Drinking Enough Water Could Help Prevent Heart Failure, Study Finds
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Everyone knows drinking enough water every day has some remarkable health benefits – from keeping your skin soft, supple, and smooth to enhancing memory, cognition, and mood. But did you know it could help reduce your risk for heart failure, too?
That’s according to a study by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which linked “habitual low water intake with increased future risk for adverse cardiovascular events.” This is alarming because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
The good news is that “maintaining good hydration can slow down or even prevent changes within the heart that lead to heart failure,” says study author Dr. Natalia Dmitrieva, a senior researcher at the NHLBI, in a press release. Essentially, every glass of water you drink every day could help lower your risk of heart failure and keep your heart healthy and strong.
But what if you don’t like drinking plain water? How much should you even drink per day to stay hydrated? And what do you do about those nasty contaminants often found in tap water? Great questions. Luckily, Springwell’s got you covered.
Continue reading as we share some simple and creative tips to help you increase your daily water intake. We’ll also explain the right amount of H2O to consume every day (according to science) and how to ensure the water you’re hydrating with is free of potentially dangerous impurities and contaminants.
A Bit More About the Study
Before discussing the different ways you can up your water intake for better heart health, let’s learn more about the study we briefly highlighted earlier.
So, the study conducted by Dr. Dmitrieva and her NHLBI colleagues investigated whether “serum sodium concentration in middle age, as a measure of hydration habits, predicts the development of heart failure 25 years later.” The researchers also examined “the connection between hydration and thickening of the walls of the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) – called left ventricular hypertrophy – which is a precursor to heart failure diagnosis.”
To meet these objectives, the research team analyzed 15,792 adults recruited at 44 to 66 years old then evaluated over five visits until age 70 to 90. The participants were divided into four groups based on their average serum sodium concentration at study visits one and two (conducted in the first three years): 135–139.5, 140–141.5, 142–143.5, and 144–146 mmol/l.
The study team then tracked heart failure incidences in the participants — along with problems with the heart’s left ventricular pumping capacity — over the ensuing years. And the result? Those whose blood sodium levels had exceeded 142 mmol/L in middle age saw their risk for both heart issues surge when they hit age 70 and older.
How Not Drinking Enough Water Could Increase Your Risk of Heart Failure
The study authors suggest that when people drink less fluid and the concentration of serum sodium increases, the body attempts to conserve water, which activates processes known to contribute to the development of heart failure.
Heart failure doesn’t mean that the heart has failed or is about to stop working. It means the heart muscle has become weaker over time or has a mechanical problem limiting its ability to fill with blood. As a result, it can’t keep up with the body’s demand, and blood returns to the heart faster than the heart can pump out – the heart becomes congested or backed up. This pumping problem means that not enough oxygen-rich blood can get to the body’s other organs.
Although there are numerous other risk factors for heart failure, “the importance of hydration has been on the cardiovascular radar for a long time,” noted Dr. Dmitrieva. “It has to do with how the lack of liquid intake can affect an individual’s sodium (salt) balance, hormone levels, and kidney function in ways that may ultimately undermine proper heart function.”
Specifically, she cited problems that can begin when a lack of fluid intake ends up driving a person’s blood salt levels above a specific threshold (namely, 142 millimoles per liter [mmol/L]).
So, How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Failure?
Whether or not you are a middle-aged adult, it’s still essential to drink adequate amounts of water every day – not only to improve your heart health but to get many of the other benefits of proper daily hydration.
Bear in mind that our bodies constantly lose water throughout the day, mainly through urine, sweat, and regular body functions like breathing. So, to keep your heart healthy, you need to get adequate water every day. But how much should you drink?
There are many different opinions on how much water you should be drinking every day to keep hydrated. Ask almost any health expert, and they’ll advise you to drink no less than eight 8-ounce cups (or about two liters or half a gallon) of water per day. However, studies show that you don’t need to drink the recommended eight cups. Your daily water intake depends on your diet, sex, metabolism, weight, activity level, overall health, the weather, humidity, and other factors.
Typically, the people who should be drinking more water are athletes, consistently active individuals, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and anyone feeling sick. But according to the Mayo Clinic, adult men should drink 15.5 cups a day, and adult women should be drinking 11.5 cups for the same period – depending on the factors above.
Still, Dr. Robert Eckel, past president of the American Heart Association and immediate past president of medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association, suggested that the findings should be interpreted cautiously.
“These data in the abstract are interesting,” said Eckel, but are not definitive proof that drinking more water is protective of cardiovascular health. The findings “are only hypothesis-generating to address whether more fluid intake would reduce the risk for left-ventricle health and heart failure,” he noted, warning that “too much fluid in the wrong patient could be harmful.”
6 Simple and Creative Ways to Up Your Water Intake
Drinking more water every day isn’t as simple as it may seem, at least for some people. After all, water is flavorless, which means it doesn’t excite the tastebuds like sodas and other sweetened beverages. Plus, consuming the right amount of water you need every day to stay hydrated can be challenging if you have a busy schedule.
But now that you know drinking enough water every day could reduce your risk of heart disease, don’t you think you need to start paying attention to the amount of fluid you consume every day and take action if you find that you drink too little – if you haven’t already started?
If you’re ready to start (or continue) taking good care of your heart, we’ve come up with a few simple and creative ways to help you drink more water and stay hydrated throughout the day – and hopefully, make it a daily habit.
1. Eat water-rich foods.
If you’re not fond of gulping down excessive amounts of fluids each day, why not turn to water-rich snacks? Remember that around 20 percent of your daily fluid intake comes from the food you eat. Watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, cucumber, and celery are foods all made up of more than 90 percent water.
Apart from increasing your water intake, some foods also contain vitamins, nutrients, electrolytes, and fiber to keep the body refreshed and skin glowing. But before eating or cooking any of these delicious, healthy foods, we advise using filtered water to wash and cook them. We’ll discuss this in more detail shortly.
2. Ditch the soda or juice.
Reaching for soda or fruit juice when you’re thirsty might seem like a harmless way to hydrate. However, these beverages do more harm than good. Sure, they’re flavorful, tasty, and sometimes fizzy, but in addition to harming your health and your teeth, they only end up making you thirstier.
Sodas and juices are high in sugar, like fructose and glucose, which can contribute to tooth decay and inhibit the body from absorbing the water it needs. High sugar levels in these drinks can also cause the body to release hormones to lower it. However, the body often releases too much, leading to crashes that make you feel tired, irritable, and hungry.
If you need that flavored or fizzy liquid, try drinking flavored sparkling water (make sure you’re aware of the benefits and side-effects of carbonated water before making the switch). You can also try mineral water. But if it’s the caffeine you’re after, unsweetened herbal teas might be an excellent choice.
3. Keep a reusable water bottle on hand.
A reusable water bottle is an incredibly foolproof and environmentally friendly way to maintain good daily hydration. You can keep them anywhere – in the living room, at the bedside, in the gym bag, handbag – to act as a visual reminder to drink up. A nice-looking, extra-large vessel on your desk, filled up each morning and consumed throughout the workday, can be a practical way to maintain your water intake, especially when you’re out and about for the day. You’re likely to drink more water when it’s right next to you.
4. Add a burst of flavor.
Drinking plain water can be boring for some people. If you’re one of them, you can spice things up by adding some fruits to your water for a burst of flavor. Lime, lemon, or orange slices are some great choices. Not only are you getting the benefits from the water, but the fruits are rich in antioxidants that may help flush toxins from your body. They may also aid in muscle fatigue, boost your metabolism, and fill up your stomach, so you’re less likely to snack.
5. Set water goals, create a routine, and track your daily water intake.
Another excellent way to ensure you drink enough water throughout the day is to set clear water goals and track every ounce of water you drink. Scheduling your water intake, like two glasses at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is an easy way to know you’re getting enough water. You can also set reminders or alarms on your phone, post a sticky note reminder on your desk, or draw lines on your water bottle with hours to drink water throughout the day.
6. Reward yourself.
Forming good water habits can be draining. But when we reward ourselves for doing so, it’s easier to stay on track and achieve our goals quicker. It’s also a helpful motivation tool. With that in mind, once you’ve set your water intake goal, tracked it, and achieved it, reward yourself! Your body will thank you. The reward doesn’t even have to be extravagant. Just make sure it will encourage you to drink more water.
How to Ensure Your Water is Safe for Proper Everyday Hydration
Drinking adequate water and staying hydrated is healthy for your body. But even healthier is water that doesn’t contain harmful contaminants that can cause you to get sick if you ingest them.
The most reliable way to ensure your water is safe for proper hydration is to filter it with a water filtration system. Investing in a water filter, like a whole house water filtration system or an under-counter reverse osmosis filter, provides your home with healthy, great-tasting water that you can also bottle and take with you on the go.
A whole-house filter treats all the water entering your home, meaning you’ll have access to clean filtered water at your kitchen and bathroom faucets, washing machine and dishwasher, and all other outlets in your home. For example, our CF1 whole house water filter system uses the highest-quality catalytic coconut shell carbon and KDF media to target and remove harmful contaminants like chlorine, chloramine, PFOA, PFAS, PFOS, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, haloacetic acids, and many more. You can even customize it with a UV Water Purification System to control microbiological issues in water, such as viruses and bacteria, thereby removing foul odors and taste and protecting you and your family from diseases, infections, and other adverse health conditions.
However, if you need a solution that eliminates water at specific outlets in your home, our SWRO under-counter reverse osmosis filters may be the perfect fit. Both systems use reverse osmosis to eliminate contaminants from water, such as lead, copper, fluoride, arsenic, aluminum, chlorine, chloramine, herbicides, pesticides, and many other pollutants. What’s more, they can fit perfectly under almost any size sink and provide 75 gallons of treated water to your home every day.
Contact us today to learn more about the CF1 whole-house system, the SWRO-Nickel and -Bronze under-counter reverse osmosis filters, and any of our other premium water filtration solutions.
There are many reasons to stay hydrated every day: it helps cleanse your body, promote weight loss, maximize physical performance, boost skin and beauty, and many more. But perhaps even more impressive is that it could reduce your risk of heart failure. Drinking adequate water helps cleanse your kidneys, unclog your arteries, and more, so your heart can function better for longer. However, to ensure you’re getting all the benefits, you need to know how much to consume each day and filter your tap water to eliminate possible contaminants before drinking it. We hope this article was insightful and will help you adopt better hydrating habits to keep your heart healthy and realize the other benefits of maintaining good hydration. Here’s to a healthier and more hydrated future!