Heart healthHeart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the United States. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that adult males who drank five or more glasses of water had only a 46% chance of having a fatal heart attack, and adult females had only a 59% risk, compared to adults who drank two or fewer glasses of water every day.

Those who drank five or more 8-ounce glasses of water a day were less likely to die from a heart attack than those who drank fewer than two glasses a day. And experts stress that you should not rely on tea or coffee to get your water quota. These beverages can raise blood viscosity, which is the thickness and stickiness of blood. Higher blood viscosity can make it harder for blood to flow and can lead to heart disease and heart attacks. Heart attacks occur more frequently in the morning, when your blood is thicker because of water loss while you’re sleeping, so drink a glass of water before you climb into bed and another when you get up.

Your body is made up of about 83% water. Your brain and muscles are about 75% water, and even your bones are about 22% water. This lifesaving liquid contributes to every metabolic process in your body, including absorbing necessary nutrients and efficiently removing toxic waste. By simply focusing on drinking plain water, your heart health is likely to improve.

Drinking more water also helps improve your overall health, but you can also eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, low-fat dairy products, poultry without the skin, lean cuts of red meat, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. And minimize your intake of foods that are high in saturated fat (such as butter), trans fats (found in many processed foods), and salt.


Maintaining heart health is possible

You don’t need to accept heart disease as an inevitable part of getting older. You have control over many of the risk factors, and with careful attention to your water consumption, diet, activity levels, and other lifestyle factors, you can dramatically reduce your risk of being affected by heart disease.