Staying properly hydrated may be associated with a reduced risk for developing heart failure, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health. In new findings published in the European Heart Journal, researchers suggest that consuming sufficient amounts of water not only supports essential body functioning, but may also reduce the risk of severe heart problems in the future.
Heart failure is a chronic condition that develops when the heart does not pump enough blood for the body’s needs, and it’s become a major public health problem. About 6 million adults in the USA alone are living with heart failure as estimated in the 2021 American Heart Association statistical update.
“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 Natalia Dmitrieva, Ph.D., the lead study author and a researcher in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of NIH.
Following a study that looked for links between dehydration and cardiac fibrosis, a hardening of the heart muscles, Dmitrieva and researchers looked for similar associations in large-scale population studies. To identify participants with an increased risk of developing heart failure, researchers looked at levels of serum sodium to test how much sodium was in the blood. (Serum sodium levels increase as the body’s fluids levels decrease.)
Based on the data collected, the researchers concluded that a blood sodium level above 142 mEq/L in middle age could be associated with increased risks for developing left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure later in life. The researchers stipulated that a randomized, controlled trial would be necessary to confirm their findings, but these early correlations suggest that proper hydration may help prevent or slow changes to the heart that could lead to heart failure.
Drinking lots of water can prevent dehydration, a condition that can cause unclear thinking, result in mood change, and lead to constipation and kidney stones. Water is essential for the body to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients. And here’s the thing: Chronic dehydration is more common than you think.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest that women get a total of about 2.7 liters (L), or 11 cups, of fluid and men get about 3.7 L (16 cups) each day. And in addition to drinking your daily recommended allowance of water, Restore’s IV Drip Therapy may help jump start hydration.