Are you drinking enough water to fend off heart failure? 

Don’t love drinking water? Well, put back that soda for a nice, cool drink of water as it just may save your heart. According to new data, drinking eight glasses of water a day can help prevent heart failure later in life.

“The findings indicate that we need to pay attention to the amount of fluid we consume every day and take action if we find that we drink too little,”
says study author Dr. Natalia Dmitrieva of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, in a media release. These findings were presented at 2021’s European Society of Cardiology congress.

The U.S. has a hydration problem

According to a study conducted by The Food and Nutrition Information Center, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

A large portion of the population is not aware they’re not drinking enough water because many of the symptoms of dehydration often get attributed to other things.

Fatigue, foggy memory, and irritability are all telltale signs of dehydration (and a lot of other conditions as well). We may miss these because we spend the day drinking beverages that aren’t water.

Tasty beverages like coffee, tea, soda, and juice are actually only semi-hydrating.

In the short term, dehydration can impact cognitive performance and significantly increase the risk of developing kidney stones.

Over time, failing to receive adequate hydration begins to take a toll on our cardiovascular system. “Our study suggests that maintaining good hydration can prevent or at least slow down the changes within the heart that lead to heart failure,” Dr. Dmitrieva continued.

The most reliable way to determine if someone is getting adequate amounts of water is by measuring the amount of serum sodium is in their blood; the higher the serum sodium, the more dehydrated the subject. High concentrations of serum sodium contribute to the development of serious cardiovascular illness.

Other benefits of regular hydration

In a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism,the authors determined that drinking cold water specifically helped improve healthy men and women’s metabolic rate by as much as 30%.  The researchers concluded that the body expended more energy heating the cold water, which resulted in a boost in metabolism.

The higher your metabolic rate, the easier it is to burn calories, keep weight off, and maintain energy levels. Moreover, participants who regularly drank water as opposed to soft drinks, experienced much fewer headaches compared to those who did not.

Most physicians recommend that women drink between six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day, while men should try to have between eight and 12 glasses.