February is American Heart Month – and the message coming through this year is a strong wake-up call to the fact that not only do an estimated 630,000 Americans die of heart-related diseases annually, they can be afflicted at any stage and any age in their lives!

It’s the perfect time therefore, to learn about your own risks for heart disease, and the steps you need to take to make sure you’re not another victim of this leading cause of fatalities in the country.

We’re particularly interested in telling our readers about something they may not have considered before: how hydration is a key factor in maintaining heart health.

So, here are the facts:

# 1: Dehydration Exhausts The Heart

When your body is not getting proper hydration, your blood volume lowers and thickens as blood consists mostly of water. And when blood volume drops, your vessels tighten and heart rate increases to compensate for that drop – which isn’t good news for optimal functioning of the organ.

# 2: Dehydration Increases Risks Of Stroke

Stroke is caused by the lack of optimal blood reaching the brain, and when you consider how lack of hydration lowers blood volume from the above point, the connection is pretty obvious.

# 3: Dehydration Increases Chances Of Fatal Coronary Heart Disease

The connection between dehydration and coronary heart disease (CHD) was proven in a study that found this astounding fact: sufficient hydration reduces risk of CHD by 59% in women and 46% in men. What’s more, it you drink just five glasses of more water per day, it can make a huge difference!

What Can You Do?

Those most at risk for dehydration are the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, children and athletes. But dehydration can strike anytime and during any season, without you even knowing you are dehydrated.

This is why a regular regimen for hydration has to become a part of your daily lifestyle.

Read our article on how to stay hydrated round the year by clicking HEREHERE and  HERE.

At a glance though, here are some quick facts you can scan through on this page to get some necessary facts:

• Women need about 11 cups (91 ounces) of total daily fluid intake (which includes healthy beverages and water-containing foods).

• Men need about 15.5 cups (125 ounces) total daily fluid intake (which includes healthy beverages and water-containing foods).

• Drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day is acceptable if 25 % of daily fluid intake is coming from food and other drinks.

• Among water-rich vegetables that you can add to your diet are: lettuce (96%), celery (95%), bok choy (95%), radish (95%), cucumber (95%), zucchini (95%), tomato (95%), green bell pepper (94%) and asparagus (93%) and cabbage (92%).

• Meat naturally contains about 75% water but can vary depending on the cut. Remember also that meats lose water content in the cooking process.

• When choosing fruits, look for water-rich ones such as watermelon (92%), strawberries (90%), grapefruit (90%), cantaloupe (90%), pineapple (87%), oranges (87%) and raspberries (85%).

• Beverages like coffee and soda may increase your daily water intake, but their caffeine content also acts as a diuretic, which means you can end up losing more fluids too. Keep that in mind when you think of them as a source of hydration.

• Meat naturally contains about 75% water but can vary depending on the cut. Remember also that meats lose water content in the cooking process.

• Increase your fluid intake if you are an athlete or exercise frequently, as you’ll lose more water than others with more sedentary lifestyles through exertion and sweat.

• Hot weather calls for more fluids, but dehydration can occur in winter months too.

• Women who are either pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated.

• IV therapy is a quick and easy way to increase hydration in the body. This is an extremely efficient system as none of the essential components, like minerals and nutrients, are lost in the digestion process and your body enjoys full benefits from the transmissions.

Click HERE to know more about IV therapy options to counter dehydration.