Good hydration is an important part of healthy aging. Proper hydration helps to keep the body functioning optimally and can help reduce the risk of age-related illnesses.
Adequate water intake also helps to maintain cognitive function and can increase energy levels. It is essential to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and to make sure that the water is of good quality.
Good hydration can also help prevent dehydration, which can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and other problems.
Proper hydration plays an important role in overall health and well-being, especially as we age.
And now there is a study that proves it!
An interesting study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that not drinking enough water will lead to premature aging along with a higher incidence of chronic disease and early death.
The study followed an earlier paper on the effects of water consumption on rats which resulted in a 6-month reduction in lifespan (which is 15 years in human time).
The same team decided they wanted to see if the same thing applies to humans.
They analyzed the results of a long-term heart health study to determine if fluid intake might affect the human lifespan.
Using health data gathered from 11,255 adults over a 30-year period, researchers analyzed links between serum sodium levels – which go up when fluid intake goes down – and various indicators of health. They found that adults with serum sodium levels at the higher end of a normal range were more likely to develop chronic conditions and show signs of advanced biological aging than those with serum sodium levels in the medium ranges. Adults with higher levels were also more likely to die at a younger age.https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/news/2023/good-hydration-linked-healthy-aging
The researchers didn’t have any data on the actual water consumption of the study participants. But they did have blood tests with serum sodium levels at regular intervals throughout the study.
Since serum sodium levels are an established indicator of hydration it made sense to use a marker as a proxy for fluid intake.
This study is important because increasing fluid consumption is an easy step to take in order to improve personal health. If the results of the study show that drinking more fluid will result in a healthier and longer life then this one little thing can make a big difference.
For this latest analysis, researchers assessed information study participants shared during five medical visits – the first two when they were in their 50s, and the last when they were between ages 70-90. To allow for a fair comparison between how hydration correlated with health outcomes, researchers excluded adults who had high levels of serum sodium at baseline check-ins or with underlying conditions, like obesity, that could affect serum sodium levels.https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/news/2023/good-hydration-linked-healthy-aging
They evaluated how serum sodium correlated with hallmarks of aging such as blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and other factors. They adjusted for age, race, biological sex and smoking, and other lifestyle factors.
This painted a picture of how healthy the participants were at different serum sodium levels.
The results show that good hydration correlates with longer, disease-free life.
The study found that people with higher levels of serum sodium had more signs of biological aging, and suffered more incidents of diseases of aging including heart disease, dementia, stroke, and diabetes.
They noted that correlation does not equal causation, however, other research also suggests that fluid consumption can affect the health of cells.
Consumption of more fluids could extend the health span and lifespan of people who are not currently drinking sufficient amounts.
Read more > Good hydration linked to healthy aging
Read the Study > The Lancet Journal