Water Your Heart: Hydration and Heart Health
We love water, you love water, and did you know that your heart loves water too? Good hydration is important for many aspects of your health, not least of which is your heart health.1 You might even say that water has a special place in all of our hearts.
How Does Drinking Water Affect Your Heart?
It may seem like water and hearts don’t have much to do with each other, but drinking enough water actually plays a big role in how well our hearts are working. The heart is basically a special pump that sends blood throughout the body so it can collect and carry oxygen and nutrients to all of your organs and muscles.2 It’s constantly working, pumping the equivalent of 2,000 gallons of blood a day.3
That’s a tough job, and without enough water, it’s even tougher. When you’re dehydrated, you lose blood volume. In other words, you have less blood circulating through your body. To make up for this, your heart beats faster to try to get essential oxygen to every part of you.4,5 You may notice that your heart rate increases or you feel lightheaded when you start to get too dehydrated.4,6 This is because your heart is working extra hard to pump too little blood.
Dehydration also makes your blood retain more sodium. Sodium thickens the blood, making it more difficult for it to move through your cardiovascular system, further increasing the strain on your heart.4 Luckily, you have the power to help your heart do its job better and easier: just drink more water!
Who’s Most at Risk for Dehydration?
Anyone can become dehydrated, but some people may be at more risk than others. Athletes, people who live in hot climates, young children who still rely on adults for their hydration needs and women who are breastfeeding or pregnant are commonly at higher risk for dehydration.6 And for all the reasons we’ve already mentioned, anyone with a chronic heart condition or those who are older than 50 and want to keep their heart health in mind should take extra consideration of their hydration needs.4,6
What are Some Heart-Healthy Drinks?
You can stay hydrated and water your heart with more than just plain water.7 If you need something to break up your daily 8 glasses, you have plenty of options:
- Sparkling water and flavored water are just as hydrating as still, plain water. Just make sure there are no added sugars. Sugar can increase inflammation, which can affect your heart as well as other organs and muscles.7 So long as there are no added sugars, sparkling and flavored water is heart-approved!
- Unsweetened tea is another great option. Whether hot or iced, tea is hydrating and also contains antioxidants that fight heart disease and cell damage. Plus, black tea and green tea have been shown in studies to be associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke.7
- Unsweetened coffee is also hydrating, despite rumors to the contrary. It also has been shown to have heart-healthy benefits. In a 2017 study of nearly half a million people published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found a link between drinking coffee and a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.7 Of course, it’s important to make sure you don’t overdo it on the caffeine. Health professionals recommend drinking less than 400mg of caffeine a day, or fewer than three cups of coffee.7
Don’t skip a beat—stay hydrated and keep your heart healthy so you can keep doing what you love with the ones you love. A Primo® water dispenser makes tackling your daily water goals more convenient than ever. To make things even easier, get your water and favorite heart-loving beverages delivered right to your door with our Water Direct service. Pour some love into your heart’s health with the help of Primo®.
1Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, July 22). Water: Essential to Your Body. Mayo Clinic Health System. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/water-essential-to-your-body
2Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, February 25). Heart and Circulatory System – How They Work. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/multimedia/circulatory-system/vid-20084745
3University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (2021, July 29). The Importance of Hydration for Your Heart. UPMC HealthBeat. Retrieved from https://share.upmc.com/2014/09/importance-hydration-heart/
4The Heart Foundation. (2019, April 26). The Importance of Water. The Heart Foundation. Retrieved from https://theheartfoundation.org/2019/03/08/the-importance-of-water/
5American Heart Association. (2014, August 6). Staying Hydrated – Staying Healthy. American Heart Association. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/staying-hydrated-staying-healthy
6Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, October 14). Dehydration. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086
7Harvard Medical School. (2019, September 1). The Best Beverages for Your Heart. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-best-beverages-for-your-heart