How much water should I drink if I have AF?

23 Aug

How much water should I drink if I have AF?

How much water should I drink?

If you have AF, knowing how much water you should drink is vitally important.

Let's start with the basics on water. Water makes up 60% of your body weight. Even more astounding is your heart is comprised of 70% water. Water can come from simply drinking or it can come from your food - assuming you are eating the right foods. Obviously, chips, breads, processed foods, and things of the sort are NOT sources of water based nutrition. You need foods like vegetables and fruits that have a high water content.

So, before we technically answer how much water you should drink, l will explain what happens when water enters your body. In your stomach, food is broken down (which requires water) and the useful parts of the food (the water, vitamins, minerals, etc.) are sent off and used by your body. The water is used to carry the nutrients to your heart and other organs. (Obviously, unhealthy foods have an entirely different breakdown process.)

The lifestyle commonly associated with AF is linked to dehydration and low water consumption. When you think of the triggers of AF, think of what they do to your system. Caffeinated coffee, soda, caffeinated tea, and alcohol are all triggers and they make you urinate. These beverages force your body to excrete water. They are like sponges wringing out your system. What happens next is dehydration. During this phase, your heart is likely to get upset because during dehydration the electrolytes in the blood become dangerously low. When this happens, the heart can not electrically fire as efficiently - and abnormal heart rhythms are the result.

The Institute of Medicine recommends how much water we should drink per day. For women, it is recommended to drink about 2 liters per day. For men, it is recommended to drink 3 liters per day.  

If this seems like a lot more water than you are used to drinking, I recommend adding a little more water each day until you reach the goal. Personally, I drink the recommended amount and do not find myself in the bathroom every 10 minutes. My body has adjusted, it is grateful for the water since it needs it to run efficiently, and best of all I have had fewer bouts of AF thanks in part to proper hydration.

We are lucky to live in a society where water is readily available. Most of us are not walking 2 miles with our pale and waiting in line for hours to get water.

Be thankful. Hydrate yourself. Your heart is only 70% water if you open your mouth and pour it in. Bottoms up!

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