Your heart is your body’s powerhouse: essentially, it’s an engine that drives you. The heart is a muscle – albeit an incredibly complex muscle that relies on, amongst a whole host of other functions, electrical impulses to keep beating.
As with all vital organs, the heart requires water to function at an optimal level. The heart is made up of 73% water, so keeping it hydrated is of particular importance.
As the heart can’t drink water directly, how do we ‘hydrate the heart’?
It’s simple: each day, your heart beats around 100,000 times. This continuously pumps about eight pints of blood around your body through your circulatory system. This blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body, and carries away unwanted carbon dioxide and waste products.
Your heart and circulatory system works together to deliver blood to your organs so they can function.
When you’re not getting enough fluids (water in particular), your blood’s volume decreases too. In addition, when your blood volume decreases, the heart will have a hard time distributing oxygenated blood all over the body. When the blood loses volume, it becomes thicker, harder to circulate. The added stress on the heart increases the risk of heart and arterial damage.
Can drinking water keep us heart healthy? It would seem so – research has shown that consuming more water means a lower risk of death from coronary heart disease. Having enough fluids thin out the blood in the system, allowing the heart to do its job efficiently, which means drinking more water reduces the strain on your heart.
That’s why keeping your heart hydrated is so vitally important – drinking enough water on a daily basis literally makes a difference between a strong, healthy heart and potentially a dehydrated heart under duress.
Sometimes (like right now) it’s good to remind ourselves that in order to appear healthy, we need to keep our internals happy too – we cannot have one without the other.
There’s no time like the present to begin being kinder to yourself, your body and your life – so, the next time you’re about to pass the water cooler, don’t. Rather take your water bottle or water glass and make the water cooler station part of your daily work break routine: fill your bottle and drink your way to a healthier heart and consequently, a healthier you.