Drinking water, which is a water-soluble beverage, may be one of the safest and most effective ways to prevent dehydration, according to a new study.
Researchers in the United States and Australia tested the effect of drinking water and soda in a randomized, controlled trial, which they describe in the journal Medicine.
They also looked at how much drinking water people consumed and how long they consumed it before experiencing any signs of dehydration.
The results, the researchers say, were encouraging.
“We found that water consumption did not lead to a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, or blood glucose,” the study’s lead author, Dr. William S. Sperling, a professor of medicine at the University of Sydney, said in a statement.
Instead, drinking water did seem to have a beneficial effect on the body’s water balance.
“It appears that water-related water loss may help restore a healthy water balance in the body and improve health,” Sperler said.
For example, drinking four cups of water a day was associated with a reduction in body weight, blood pressure and body fat, according the study.
“This may be due to the increased water absorption and a decrease of the risk of hyponatremia, which can lead to low blood pressure or stroke,” Spermling said.
“Also, the body uses more water than it loses, so if you are drinking less water than you lose, you will also have more water to rehydrate your body.”
Sperling and his colleagues tested drinking water for four days before the study, and after the study period.
The researchers found that drinking water increased the body water loss in the study participants.
This resulted in a significant drop in the blood pressure in the participants.
“The reduction in blood pressures and body weight were the most significant findings, and the reduction in weight and blood pressure was more significant than the reduction of weight and heart rate,” Spertles study concluded.
The study, published online in the International Journal of Hypertension, also found that, in contrast to other studies, drinking more water actually resulted in better body weight control.
“Our results suggest that drinking more fluids may reduce the risk for hyponatraemia and may even improve body weight,” Sartles said.
Researchers hope their findings will help improve public health education and promote healthier drinking habits.
“Drinking water is one of those health behaviors that has been shown to improve health and reduce the risks associated with high blood pressure,” Sacher said.