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Drink to Your Heart's Health

NW Regional Heart

February is here—a time of heart-themed celebrations. And heart health is something you should drink to—literally!

But what you drink and how much will make a big difference in how well your heart continues to work for you. That’s because well-hydrated blood is a lot easier for your heart to pump through the 60,000 miles of blood vessels that wind through your body.

No, we’re not kidding: 60,000 miles. And your body’s need for water is no joke either. The water you drink keeps your blood sliding through those miles with less effort than when you get dehydrated. That makes life easier—and hopefully longer—for your heart.

Not All Liquids Are Created Equal

In general, a good target is to drink eight to 10 glass of water each day to make sure you stay hydrated.

Of course, water is found in a lot of drinks, so you don’t have to only drink water. However, a lot of other drinks come loaded with caffeine, sugar, calories or artificial sweeteners, so many doctors recommend making water the main way you meet your daily goal.

To help meet your water goal, Dr. Anabel Facemire, a cardiologist with Northwest Regional Heart & Vascular, recommends you begin each morning with two glass of warm water with lemon. The warmth will increase your metabolism and speed digestion, while the lemon provides immune support and increases the power of antioxidants.

A Heart-Healthy Water Goal

Your daily water goal may need to change with your activity, your body and the season. Anytime you sweat, you’ll need extra water to ensure you stay hydrated. That includes when you’re exercising in water—you might not notice any sweat, but your body still needs to be replenished.

Your body may also need a custom approach to your daily water intake goal. Talk with your doctor about what your target should be based on your weight, activities, diet, medications and health conditions.

And keep a close eye on how much you’re drinking as the weather changes. Hot or humid weather increases your body’s need to be refilled with cool water. But don’t forget extra water in winter if you’re sweating under all those cozy layers as you walk in the cold, play in the snow or enjoy mountain sports.

A Clear Answer for Your Heart

An easy way to check if you’re getting enough water is by checking that your urine is clear—“especially first thing in the morning,” Dr. Facemire suggests. Yellow urine is a clue that you should increase your fluid intake.

And keeping that intake up is a great help to your heart. It’s working hard for you—about 100,000 beats each day. So make your heart’s work easier by giving it a healthy eight to 10 glasses of water each day.