Article – CNN Health – Hydration can significantly impact your physical health, study finds


Dmitrieva NI, Gagarin A, Liu D, et al. Middle-age high normal serum sodium as a risk factor for accelerated biological aging, chronic diseases, and premature mortality. eBioMedicine. 2023. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.104404.

This is a study that looked at a test for hydration in the general population.  Specifically, almost everyone gets a serum sodium (Na) measured when they see their doctors.  Most doctors ignore the value so long it is in the normal range. However, people who drink more water will tend to have a lower serum sodium, while people who eat a lot of salt will tend to have a higher serum sodium.  Our work led to the discovery that mild dehydration may lead to an increased risk for obesity, diabetes and aging, but it was done in animals.  Here a group from the National Institute of Health show that a serum sodium in the normal range, but on the higher end, can actually increase the risk for obesity, diabetes, other chronic diseases, aging, and death.  People are not drinking enough water.

In addition to reducing your intake of sugar and high glycemic carbohydrates,  I recommend drinking 8 cups of water a day, or approximately 2.5 L in men and 2.0 L in women.  Drinking a glass of water with each meal, and one between meals will get you close to your target. Measuring your serum sodium might help you gauge your risk.  The goal is a serum Na of 138 to 142.  Urine should be light colored (not crystal clear and not dark yellow).  If you have suffered from a low serum Na, discuss with your doctor before you increase your water intake.  Marathon runners should only drink to thirst, as they can hold onto water. People in the postoperative period following surgery should also not drink a lot of water.

Read the story at CNN here.