You probably know by now that staying hydrated should be an important part of your daily routine. But it isn’t just crucial to maintaining your body’s processes; in fact, drinking water could also prevent a number of serious health conditions, including heart failure.
Given that 60 percent of the body is comprised of water, it’s no secret that it plays a large part in keeping your body functioning. That water regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, circulates nutrients to your cells, flushes out waste, and so much more. But scientists wanted to see how it could protect the body from specific health problems, too. In a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology, researchers found 15,792 participants between the ages of 44 to 66 years old and visited them five times over the next 25 years. Each time, they measured what’s called serum sodium concentration, which can help determine someone’s overall hydration levels over a longer period of time.
They found those who generally kept up their hydration in middle age — that is, drank the recommended daily amount of 11.5 cups of water for women — were less likely to suffer from heart heart failure and related conditions like ventricular hypertrophy later in life. “Our study suggests that maintaining good hydration can prevent or at least slow down the changes within the heart that lead to heart failure,” explained study author Natalia Dmitrieva, PhD from the the National Institutes of Health. “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.”
The good news about this research other than it being so simple is that hydration is cumulative over time. That means that if you feel like you’ve felt a little dehydrated recently, there’s no time like the present to fill up a glass of water and get to sipping!