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Staying hydrated ‘could promote healthy ageing’

PARIS: Staying well hydrated could help you age better and stay healthy longer, according to recent research from the United States, which suggests that an adult who is sufficiently hydrated may be less likely to develop chronic conditions than someone who does not drink enough.

Water is a source of life and of good health, but the quantity to be consumed daily is a subject of great debate. Last year, the “30-day water gallon challenge” recommended drinking 4.5 liters of water per day with the aim of attaining glowing skin and ending digestive problems.

But drinking too much water could lead to hyponatraemia, a biological abnormality characterised by a decrease in the concentration of sodium in the blood.

Still, not being hydrated enough appears to have harmful effects on health in the long term. According to the American study conducted by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in Maryland, and published in the journal “eBioMedicine”, an adult who is sufficiently hydrated is less likely to develop chronic heart and lung disease than one who is not.

Over a 30-year period, the specialists measured the health status of 15,000 patients between the ages of 45 and 66. Specifically, they focused on serum sodium levels and health indicators.

The specialists measured 15 health markers such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. This allowed them to measure cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, renal and immune-system function.

Experts recommend that men should drink eight to 12 cups of water a day, or 2-3 litres, while women should aim for six to nine cups. (Envato Elements pic)

Sodium is essential in maintaining the body’s water balance, and it helps regulate cell hydration and blood pressure. A high serum sodium level means that a person is not sufficiently hydrated.

Adults with high serum sodium levels, characterised as greater than 142 mEq/L, were found to have a 64% increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart failure, diabetes, dementia or lung disease, as well as a 21% increased risk of premature death.

To reach the hydration level recommended by specialists, which is at least 1.5 litres of water a day, it is recommended that women drink six to nine cups of liquid, whether water, hot drinks or juices. Depending on the size of the cup, this equates to between 1.5 and 2.2 litres per day.

For men, experts recommend eight to 12 cups a day, or 2 to 3 litres.

Source : Free Malaysia Today