What does water have to do with blood pressure? More than you might think. Did you know that if you become dehydrated, your blood pressure can be affected? Water is essential for health and wellness. Without water, body organs begin to shut down. Why?
Water is found in every living cell, tissue, and organ in your body. It plays a role in a number of bodily functions including digestion, respiration, muscle and joint mobility, as well as cardiovascular health and wellness.
Water and blood pressure
One of the most important functions of water when it comes to cardiovascular function is to keep the blood flowing through arteries and veins. If you don’t drink enough water and become dehydrated, the blood grows a bit thicker and sluggish. Sluggish blood flow cannot only lead to blood clots, but forces the heart to work harder to pump that blood through the body.
Without water, buildup of other blood components and chemical balances such as sodium can occur. When you don’t drink enough water, you may experience sodium retention or, in more common terminology, bloating. Have you ever noticed that when you eat salty foods, you tend to be thirstier?
When lack of adequate hydration prevents the kidneys from flushing excess levels of sodium from the body, it can have a huge role in blood pressure. Kidneys require adequate hydration for proper function, and in maintaining balance of sodium, potassium, electrolytes, and other chemicals in the body. Higher sodium levels reduce the kidney’s ability to function properly, leading to extra fluids in your body that result in higher blood pressure and also place a strain on blood vessels of the kidneys.
In addition to forcing the kidneys to work harder, lack of adequate water intake – especially in a diet that contains high levels of sodium – can also cause arterial pressure and thickening that might eventually inhibit nutrient and oxygen flow to vital organs.
Hydration reduces risk to high blood pressure
To reduce the risk of high blood pressure, take steps to prevent dehydration. Drink 64 to 80 ounces of water a day, but increase intake gradually. Drink water throughout the day and before, during, and after exercise.