Straight from the Tap

Staying Hydrated for Heart Health

02/07/2020

Proper hydration is essential for our overall health. Water helps your brain function, flush waste from the body, and regulate body temperature. It’s also essential for your heart.

Your heart is constantly working, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood a day. By staying hydrated, you are helping your heart do its job.

Dehydration causes strain on your heart. The amount of blood circulating through your body decreases when you are dehydrated. To compensate, your heart beats faster, increasing your heart rate and causing you to feel palpitations.

Your blood retains more sodium when you're dehydrated, making it tougher for it to circulate through your body.

Keeping your body hydrated helps your heart pump blood more easily and allows oxygen to reach your muscles, helping them work efficiently.

Drinking tap water is the best way to stay hydrated. Tap water is a healthier choice than juice, sports drinks, or soda that are high in unnecessary sugar and calories.

Tap water also costs much less than bottled water and other beverages. A 20 oz. bottle of water from a convenience store costs around $1.50. That same $1.50 will get you 300 gallons of tap water!

Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated and keep your heart healthy:

  • Don't rely on thirst alone. Thirst can be one measure of hydration but it's not the first means of feedback, so rehydrate before you feel too thirsty. 
  • Choose foods with high water content like cucumbers, berries, citrus, melon, greens, and tomatoes. You can eat these foods as a snack or incorporate them into your meals.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks as they act as a diuretic, pulling water from the body rather than replacing it.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you that you can easily refill with tap water. You’ll save money and help the environment by choosing tap over bottled water.
  • Bored by plain tap water? Try adding fruit or herbs for added flavor without added sugar.