According to a recent study, enough hydration may support human healthy aging.
As a measure of hydration, researchers examined the body's serum salt levels.
According to the research, greater serum sodium levels in middle age may hasten the onset of chronic diseases and even cause early mortality.
The relationship between hydration and aging still has to be investigated further.
Depending on a person's health and age, they may need to drink more or less water to stay hydrated.
According to a recent study from the American National Institutes of Health (NIH), middle-aged adults who have greater serum sodium levels in their blood are more likely to have poor health and are at an increased risk of developing early death.
When a person doesn't drink enough water, their serum sodium levels may rise. The normal range for serum sodium concentrations (mEq/L) is 135–145.
Water intake needs must be met if sodium levels are to be kept at a healthy level.
Researchers also discovered that individuals with low serum sodium levels (less than 142 mEq/L) had a 50% higher probability of being older than their actual age.
The study's results were just released in eBioMedicine.
Participants in ARIC ranged in age from 45 to 66 at the time of registration. The 15,752 study participants were monitored over 25 years.
Since high levels of serum sodium are closely correlated with hypohydration or insufficient water intake, they were used in the new study as a substitute for water consumption.
The study was inspired by prior work from the primary author, Natalia I. Dmitrieva, Ph.D., an NIH researcher in Bethesda, MD, which showed that lifelong hypohydration "accelerated degenerative processes and decreased longevity" in mice.
According to Dr. Dmitrieva, mice with restricted water intake had shorter lifespans of 6 months, which is roughly equivalent to a 15-year reduction in human lifespan.
Dr. Dmitrieva added that recently created indicators for aging in humans have made it possible to corroborate these findings in humans. These include metrics that show how well the cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, renal, and immunological systems of an individual are operating, as well as blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and other parameters.
The conclusion of the new study is consistent with the initial mouse findings.
According to Dr. Dmitrieva's research, long-term regular hypohydration raises the chance of getting chronic illnesses later in life and dying earlier in life.
While 8 glasses of water, or 64 ounces, should be consumed every day according to traditional wisdom, there is little data to support this recommendation.
The ideal daily water intake for each person varies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source.
The typical water intake varies by age among middle-aged and young adults:
The CDC recommends an average of 51 ounces per day for people aged 20 to 39.
43 ounces of water per day is the standard for people aged 40 to 59.
A heart health dietitian at Entirely Nourished in New York, Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, who was not involved in the study, told MNT that certain people might need less water than the usual guidelines.
For example, excessive water consumption by those with heart failure "may create fluid buildup in the body and lead to shortness of breath," Routhenstein said.
She continued by saying that because their kidneys are less able to keep a balance of fluid in their bodies, people with renal failure may also drink less water.
However, certain people—such as those with a higher body mass index—might need more water (BMI).
But it's also possible to drink too much water for a lot of folks.
According to Routhenstein, excessive water consumption can lead to hyponatremia, which is a dilution of sodium in the blood and can be a potentially fatal condition.
Hydrating with more liquids
Dr. Dmitrieva stated that while electrolyte drinks, coffee, and tea might contribute to your hydration objectives, they "usually shouldn't be your major hydration source."
Dr. Dmitrieva advised using plain water as your primary source of hydration for the best possible heart health rather than adding cucumber, lemon, or lime.
She continued by saying that foods that contain 90% or more water are also healthy choices. Hydrating foods include strawberries, cucumbers, and watermelon.
Dr. M. Ramin Modabber, an orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles who was not involved in the study, told MNT that oral rehydration entails more than merely drinking water.
Dr. Modabber, the Tour of California's medical director, pointed out that when someone exerts themselves, they lose sugars and electrolytes, which need to be replaced.
Dr. Dmitrieva stated that "hydration is vital for all ages" and that "approximately 50% of people, including children, do not drink the required amounts."
Older folks tend to drink less because their ability to feel thirst decreases with age, therefore this percentage is much higher for them.
The easiest strategy to ensure enough hydration, according to Dr. Dmitrieva, is to keep note of how much liquids you consume each day. She recommended individuals take extra precautions to drink plenty when it's hot outside or while they're participating in strenuous sports.
Weekend warriors and athletes, according to Dr. Modabber, "show a considerable variety in baseline physiology, overall health state, medical issues, injuries, training regimes, and other factors."
The most evident and alarming symptoms, according to him, are "[lower] sweat response, mental status abnormalities, and decreased or absent urine output." He advised keeping an eye out for these symptoms.
Dr. Modabber advised paying close attention to pre-hydration, or "filling off the tank," before endurance sports.
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