Does drinking water help lower your blood pressure? Yes, it does! Not surprisingly, among an already impressive list of benefits, reducing blood pressure or hypertension is one of the benefits of drinking water! There are multiple principles as to why it’s a huge help and why dehydration worsens high blood pressure.
On the flip side, remember that everything in excess is bad no matter how healthy it’s claimed to be. Don’t go drinking a gallon of water in one sitting, thinking it will solve your problems with blood pressure. An average person needs about four to six cups of water a day. It varies from person to person depending on lifestyle, diet and several other factors, so make sure to check which suits you best if you think you’re not drinking too little or too much.
Many factors affect blood pressure, but what matters here is Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP), which is the pressure of the blood flowing through the arteries specifically when the heart is pumping the blood out. So how does water make blood flow more freely?
A dehydrated person will have thick, syrupy blood, and as you can imagine, that will slow down blood flow. This causes pressure to the arteries. Dehydration also causes the kidneys to produce renin and causes the brain to release a hormone called vasopressin, both of which forces the body to respond. It’s these responses that lead to high blood pressure if not remedied quickly.
A control study looking to lower systolic blood pressure in workers working in hot environments was also conducted between two groups of people of similar health, age, working conditions and caffeine consumption (because caffeine affects blood pressure). One group was provided with more water than the other, and the former showed lower SBP than the latter.
Even if your blood pressure is normal, you’re always better off drinking water anyway. Other advantages of being well-hydrated are having regulated body temperature, proper digestion and oxygen flow through the body, and you’re also less likely to suffer from constipation. There are also tons of benefits from all the vitamins and minerals inside certain kinds of water.
Any and every type of drinkable water helps with high blood pressure. However, in case you’ve ever wondered: “What’s the difference between mineral and sparkling water?” or “Will I be better off drinking distilled or alkaline water?”, here are the ups and downs of the most common drinking water types.
This type of water is known for having higher than average pH levels, meaning it is more basic, or alkaline. Its main health claims are neutralizing blood acid and reduction of bone aging. However, there is actually not much scientific evidence to support this. Nonetheless, natural alkaline water is generally safe for consumption.
A type of purified water. Essentially water that is boiled, steamed and condensed; distilling water is good for clearing it of foreign bodies. Unfortunately, it contains no vitamins and minerals, so there are no additional health benefits. The downside is that water without nutrients tends to grab minerals from your body and teeth.
Containing sulfur, magnesium, calcium and other minerals, mineral water is one the safest and healthiest types of water. Aside from providing those minerals, it even eases indigestion and constipation. The only foreseeable disadvantage of this water is that it costs more than most other types.
This water undergoes multiple processes like filtration and disinfection. Similarly to distilled water, this is safe from impurities and contaminants but is also absent of useful minerals like fluoride, which is a mineral present even in the tap water of some countries.
Also known as ‘soda water’ and ‘carbonated water’, this drink is actually usually mineralized, so it is good for you. Common misconceptions are that carbonated water causes tooth decay and bone health problems, similar to the way carbonated soda does. Rest assured, these claims are not true, as carbonization itself does not cause these issues. It is actually the addition of acids and sugars to the drink. Some brands of carbonated water do have sweeteners in them, so remember to check the nutritional labels when buying.
Another huge yet simple step you can take to normalize your blood pressure is being careful with what you eat and drink. Here are some foods and drinks that have a healthy effect on blood pressure:
Especially raw carrots. This sweet veggie is filled with phenolic compounds which will lower your blood pressure if you suffer from excessive inflammation. It also helps blood vessels relax.
These fruits lower both Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure. You can also drink citrus fruit drinks, as it is the juices that are antihypertensive.
Antioxidant properties and allicin content are the qualities of this vegetable That help with lowering blood pressure. Luckily, garlic is easily accessible and can be found or added to a large variety of dishes.
This drink helps with your vascular functions by improving vasodilation and reducing synthesis of endothelin-1. However, its benefits have been observed to not take effect on smokers.
Kale, lettuce, spinach and other vegetables in this category contain nitrates which dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure. It does this by turning into Nitric oxide (NO), which sends signals through the bloodstream telling muscle cells to relax. That, in turn, allows your blood to flow more freely.
Fatty/Oily fish contain lots of Omega-3 fatty acids which regulate inflammatory signaling. Numerous studies prove their efficiency in lowering blood pressure.
Many more foods are confirmed and suspected to have antihypertensive properties. Whenever you find yourself wondering if a specific product is good or bad for your blood pressure, ask a dietician or research reliable sources.
Written by Adrian Mark P.