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Drink More Water to Protect Your Organs

Drink More Water to Protect Your Organs

Learn about the risks of dehydration, and the benefits of drinking more H2O.

In the 2018 Marvel movie Aquaman, when Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) learns he is Aquaman and heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, he realizes how he’s been left high and dry by his land-locked life. He must take his rightful place as protector of the deep and savior of the world.

Water can do that for a person! A study in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology found a correlation between dehydration, thickening of the blood, damage to the arteries and development of coronary artery disease. In 2011, one article in Nutrition Reviews outlined how drinking enough water helps protect your brain, kidney, heart and skin. And a paper presented at the 2018 American Physiological Society reveals that making sure you get enough water when exercising lets older adults gain the full cognitive benefits of physical activity!

Unfortunately, although American men and women drink a good dose of liquid every day, only about a third of it is “plain water,” according to the CDC. A lot is from sugar-added and artificially sweetened beverages—not healthy choices and not as thirst-quenching!

So how much water is enough? Never let yourself get thirsty—especially when exercising. Dehydration is a major source of fatigue. Aim for around 91 (women) to 125 (men) ounces of water daily—more if working out or in a hot environment. And if you have dark urine, dizziness, cramps and a headache, drink up! Drinking enough water to rehydrate reduces your heart rate and increases blood flow in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.

Medically reviewed in April 2020.

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