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 donít drink enough of it. After reading this†study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, though, I donít think I will need that reminder any moreóI 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. Whatís 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.
Thereís 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 didnít 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!