Staying hydrated is key to keeping heart-health complications at bay
Most of the human body is made up of water — somewhere between 75% when we are infants to 55 percent in our golden years. Without water, we can only survive for a couple of days.
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of drinking water: It helps us think better, it may help increase the body’s ability to burn fat, and it may help increase the amount of calories some individuals burn. And a 2016 French study found that those who drank more water had better quality diets.
While all of these things can benefit your heart health, staying hydrated is especially important for a well-functioning heart. Here are three reasons why hydration is critical for your heart health.
1. It helps blood move through the body.
When the body is hydrated, it helps the heart pump blood through the blood vessels more easily. When you’re dehydrated, you have an increased risk of blood clots, because the blood is thicker and more concentrated. To move the denser blood, your body needs these vessels to constrict and release to help the heart circulate the blood. This can result in increased blood pressure.
2. Your heart doesn’t have to work so hard.
When you are dehydrated, the volume of blood in your body decreases. As a result, your heart beats faster, increasing your heart rate and causing you to feel palpitations. None of these things are good for a compromised heart.
3. It may lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
When blood doesn’t flow freely to the heart and brain, it can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.