The Truth About Water & Your Heart

Health & Wellness, Heart Health


My brother-in-law Jeff recently sent me an email that he had received questioning the innumerable virtues of drinking water for heart protection.  Not only was he correct in the lack of legitimacy for this assertion, but I was quite astounded to learn of the magnitude of false information (AKA, “fake news”) that is circulating on the internet.

While drinking water is vital to overall health and dehydration can pose health concerns, there is no evidence that the following list bears any physiologic truth.

2 glasses of water after waking up helps activate internal organs.

1 glass of water before taking a bath helps lower blood pressure.

1 glass of water before going to bed avoid stroke or heart attack.

What I recommend to my patients is the following:

  1. Drink ~1 glass of water (4-8 ounces) upon awakening.  This is not for heart protection but rather to replenish the modest insensible water losses that occur during sleeping hours.
  2. Stay well hydrated when traveling.  The rule of thumb is to drink ~8 ounces of water for every hour of air travel.  However, if you drink alcohol on the flight, then you need another ~8-ounces of water for per glass of wine, can of beer or shot of spirits.
  3. Stay well hydrated when engaging in physical activity.  Drink ~6-8 ounces of water before the workout begins and then supplement ~6-8 ounces of water every 15-30 minutes during the workout (depending upon intensity).                                 Michael Miller, MD is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland USA.  His latest book is   “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease“.


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