By Ryan Tedder | Published
As we age, many of us start noticing the physical changes that come with a natural ageing process. From fine lines and wrinkles to lessening muscle mass and strength, the signs of ageing can be frustrating and daunting in equal measure for both men and women. But what if there was a simple answer to help slow the ageing process? Drinking water has long been recognised as a key component to maintaining overall health and hydration, but can drinking water really help to slow the ageing process?
As an ageing population, many people look for ways to maintain their health and vitality as much as possible as they age. One popular theory is that drinking water can help slow the ageing process, but is there any truth to it? We all know hydration is key to overall good health, but recent research shows hydration can help slow ageing and even cut the risk of dying young by half.
The new research, published earlier this year in the eBioMedicine Journal by Dr Natalia Dmitrieva and other colleagues, suggests that proper hydration may slow down the ageing process and help extend a disease-free life.
The research used data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study of 15,792 men and women aged 45–66 years in the US. Blood tests for sodium were taken from 11,255 people whose blood serum sodium levels were normal over five medical visits spanning 25 years. Why sodium? Sodium levels increase with dehydration.
The researchers then assessed how the serum sodium levels corresponded with ageing through 15 health tests. These included blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose to show how well their body’s cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, kidney, and immune systems functioned. Adjustments were made for other factors such as age, race, gender, smoker/non-smoker etc.
Normal serum sodium levels should range between 135-146 milliequivalents per litre (mEq/L). The study results showed that participants with higher levels of serum sodium within this range (higher than 142mEq/L) were more likely to face a 39% increased risk of developing chronic diseases and were 50% more likely to age more quickly. Results above >144 mEq/L showed a 21% higher risk of premature death.
However, participants with serum sodium between 138-140 mEq/L have the lowest risk of developing chronic diseases. But while this study was carried out to see if increased hydration could slow the ageing process, more controlled tests are needed to confirm any link between them.
So what does it mean? Your body needs a certain amount of sodium to allow your body to function properly and maintain the balance of water and minerals. Too much sodium in your body and a lack of water intake can cause accelerated ageing. So drinking water will benefit you. But how much water should you be drinking each day?
The NHS Eat Well Guide recommends drinking 6-9 glasses (1.5-2.2 litres) of fluids for women and 8-12 glasses (2-3 litres) for men daily to keep our bodies hydrated and functioning well – even tea and coffee can count! So it really helps to make drinking water a daily habit. Water intake can even come from water-rich food sources too.
To help increase your hydration levels and fight back against ageing – whatever age you are – drinking pure, filtered water will do the trick. To get you drinking more and make it a healthy habit, Thirsty Work has a range of bottled water coolers and mains-fed water coolers, which can be easily installed to help keep you hydrated at home or in the office every day.