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Is Hydration the Secret to Graceful Aging?


The Fountain of Youth in Florida. Photo Credit: Marcus Quigmire from Florida, USA

Everywhere you look on TV, radio, or online, there are ads on how to age gracefully. Turns out the secret may be just to drink more water!

According to a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) adults who are more hydrated are more likely to live longer and slow down the aging process!

While the efforts of 1500s Spanish explorer, Ponce De Leon, to find the Fountain of Youth proved futile, he wasn’t all that far off. You don’t need some mythical fountain; you just need to hydrate more!

This study gathered data from over 11,000 adults over the course of 30 years and analyzed the link between serum sodium levels and different indicators of health.

Serum sodium is the levels of sodium in the body, when a person’s hydration goes up, the sodium serum levels go down and vice versa.

A different study, released in March of 2022, researched the links between higher levels of serum sodium and increased risks for heart failure.

The study found that adults who had higher than normal levels of serum sodium in their system were at a higher risk of increased odds of being biologically older than their chronological age. They were also at an increased risk of premature death, and a were at higher risk for developing chronic diseases like heart failure or stroke, as well as chronic lung disease, diabetes, and dementia.

On the other hand, adults with lower serum sodium levels were the least at risk for any of these health risks.

The study notes that without additional randomized and controlled trials, causal effect cannot be proven.

However, the preliminary findings of this study can certainly guide personal behavior and could inform clinical practices moving forward.

So, the next time you’re feeling a bit groggy or think that the sands of time passing through way too rapidly, reach for a tall glass of water.

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