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Staying hydrated could help you live longer

A woman holding a water bottle sits on a bench

Jan. 16, 2023—Could staying hydrated help you stay healthy as you age? It might, according to a recent study in eBioMedicine.

Researchers analyzed data from 11,255 adults, gathered during medical visits over a period of 30 years, to see if there was a link between hydration and how people aged. They used the levels of sodium in the participants' blood to determine if they were well-hydrated. They found that people whose sodium levels were in the higher end of a normal range were more likely to develop chronic conditions and show signs of advanced aging than people whose sodium levels were right in the middle of the normal range.

The less-hydrated participants were more likely to develop conditions such as:

  • Atrial fibrillation.
  • Chronic lung disease.
  • Dementia.
  • Diabetes.
  • Heart failure.
  • Peripheral artery disease.
  • Stroke.

While the researchers found that people who were less hydrated were at higher risk for many health problems, that doesn't mean that hydration was a cause. More research is needed to learn more about how hydration affects long-term health.

How much liquid do you really need?

You might have heard that most adults should drink eight cups of water per day. But the real answer is more complicated. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the amount of fluid a person needs depends on factors such as their age, sex, activity level and overall health. Your doctor can help you decide on the goal that's best for you.

One way to help make sure you stay hydrated is to keep a filled water bottle with you everywhere you go. Take it with you when you're in the car. Have one on your nightstand. And drink plenty of liquid at every meal.

You can get fluids through a variety of beverages—and even through food. But water is a healthy, zero-calorie choice. Check out our infographic to find out why you may want to choose water.


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