As I am sitting here in front of my computer sipping some refreshing filtered water, it occurs to me that the amount of water we consume on a daily basis has a role to play when discussing the maintenance of a healthy blood pressure (BP) level. When for instance one stops to consider the fact that the average human body (adult) consists of 50-65% water, then I think that the relationship between hydration and healthy BP deserves a closer look.
Drinking Water Thins Blood
One useful characteristic of water in the body lies in its blood thinning property. Interestingly enough, blood plasma is made up of 92% water, so there is little wonder that sufficient daily water consumption has a supporting function to play in maintaining healthy BP levels. Simply put, the better diluted the blood supply is, the more freely it can circulate around the body. This then can reduce the pressure being exerted on the arteries and vital organs.
Conversely, when insufficient water is being consumed and the body becomes dehydrated, then the flow of blood to the kidneys – where the important cleansing of wastes takes place – is reduced. This prompts the kidneys to signal the brain that more water is required and the brain responds by constricting the veins and arteries in order to fill the demand. As a result this leads to higher blood pressure. This may turn into a catch 22 situation if this lack of hydration situation is allowed to continue.
8 Glasses of Water Daily a Must?
Historically, the standard for recommended amount of water on a daily basis has always been 8 x 8 oz or or 2 litres of water. However I am not convinced that this “one size fits all” equation is foolproof, as there are too many other factors involved such as level of activity, age and gender (to name a few!)
What I like to do is to have a 20 oz stainless steel or glass water bottle at hand throughout the day and to take frequent sips from it. This is far better than stopping every one or two hours and guzzling a full glass down. Besides too much water in a short amount of time can cause problems with the electrolytes in the body – one reason that athletes drink electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade, not just pure water to rehydrate after a heavy workout.
Oh, and one final thought…I like to only drink good quality water – preferably filtered water, so that my body is only replenishing itself with the actual substance it needs, and not with those nasty extra chemicals which accompany tap and bottled water.
Well here’s to maintaining sufficient hydration and thereby using another strategy to help keep your blood pressure in the normal range.
If you have any thoughts, or comments about the blog above, please feel free to leave some comments below.