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Drinking More Water Could Save You From a Heart Attack

Drinking More Water Could Save You From a Heart Attack

There is a blackboard wall in my house, where I jot down my daily health goals. “Drink 8 glasses of water today” is frequently listed there, because I know I don’t drink enough of it. After reading this study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, though, I don’t think I will need that reminder any more—I am going to crank up my water intake.

More than 20,000 adults between age 38-100 were the subject of this 6-year study, which tried to establish a link between water and heart attacks. Here is what it found: Those who drank five or more 8-ounce glasses of water a day were less likely to die from a heart attack or other disease-related causes than those who drank fewer than two glasses a day. What’s more, men who drank at least five glasses had a 54% reduced risk of fatal heart disease. Women cut their risk by 41%.

Could it really be so simple, I wondered?

And so, I did some reading. Again, the logic of drinking more water became crystal clear to me.  Water makes up more than 80% of your body, and without enough water, you cannot metabolize your food properly. A low water intake means that toxic wastes accumulate in your system. It also means you are unable to absorb essential nutrients effectively.

Lack of adequate hydration makes your blood viscous, which is not a good thing. A telling statistic: most heart attacks are known to happen in the morning hours, when blood is thicker because you lose water in your sleep.

There’s more: Lack of water in the body can raise the stress hormone, cortisol. Numerous studies have linked stress to a high risk of heart attack. What I didn’t know was that cortisol also breaks down muscle and stores fat, thus delivering a double whammy: you put on weight and you up your risk of a heart attack.

All because of not drinking enough water? If that is all it takes, I for one am upping my intake, starting now!

Related:
6 Surprising Heart Attack Triggers — And How to Avoid Them

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, General Health, Health, Life, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

110 comments

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12:02PM PST on Feb 19, 2014

Thanks for the information and the reminder.

1:23AM PST on Feb 19, 2014

Thank you :)

7:28AM PST on Dec 28, 2013

I used to drink a lot of Dr. Pepper and very little water. Then, 3 years ago, I found out I had Diabetes and my A!C levels were way out of line. The doctor told me to start dinking more water. I now drink at least 5 glasses a day and my levels have plummeted. He said, "Whatever you are doing, keep doing it."
If I am working outside in the yard or garden, I drink even more water.

This past spring, I sorta slacked off the water, and I got really sick. They put me in the hospital with an UTI, pneumonia, and dehydration. 5 days in there was NOT fun, so I am back to drinking the water again! So far, so good.

1:58AM PST on Nov 9, 2013

Thanks Shubhra for that reminder. I enjoy drinking filtered water. Hopefully I have enough during the day. When I exercise, I drink far more water.

Regarding sleep : I do tend to wake up in the early hours every morning ..... I wander off to the bathroom and on my return always feel the need to have at least half a glass of water - and I didn't even know how healthy that sensible drink was. Then I'm ready for my second session in dreamland - well hydrated and all ..

10:02AM PDT on Nov 1, 2013

I'm surprised the fact that blood is mostly water wasn't mentioned because when we dehydrate our blood thickens and as it thickens it becomes harder for the heart to pump... .

7:34AM PDT on Oct 29, 2013

wow, thanks

9:10PM PDT on Oct 28, 2013

It's good to know I have one good habit! except for my morning OJ, everything else cold I drink throughout the day is about 75% water, with the remaining 25% juice. Good for the waistline, the wallet and the planet, and now apparently, good for the heart!

8:14PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

Bottled water is fake and is bad for you tap water better (unless your near fracking) and a hell of a lot cheaper !!!

7:21PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

Thank you Shubhra! Now maybe I can convince my dad to drink more water. He's heard me too many times so I hope a new voice will make him pay attention.

2:53PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

But you will never know if that is what did or didn’t save you!

Keeping hydrated is important for your body to perform the functions necessary for life.

Water helps prevent headaches too. Sheila D. verified that too.

We get water in our foods too.

Deborah W. – Yes, keeping kidneys hydrated helps them function better.

Jane R. – Tea and coffee are diuretics. You still need water.

Doreen H. – You lose more water at night because you are in a prone position and it is easier to rid your body of wastes when it doesn’t have gravity holding it down below the 'equator' so to speak.

Andrew H. – I Signed: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_Water_Fluoridation/

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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