After an hour of basketball, mowing the yard, or just on a real hot day, a nice cold glass of water hits the spot. Normally when you think of water it is safe to assume most of the time you don’t think “water and heart health.” But drink enough of it, and it will also lower the risk of heart attacks, diabetes, or heart disease. So while an apple a day may keep the doctor away, keeping the body hydrated will do much more for keeping you and your heart healthy.
Is Water Good For Your Heart?
According to “Water, other fluids and fatal coronary heart disease: The Adventist Health Study,” published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2002, dehydration negatively affected whole blood and plasma viscosity and increased the chances of blood clots in those who failed to drink enough water throughout the day.
The study looked at more than 20,000 men and women over a six-year period, split into two groups: those who drank five or more glasses of water a day and those who drank two glasses or less. None of the participants had medical conditions such as diabetes, strokes, or heart disease before the study.
After six years, it was discovered those drinking more water had fewer risk factors leading to fatal coronary events than those who didn’t drink to stay hydrated. Men were 54 percent less likely to suffer from coronary events, women 41 percent less likely. Those of high body mass index, smokers, hypertension, various ages, and education levels were present in both groups.
Drinking up to eight glasses of water a day can help reduce high blood pressure, steadies the heart rate, and thins the blood volume enough to keep it flowing at acceptable rates. Aside from the heart benefits, water will help prevent heatstroke, improves the appearance of your skin, and a host of other benefits.
The American Heart Association recommends drinking water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. Without enough water, we can start to experience fatigue, dizziness, exhaustion, muscle cramping, and headaches. Unfortunately, once these warning signs appear, dehydration has already begun.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Don’t overdo it, though. Drinking only water after physical exertion or on a hot day can dilute sodium levels in the body, leading to water intoxication. That means the kidneys are unable to process the water fast enough, so it’s up to the cells of the body to absorb the extra H2O. Sugar-free electrolyte drinks should be consumed along with water after physical exertion or heavy sweating.
Most cells in the body can handle a little extra water because they can stretch, such as fat cells or muscles in the body. Unfortunately, that water-logged blood goes to the brain as well. The brain, encased in a hard skull, can’t expand. This means water intoxication can lead to headaches, confusion, brain damage, comas, and even death!
Benefits of Drinking Water and Bariatric Surgery
Water is also an important part of weight loss surgery. In fact, after a duodenal switch, gastric sleeve, or gastric bypass procedure, staying hydrated is one of the most important things you do for your body. Because solid food isn’t allowed in the weeks after surgery, you need water to deliver supplements throughout the body and prevent dehydration.
There is a danger here, too. While normal physical activity can resume shortly after laparoscopic surgery, the stomach is still adapting to the surgery. Where you might gulp down water after playing the first half of the soccer game, water must be sipped in the days and weeks after surgery.
Too much water at once could stretch the newer, smaller stomach and cause post-operative issues by putting too much pressure at the point of surgery. This will cause discomfort, pain, and even injury. Even when food is introduced to the body in the following weeks, make sure to keep eating and drinking separately.
The body generally starts adapting to lesser food intake within a week, releasing hormones that make you feel fuller, faster. But the mind still needs to be trained to keep from bringing too much into the body at once. That goes for water, too.
Work With The Weight Loss Experts
At WeightWise, the surgery is just the beginning of your weight-loss journey. The most important steps of weight loss happen after the procedure. Changing your lifestyle overnight isn’t going to be easy. However, the previous lifestyle of eating too much, eating the wrong things, and living a sedentary life is what brought you to us in the first place.
For this reason, every patient will meet with our surgeon to discuss our program in depth. We want to understand what brought you to WeightWise, your health history, family history, and any issues that prevent you from taking the steps to become a newer, healthier, fitter you.
This is also the time for clients to ask questions of their own. Don’t be afraid to ask about anything you’re unsure of. This is not the time to be shy! The more we know about you – and the more you know about us – the better. Full transparency will reduce surprises down the road.
In some cases, surgery might not be right for a client. There are a few reasons for this, but we want to make sure our patients will be compliant with the program all the way through. Even if surgery isn’t an option, we do offer a non-surgical plan as well.
After meeting with our surgeon, you’ll meet with a dietitian and exercise physiologist. You’ll find out what the pre- and post-op diets are like as well as the kind of foods (and portions) you’ll be able to eat. Your activity plan will be established as well. We don’t expect you to be running 4-minute miles anytime soon, but walks around the neighborhood can begin almost immediately.
Our program is designed for much more than what happens on the operating table. WeightWise wants you to succeed just as much as you do! Contact us for more information or watch this free online seminar to get a better understanding of what we do. And don’t forget to drink water throughout the day!