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Did you know that the thickness of our blood is directly related to our hydration? Hydration increases our blood viscosity but not it’s coagulation factor, which is why blood thinners are still needed for people with certain medical conditions.
The more hydrated we are, the thinner our blood will be. It can range from the consistency of wine to being as thick as slightly watered down ketchup! The thicker your blood is, the harder your heart has to work every. single. time. it. beats. Not only does that use up more energy, leaving you feeling tired and moody, it can also add up to major health problems over the course of a lifetime. It’s important to maintain a healthy level of hydration so that your heart isn’t working harder than it needs to!
Understanding the relationship between hydration and blood is important for all of us, but especially important when doing any sort of physical activity. Even something as simple as walking up a flight of stairs or playing with your kids could be enough to feel the impact of dehydration if those simple tasks leave you out of breath or feeling tired. But the more we exert ourselves, the more important hydration becomes. There are 3 main ways that blood impacts our performance: 1. Our blood delivery system helps dissipate heat through our skin when we exercise. 2. Our blood is in charge of delivering oxygen and other important nutrients to our muscles, as well as carrying the cellular waste from those cells away. 3. Blood circulating through our abdomen helps with the absorption of calories (source). The average person has been 5 and 6 liters of blood in their body, but the more hydrated you are, the thinner your blood is and the further it can go and quicker it can be dispersed.
It’s also worth noting that there are certain health conditions and medications that can be impacted by hydration, especially a sudden or extreme change in your hydration practice since this can cause your blood to be thinner and your blood pressure to be lower. If you have any health concerns or are on any medications it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before introducing new hydration routines.
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