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Hydrate for good health

Photo: JuYochi/iStockphoto

Want to live a longer and healthier life? Stay well-hydrated, say researchers from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The National Academies of Medicine recommends that women drink six to nine cups of fluids a day. For men, it’s eight to 12. Here are some tips from NIOSH for staying hydrated, even while working a full day:

  • Drink before you feel thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re already behind on fluid replacement.
  • Working in the heat? Drink 8 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes …
  • But don’t drink more than 48 ounces in an hour. “Drinking too much water or other fluids (sports drinks, energy drinks, etc.) can cause a medical emergency because the concentration of salt in the blood becomes too low,” NIOSH says.
  • Choose water. Energy drinks and sports drinks have a lot of sugar, and they may raise your caffeine levels so high it affects your heart. Alcohol can actually dehydrate you.
  • Drink at shorter intervals. It’s more effective than infrequently drinking large amounts.

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