Five Simple Tips to Stay Hydrated
Water seems to be the key to everything. Need to lose weight? Drink water. Need clearer skin? Drink water. Have a headache? Drink water. Hydration also has a big impact on your heart health.
When you become dehydrated, your heart has to work harder to pump blood to the rest of your body. This means it beats faster and increases your heart rate. Severe cases of dehydration can have more obvious side effects like headaches, swollen feet or even life-threatening conditions like heat stroke according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
"Staying hydrated is vital to your overall health and has a big impact on your heart health,” says electrophysiologist Joel Reinoehl, MD, of Bronson Advanced Cardiac Healthcare. “Water is the best way to stay hydrated, whether you’re drinking it or eating foods like fruits and vegetables that contain a high percentage of water.”
To make sure you are staying hydrated and keeping your heart happy, follow these five tips recommended by the AHA .
1. Drink the right amount for you.
Everyone is different and has different hydration needs. For instance, athletes will need to stay more hydrated than someone who does minimal activity. An easy rule of thumb is to divide your body weight in half and aim to drink that many ounces of water each day. If you have heart failure, ask your doctor how much you should drink. Many doctors suggest that people with heart failure should limit their intake to 8 cups a day (all sources of fluid).
2. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day.
If you have water with you throughout the day, you’re more likely to stay steadily hydrated. Find your favorite reusable water bottle and keep it close by!
3. Set an alarm or reminder to drink water throughout your day.
Whether you want to download a water app or set a reminder in your email calendar, a simple alert to keep up on your water intake can help you stay on track.
4. Monitor caffeine and alcohol intake.
While caffeine and alcohol are fine in moderation, both substances can lead to dehydration. Make sure you are rehydrating after having your morning coffee or a night cap before bed.
5. Add flavor.
Adding natural flavors from fruits can make drinking water easier for those who get bored with the flavor.
Not only will your heart reap the benefits of staying hydrated, you’ll see improvements throughout your health. The next time you’re feeling parched, go for a tall glass of water and stay away from sugary, highly caffeinated drinks. Your heart will be sure to thank you.
The Bronson Heart & Vascular team is committed to heart and vascular disease prevention, and sharing easy steps you can take to live a healthier life. Looking for a Bronson doctor to help you? For a complete list of providers at Bronson, visit bronsonhealth.com/find-a-doctor or call Bronson HealthAnswers at (269) 341-7723.