The Surprising Effects of Water on Heart Health
We have all heard that the human body is composed mostly of water. This is true. The body composition of adults is up to 60% water with some tissues such as the lungs, brain, and heart being especially soggy (~80%).1 No wonder dehydration is associated with some very serious health outcomes. Even our bones are about 30% water.
How Much Should We Drink?
The amount of water needed to remain adequately hydrated can be calculated from your body weight. Take your weight in pounds and divide by two. This will give you the amount in ounces you should drink during a day. If you work in an environment where you perspire a lot, then add more water.
150 lbs/2 = 75 ounces of water/day
An easy way to check hydration is to keep an eye on the color of urine. It should be mostly clear. If it is quite yellow all the time add more water.
What We Avoid
Virtually every system in the human body depends on adequate hydration for proper functionality. The cardiovascular system that circulates life-giving blood throughout the body is sensitive to dehydration. Heart disease kills more people in the United States than any other ailment. If we consistently supply the body with enough water the risk of dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) drops significantly.2
5 cups or more/day* = 54% lower risk CHD (men), 41% (women)
*Compared to 2 cups or less/day
1: Water Science School. The Water in You: Water and the Human Body. USGS. May 22, 2019. Accessed Oct. 25, 2022. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body.
2: Chan J. (2002). American Journal of Epidemiology.
February 24, 2023