Are you aware that failing to drink enough water increases your risk of high blood pressure? The first thing that comes to mind when you think of water and blood pressure is how dehydration and hypotension or low blood pressure are associated. Dehydration can cause low blood pressure as a result of reduced volume of blood which increases the pressure against your artery walls.
On the other hand, high blood pressure as a result of not drinking adequate water is due to the body compensating for it by retaining sodium. Sodium only calls for alarm as it is directly linked to high blood pressure. Due to the retention of sodium in the body, dehydration will, therefore, lead to the closing of some capillary beds.
The resultant effect is increased pressure on the arteries leading to a high blood pressure. Water along with other substances in your bloodstream have an important role in maintaining hydration and the levels of blood pressure. It is natural and essential that you drink water although too much of it in the hope of overly improving your health can result in problems. It can lead to hyponatremia which is high levels of diluted sodium in the blood and is a hazardous condition. Hyponatremia can lead to confusion, coma dizziness and at other times if not treated quickly can result in death.
Relationship between Water and Blood Pressure
The human body is always trying to maintain a balance. That is why our bodies will respond to the changes of sodium levels or any other electrolytes in the blood stream either through increasing or decreasing blood volume.
Each time the levels of sodium are high in your blood stream, the kidney will respond through excreting water along with the excess sodium in the form of urine . If you are suffering from kidney disease, your body will have difficulties coping, and when faced with the high amounts of sodium, the blood pressure rises.
When you drink more water, there is more fluid available for your kidneys to excrete as urine. As a result, there is less need for the kidneys to conserve water causing your small blood vessels to open up which in turn reduces the blood pressure.
The recommended amounts of water that you should drink is at least eight glasses of water in a day. Most people do not reach such numbers even though we know that it is the minimum level required so as to make up for the fluid which we lose through respiration sweating and urination. But if you have high blood pressure, it is recommended that you aim even higher somewhere between 10 to 12 glasses of water per day .
The quality of water that you also drink matters just as much as the quantity. Fresh water will help to keep you hydrated and full as well as help you lose weight. However drinking salt water will not necessarily affect your blood pressure.
You may have concerns about some water softeners which are meant to remove hard minerals from your tap water. It the process it adds some sodium ions which is about 12mg per glass of water. It is a tiny amount which cannot raise your blood pressure. If you are concerned with your treated water, you can test the sodium level to see how much you are consuming. You can also opt for bottled water instead of tap water although, in the long run, it is expensive. The best option will be to invest in a home system which will remove all the harmful contaminants
On the other hand, when you drink sugary drinks instead of water, you take in many more extra calories. Reducing the
calories will lead to weight loss, and it can lower your blood pressure. Choosing tea or coffee will result in a pounding heartbeat which is caused by ingesting caffeine. Caffeine narrows your blood vessels and in that case, increases the blood pressure temporarily.
Dehydrating beverages like tea, alcohol or coffee will increase your desire for wanting to drink a lot of water. Physical exercises, diabetes and diarrhoea, can also make your body lose excess water.
Steps To Prevent High Blood Pressure Caused By Dehydration
Drink water when you are exercising- you’re wasting a lot of water through sweating and evaporation when you are exercising. It is therefore essential that you drink an adequate amount of water during and after an exercise. If you are looking forward to lowering your blood pressure, do not restrict some fluids when engaging in any physical activity. So what is the recommended amounts during and after an exercise?
- Make sure to take two cups which is 16 ounces of fluid two hours just before you begin your physical activity
- During an exercise session which lasts about an hour, ensure that you drink water after every 15 minutes.