By Lara Evans Bracciante
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, August/September 2003.
Besides decreasing headaches, heartburn, constipation, fatigue and kidney stones, getting your fair share of water each day may help prevent serious illnesses including heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and asthma. One study at the University of Loma Linda, California, showed that people who drink five or more glasses of water every day cut their risk of suffering a fatal heart attack in half. Researchers believe because water, unlike other beverages, is absorbed immediately into the blood stream, it thins the blood and reduces clot risk. This also helps moderate blood pressure because it’s easier for the heart to pump thinner rather than thicker blood. Furthermore, researchers at Harvard reported men who drank six cups of water daily reduced bladder cancer risk by 50 percent. Other studies indicate that high water intake also curbs the risk of breast and colon cancers. And even asthma sufferers have reason to gulp it down. A University of Buffalo study revealed dehydration reduces lung function and triggers bronchial spasms, especially while exercising.