Healthy Aging: Hydration Importance

Healthy Aging: Hydration’s Importance

As we age, our bodies’ basic metabolic rate slows. Eating well and participating in physical activity are therefore key elements to maintaining our wellbeing as we age; home, communities and society all play a role too! MGHI seeks to catalyze practical actions towards increasing years lived well as we age.

Scientists from NIH have discovered that people who do not drink enough fluids may age more rapidly and increase their risk for chronic illnesses such as heart failure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes and chronic lung disease. Their findings were published in eBioMedicine – a peer-reviewed journal.

Researchers studied over 11,000 adults aged 45-66 over 30 years, tracking their serum sodium levels – an indicator of blood salt. They determined that those who consumed less water had higher serum sodium levels and an increased risk for chronic illness compared with those who drank enough fluids.

The results from the NIH study do not definitively prove that drinking adequate fluids will prevent chronic illnesses; additional research must be completed. However, its association between hydration and chronic illness highlights how staying well-hydrated is one simple way to improve overall health; dehydration can cause kidney stones and other serious medical problems that require urgent medical treatment.