Effect of Dehydration on Heart Health & Tips to Stay Hydrated This Summer:
Summer is here and so is that perpetual risk of dehydration that looms over us every year. With the significant rise in ambient temperature, the perspiration increases resulting in loss of water from the body at an increased rate. Add this to the not consuming sufficient water daily, the risk of dehydration only soars up affecting your heart health.
Does dehydration affect the heart? Oh yes, dehydration also increases the risk of a heart attack. Read on to know more:
Approximately 60% of the adult human body is water which is distributed throughout, in cells tissues, organs, and joints to maintain bodily functions and regulate temperature. Every day our body loses 2 to 3 litres of water through sweating, breathing, digestion and excretion. So in order to compensate for the water loss and to maintain the water balance we need to replenish our body with water every day. And dehydration occurs when that doesn’t happen.
How does dehydration affect heart health?
When a sufficient amount of water is not consumed for a prolonged duration (days), then dehydration can impact the cardiovascular system as well. In an effort to restore the water level, the body restricts the outflow conserving as much water through bodily functions. This can result in a drop of plasm levels in the blood ultimately thickening the blood making it hard for the heart to pump, increasing the blood pressure.
The heart works extra hard to pump the thick blood and yet the total cardiac output and blood volume decreases ultimately increasing the risk of cardiac arrest and other coronary heart diseases. As strokes are caused when blood cannot freely flow to the brain, dehydration is also found to gradually increase the risk of stroke.
And according to a study, staying hydrated decreases the risk of coronary heart diseases in men by 46% and women by 59%. So here are 5 tips to stay hydrated this summer:
Tackle Dehydration – Tips to keep your heart healthy during this summer
- The old adage of 8 glasses of water a day sounds just fine but we advise you a minimum of 3 litres for men and 2.7 litres for women, especially in summer.
- Thirst is often the first sign of dehydration but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until you feel thirsty to fill up with water. Consume water in regular intervals until you reach your number.
- If you live in hot climates or you are into exercise, you need not consume more water than the prescribed amount, you can do this by consuming water before you begin your exercise. The second sign of dehydration is the colour of the urine: if it’s dark it’s a sign that you need more water in your body.
- While you fill yourself with sufficient water, do limit if possible avoid dehydrating agents like caffeine or alcohol especially in summers.
- If you are using blood pressure medications please consult your heart specialist before embarking on your rehydration journey.
It is easy to replenish for the lost fluids for young and middle-aged folks as the symptoms and signs prod you too. For older adults, symptoms of dehydration may not show up which is why it is extremely important for them to rehydrate themselves. Given their increased risk of heart diseases, and usage of medication, only a certified heart specialist can help them with right and relevant advice.