Could hydration be the missing link in delaying the aging process? According to the latest research by the NIH, it could be.
Decreased hydration levels were actually shown to accelerate the process of biological aging despite chronological age, our age measured in years from our birth.
According to an NIH press release, “The results suggest that proper hydration may slow down aging and prolong a disease-free life,” said Natalia Dmitrieva, Ph.D., a study author and researcher in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH.
Blood sodium levels were used to gauge hydration habits in the new study. Blood sodium is the amount of sodium relative to the volume of water in the blood, and it goes up the more dehydrated someone is. Sodium levels can be detected by a simple blood test, and according to the Mayo Clinic, a normal blood sodium level is between 135 and 145 millimoles (mmol) per liter.
This means staying hydrated is an integral component o your longevity. ulate ofthe biological age, which is different from chronological age. Chronological age is your age according to your actual birthdate, biological age is an estimation of your age based on health & biological characteristics. These two ages can be very different. Your biological age may be much higher or lower than your chronological age depending on the biological evaluation of your health status. They found that people with higher blood sodium levels were biologically older than those of the same chronological age with lower blood sodium levels and were also more prone to chronic, debilitating diseases that can reduce quality of life.
One’s biological age went up by an estimated 10-15% percent for blood sodium levels above 144 mmol/l, when compared to participants with serum sodium levels between 137-142 mmol/l. These higher serum sodium levels thought to increase biological aging are still within the normal range, but they are at the high end of the spectrum.
This means staying hydrated is an integral component of your longevity.
How do you know if you are properly hydrated? Check your urine, if it is pale yellow you are most likely hydrating well. If it is a darker, more amber color, you are dehydrated.
Everyone needs at least half their body weight in fluid ounces per day. For example, if you are 160# you need at least 80 oz of fluid per day (10 cups). If you are dehydrated, exercising, or if it is hot out, you will need more than that amount to stay properly hydrated. And if you are a salty sweater (you can see or taste the salt on your skin when you sweat), then you most likely need to add electrolytes to your water to stay properly hydrated.
Top tips to staying hydrated:
1) Drink 8 oz (1 cup) of fluid 1st thing in the morning. You are definitely dehydrated after sleeping for 8 hours overnight and you need to replace that fluid immediately. One gulp of water is ~1 oz, get into the habit of taking 8 gulps of water 1st thing in the morning, I promise you will feel energized and ready to hit your day running.
2) Carry a water bottle around with you so that you always have water handy & use it as a visual reminder throughout the day. Drink water every hour even if you are not thirsty. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
3) Include plenty of fruits & veggies in your diet. Most plants are at least 90% water.
4) Create a healthy habit by associating drinking water with something you already consistently do. Every time I answer an email I take a gulp of water. Visit my resources page here to grab an eBook on "Healthy Habit Stacking" for some helpful pointers.
5) Use an app to track & send you reminders to drink throughout the day. Here is a useful article ranking the top apps : Best Water Drinking Tracker Apps in 2023 | ACTIVE
6) Try infused water by adding fruits, veggies &/or spices to create refreshing options. Check out my eBook “Infused water tips & tricks” on my resources page to spark some ideas.
Creating positive hydration habits will not only provide you with more energy to get through your day, but according to this research, it can also help you lead a longer, healthier life!
So, DRINK UP!
If you would like personalized guidance for your individual hydration & nutrition needs, sign up for a FREE 15-minute exploratory call to discuss your goals and how I can help you with your longevity & be the best you in 2023!
Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog post is not to act as a personal healthcare professional to any reader and is not meant to directly or indirectly diagnose disease, dispense medical advice, or prescribe the use of any products or services as treatment for sickness or disease. This information is for educational purposes only. You should always cooperate with a licensed health professional of your choice to create optimal health. Please consult your physician before implementing any of the strategies mentioned in this or starting any diet, exercise, or health program—especially if you are pregnant or nursing. Any application or use of the information, resources, or recommendations contained here is at your own risk.