Poor hydration associated with a more advanced biological age.
Drinking plenty of fluids promotes a long, healthy life, a recent study has found. Older adults who were well-hydrated were less likely to develop chronic diseases and die young compared to their less-hydrated peers.
Normal blood sodium levels typically fall between 135 and 146 millimoles per liter (mmol/l). As hydration decreases, blood sodium levels decrease, so researchers measured blood sodium levels in nearly 12,000 older adults. They calculated the participants' biological ages (based on several markers of cardiometabolic health and lifestyle factors) and assessed their risk of disease and early death.
The researchers found that participants with blood sodium levels above 142 mmol/l, suggesting poorer hydration, were 50 percent more likely to have a biological age that was older than their chronological age. Having an older biological age, in turn, increased the participants' risk for chronic diseases by 70 percent and their risk of dying prematurely by 59 percent.
A person’s fluid needs vary according to weight, activity level, and individual sweat losses. In general, drinking one-half to one ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day is adequate. However, exercise, sauna use, and other activities can increase fluid needs markedly. For example, a person can lose roughly one pound (~0.5 kilograms) in a single traditional sauna session.
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