Don’t allow these worst drinking habits to derail your heart health:
According to the American Heart Association, from the age of 50, heart disease risk factors begin to appear due to many issues, such as genetic predisposition to inactivity to weight accumulation. So, to maintain our heart-healthy as we age, we need to be careful about what we drink, not just our food intake.
Are you thinking of improving your drinking habits for better heart health? According to registered dietitians, you need to avoid the following bad drinking habits for better heart health.
Drinking Alcohol In Excess
Limiting your consumption of alcohol within safe limits can help stop your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels from increasing, all of which are linked to heart disease risks, says Fitness Buffhq. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
Drinking too much alcohol increases your risk for various health problems. However, some studies support alcohol consumption in moderation. But Fitness Buffhq, Certified Nutritionist, urges: “if you do not drink alcohol, do not start!”
Caution: Please note that the American Heart Association does not recommend drinking wine or any other form of alcohol to gain potential health benefits.
Relying on energy drinks
“Energy drinks can have negative impacts on your heartbeat and blood pressure,” says Fitness Buffhq.
Energy drinks are likely to increase your blood pressure and your QT interval. QT interval measures how long it takes for your heart to recharge in between beats. A prolonged QT interval can result in heart rhythm disorders and a higher risk of stroke.
If you’re looking for an immediate energy boost, you don’t have to be entirely off caffeine to ensure your heart stays healthy after 50—just replace sugar-laden energy drinks with tea. Green and black tea may cut down the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by ten to twenty percent. There is some research that found a reduced risk of heart disease in people who drink green or black tea regularly.
Not drinking fluids throughout the day
New research shows that middle-aged adults can reduce their long-term risk for heart failure by drinking enough water daily. Fitness Buffhq says: “Drinking enough water is good for your overall health, including your heart,”
Not drinking adequate water can result in dehydration, and chronic dehydration can affect heart health. Chronic dehydration is linked to obesity and cardiovascular disease. For example, a study done by Loma Linda University Health reported that people who drank more than five glasses of water per day had about one-half the risk of dying of coronary heart disease.
Hydration needs vary depending on your gender, age, physical activity, location, health condition, etc. Though fluid requirements vary, the Heart Foundation suggests men consume 15.5 cups of fluids every day, while women should aim for 11 cups. They may achieve this goal with non-water fluids, including sparkling water, iced tea, and coffee, as well as food! Roughly twenty percent of your hydration requirements can be met from food. High-water content foods are watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, lettuce, celery, cabbage, spinach, and cooked squash. In addition, some dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese can contain 70-89% water.
You may be interested in knowing whether you are drinking enough? The color of your urine is a good indicator! If the color is concentrated, you need to increase fluid intake. The color goal is lemonade vs. apple juice.
Drinking too many high sodium drinks
Limiting your sodium intake can help prevent high blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause heart problems such as a thickened left ventricle, increasing the risk of heart failure. So, develop a habit of reading food labels. Most carbohydrate products are paired with fat & sodium. For example, canned vegetable juices such as tomato juice are very bad for your health. Though some canned vegetable juices can have extremely high sodium levels, not all vegetable and fruit juices will negatively affect your heart health. In fact, when it comes to fruit juice, it’s the other way round.
Low to moderate pure fruit juice consumption, on the other hand, may lower the risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. That may be because of the polyphenol antioxidants such as flavonoids contained in pure fruit juices, which have been found to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
Avoid drinks with trans fats
Avoiding drinks & foods that have trans fats can prevent bad cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol) from increasing to avert the risk for heart disease. These include non-dairy creamers, frozen and other creamy drinks.
Tips to stay hydrated
The key to intake enough fluids to protect your heart is little planning ahead when it comes to meeting your hydration needs. Here are a few tips to make sure you are staying hydrated throughout the day:
- Prefer water: Opt for a tall glass of water instead of energy or soda drinks.
- Drink water all through the day: Develop the habit of drinking water throughout the day.
- Carry a refillable water bottle: Keep water handy, so it’s there when you want to reach for a drink.
- Add a flavor enhancer: Many people don’t like drinking plain water. So they can squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice into the water, or for the variety’s sake, they may add a few fresh basil leaves or toss in a couple of cucumber slices.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”