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Drink Yourself Young!

Water: your Longevity Weapon

Dr. Gwen Bingle
June 15, 2023

Longevity on tap?

"Summer tiiime…" sees you humming in front of the bathroom mirror... At long last, you can meet friends on a terrace without fearing the next shower... and drink! Ooops, sorry: no, we’re not talking about rosé, gin and tonic or mojito here. The heat is sweltering and your body needs... water!

Watering your health

As sobering as it may sound, water is not just the best strategy to remain functional despite the heat. It actually seems to be the elixir of youth - as a team from the American National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) led by Natalia Dmitrieva found out earlier this year. Even though it remains a correlation rather than a causation so far, the thirstier you are, the more likely it seems you will pass away prematurely.

The consequences of body drought

For the study, a cohort of 15,000 adults (between 45 and 66 years old) were studied over 25 years and middle-age serum sodium levels were retained as a marker of hydration. Subjects with a level above 144 mmol/L had a 21% increased risk of dying earlier. Already above 142 mmol/L, the likelihood of suffering from a chronic disease – such as heart failure, dementia or stroke – increased by 39%, and of being biologically older by as much as 50%.

Drinking enough, however, is a challenge for many, especially as we age, since thirst tends to remain undetected for longer. Even determining whether one might be dehydrated is difficult to ascertain for lay people. Potential symptoms include a darker urine colour (possibly intense-smelling), fatigue, irritability, dizziness, cramps, a dry mouth and, in the worst case, mental confusion.

How much is enough?

The big question remains though: how much should I drink? Basically, it is difficult to suggest a one-size-fits-all rule, as needs can vary greatly depending on weight, metabolism, age and physical activity. A rule of thumb is 30 to 40 millilitres of fluid per kilogram of body weight - that is, 1.5 to 2.5 litres per day. The general recommendation of the German Nutrition Society in simple language is "drink at least 6 normal-sized glasses of water".

The taste of water

"But water is sooo... boring!" you may object. "Can't I drink my daily quota as iced tea, juice or squash?" Well, not really: fruit juice or syrup, even very diluted, directly affects your blood sugar. Black or green tea, while sugar-free as such, can keep sensitive people awake for a longtime. A better solution is to flavour your water. Sliced citrus, berries, herbs or rose petals are not only eye-catching, thanks to their essential oils, they infuse the water with an alluring fragrance.

So, cheers: here’s to your healthy longevity!


Dmitrieva NI, Gagarin A, Liu D, Wu CO, Boehm M. Middle-age high normal serum sodium as a risk factor for accelerated biological aging, chronic diseases, and premature mortality. EBioMedicine. 2023 Jan; 87:104404. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2022.104404. Online:

National Council on Aging, Hydration for Older Adults. How to Stay Hydrated for Better Health, Aug 23, 2021. Online:

DGE veröffentlicht Trinktipps in Leichter Sprache, Presseinformation:12/2020. Online:

More tips from the German Nutrition Society:

Vergesst die Zwei-Liter-Regel: So viel Wasser solltet ihr pro Tag wirklich trinken, Business Insider Deutschland, 12.05.2023. Online:


Charlotte May / pexels

Dr. Gwen Bingle
epiAge Deutschland Content & Customer Relations
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