When explorer Ponce de Leon supposedly set out to find the fountain of youth, maybe instead he should have simply enjoyed a few glasses of refreshing water.
The National Institutes of Health recently published a new study in eBioMedicine that found that drinking enough water leads to “better biological aging and reduced risk of both chronic disease and premature death.”
After examining more than 30 years of data collected from 11,255 adults, researchers looked at links between serum sodium levels (amount of sodium found in blood) and various health indicators. Researchers found that adults who hydrate properly have a younger biological age than those who drink less water. People with higher sodium levels in their blood “more often developed chronic conditions and aged faster than those with lower serum sodium levels. And more of them died younger, too.”
It is important to note that high serum sodium levels may not necessarily stem from dehydration. Dr. Mitchell Rosner, the chair of the University of Virginia Department of Medicine, said in an email to NBC News, “many factors besides hydration can influence a person’s blood-sodium level, such as taking diuretics, also known as water pills, for high blood pressure. Some people with neurological issues or other disabilities may also have higher-than-average blood-sodium levels.”
For guidance on how much you should drink, please check out this blog entry.
So, if you want to increase your chances of a longer, healthier life, drink plenty of water. It’s better than wandering around St. Augustine, Florida, in search of a magical fountain.