Staying hydrated turns out to be linked to a longer, healthier life

The secret to living longer and healthier? At least part of the answer may be quite simple: water.

A new peer-reviewed study published Monday in the journal eBioMedicine, part of The Lancet, suggests that people who hydrate properly may be less likely to show signs of aging and chronic disease. Researchers analyzed the health data of more than 15,700 adults aged 45 to 66 over 25 years, looking specifically at their serum sodium levels, or the amount of sodium in their blood. These levels are a proxy for hydration habits, the researchers said.

What they found was that people with serum sodium greater than 142 millimoles, the upper limit of the normal range, had a 39% higher risk of developing chronic diseases and up to a 50% higher chance of having “older than age” biomarkers. their chronological age.” Those with serum sodium greater than 144 millimoles also had a 21% greater risk of premature death.

“The results show that proper hydration can slow aging and prolong a disease-free life,” study author Natalia Dmitrieva, a researcher at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, said in a news release. “…At a global level, this could have a major impact. Decreased body water content is the most common factor that increases serum sodium, so the results suggest that drinking good water can slow the aging process and prevent or delay chronic disease.”

The research doesn’t prove that drinking more water will reduce aging — such a determination would require additional interventional studies — but it does suggest that people with higher sodium levels in their blood are “biologically more likely to become older, develop chronic disease, and die.” At a younger age,” the study said, adding that thirst is one of the biggest factors driving these levels.

The optimal serum sodium range for the lowest risk of chronic disease and/or premature death is between 138 and 142 millimoles, the researchers said. Those with a 142 or higher “will benefit from an assessment of their fluid intake,” Dmitrieva said.

Taking a look at your hydration can have other benefits. Proper hydration is essential to helping your body regulate temperature, improve athletic performance, and maintain proper organ function.

So how much water is enough?

According to the National Academies Institute of Medicine, adult women should drink an average of 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of water each day, while adult men should drink about 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of water. But not all of them have to be glass of water; includes water intake from other beverages and foods.

These figures are based on the expected needs of people who are healthy and relatively sedentary in temperate climates, so the actual amount of hydration required for an individual may differ based on physical activity, heat exposure, amount of food a person eats, and other variables.

There are also several ways to measure whether you are getting enough water. According to Kaiser Permanente, darker or significantly reduced urine can also be an indicator for bad breath, dry mouth, fatigue and sugar cravings. More serious problems such as confusion, dizziness, fainting or heart palpitations can also be a sign of dehydration.

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