Water for Longevity & Cognition

            If you’re interested in maximizing your brain power and getting every last ounce of productivity out of your day, you’re probably not drinking enough water as you go!  When you couple that with a lot of high-energy, dehydrating beverages like coffee and tea, you are adding extra stress on your body which, in turn, affects the brain.  Aside from achieving better general wellness when you drink enough water, staying hydrated may be one the key ways to fight the battle of aging.

                The latest findings from the National Institutes of Health found that the relationship between sodium and water contributes to dispositions to biological aging and increased risk of degenerative disorders.  Sodium and water, along with other electrolytes, balance fluids in the body.  By following over 11,000 adults over a 30-year period, the benefit to keeping sodium levels in check with proper hydration became clearer.

                Adults whose sodium levels were higher experienced an accelerated biological aging, which affected everything from blood pressure to metabolic health.  As sodium levels rose, there was up to a 15% increase in biological age that was greater than the participant’s chronological age.  By staying better hydrated and driving the sodium level down through fluid intake alone, participants experienced less risk of developing disorders.

                Water is an amazing tool for cognition, with many adults and children trying to function in a state of near constant dehydration, many of whom are completely unaware they are consuming too little water.  Eight cups of fluids per day used to be the golden rule, but it’s now accepted that there’s a range with a little above and below that number that’s considered healthy.  For optimum health and to delay the aging process, check out what your recommended levels of fluids are and try to stay within that range.

                When the popularity of drinking sodas, caffeinated beverages, and fruit juices rose, water became less of a priority for the modern adult.  In this study, reducing sodium intake through diet wasn’t emphasized.  Simply drinking the correct amount of clear water helped the body stay hydrated and reduced the aging process.  Sodium is an important part of the body’s ability to regulate itself and shouldn’t be villainized, but keeping the sodium-to-fluid ratio balanced is important way to keep your body and brain flourishing as you age.


Further Reading

Natalia I. Dmitrieva, Alessandro Gagarin, Delong Liu, Colin O. Wu, Manfred Boehm. Middle-age high normal serum sodium as a risk factor for accelerated biological aging, chronic diseases, and premature mortality. eBioMedicine, 2023; 104404 DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.104404

Photo by manu schwendener on Unsplash

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