Drinking water won’t just satisfy your thirst but also your heart health. Find out how staying hydrated helps your heart.
As the temperatures rise this summer, it’s important that you stay hydrated and drink enough water. Whether you’re playing sports, traveling, or simply sitting in the sun, staying hydrated is essential for your heart health.
By keeping your body hydrated, you can pump blood more quickly to your muscles and they can work more efficiently. “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard,” says John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, S.C. In contrast, dehydration can lead to swollen feet, headaches, and even a heat stroke, which is life-threatening.
According to Batson, how much water is necessary will depend on the climate, your clothes, and workout intensity. For example, if you’re sweating a lot or have a medical condition, you will need to drink more water than others.
However, you shouldn’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. “If you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated,” says Batson. He also suggests paying attention to the color of your urine; if it’s dark, you need more water.
If you’re training, then Batson suggests you weigh yourself before and after your workout to estimate how much water you’ve lost. “For every pound of sweat you lose, that’s a pint of water you’ll need to replenish,” says Batson. If you’re not sweating when you should be, it could be a sign that you’re so dehydrated that you could experience heat exhaustion.
To stay hydrated, drinking water over other beverages is better. You could also drink sports drinks if you’re doing high-intensity exercises or it’s a very hot day. “It’s healthier to drink water while you’re exercising, and then when you’re done, eat a healthy snack like orange slices, bananas or a small handful of unsalted nuts,” says Batson.
However, Batson warns against sugary drinks. “They can be hard on your stomach if you’re dehydrated,” he says. “Drinking water before [exercising] is much more important,” he says. “Otherwise, you’re playing catch-up and your heart is straining.”
Drinking water is not only beneficial for those who exercise, but also if you want your blood to flow smoothly. In fact, people with heart conditions should take extra precautions, especially when traveling. “You might sweat differently if you’re in a different climate,” says Batson.
Another way you can boost your heart health is to take supplements like L-arginine Plus. It effectively promotes circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and more. Give your heart the support it deserves by drinking enough water and taking L-arginine Plus.