How water will keep your heart healthy and fight ageing

If you are middle-aged maintaining good levels of hydration can prevent your risk of heart failure

Person drinking from water bottle
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You might think you do pretty well when it comes to staying hydrated – but how many of your daily beverages are actually water, and not cups of coffee, juice or soda? The latter two are loaded with sugar, while caffeinated drinks like coffee – although beneficial in moderation – can act as a diuretic, dehydrating you further.

Drinking water is a habit you need to consciously get into – try carrying around one of our best water bottles, or if you’re an outdoorsy person, the best water bottle for hiking. Why? A study carried out by the European Society of Cardiology has revealed that drinking too little water can increase your risk of heart failure. 

The researchers behind the study looked at the hydration habits, measured by the” serum sodium concentration” of 15,792 middle-aged adults to find out if a high concentration predicts the development of heart failure in 25 years time. Essentially the less water you drink, the higher the concentration. 

For the record, the general recommendations vary but women should be drinking around 1.6 to 2.1 litres of water a day and men, about 2-3 litres a day.

Person drinking from water bottle

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It is important to note that drinking a high amount of water just one day a week won’t necessarily have much effect. The author of the study, Dr Natalia Dmitrieva of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute said: “It is natural to think that hydration and serum sodium should change day-to-day depending on how much we drink on each day. However, serum sodium concentration remains within a narrow range over long periods, which is likely related to habitual fluid consumption.”

If you don’t feel like you drink enough water a day hopefully you feel more compelled to now, especially as heart conditions are just one of the anti-ageing benefits associated with good hydration. Your gut health, kidneys and muscles all improve with regular water consumption – and what’s more, you’ll look better too. 

Staying hydrated is great for your skin by topping up elasticity and thickness, providing an outward anti-ageing benefit as well as an internal one. A 2007 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that long-term water intake can impact your skin density and thickness. Meanwhile a study carried out by the University of Missouri-Columbia revealed that drinking around two cups (500 milliliters) of water can increase blood flow to the skin.

It doesn’t have to be a chore and there are plenty of ways to up your water intake, such as these 6 easy ways to drink more water.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.