice ¾ our bodies need lubrication to function properly. Maybe even get yourself a water bottle to carry around. We hear they even have some that will remind you to drink up.