Can Dehydration Cause Heart Palpitations?

Can Dehydration Cause Heart Palpitations?

A blog by Thomas Boto, co-founder of Natural Rhythm

The short answer is yes. Dehydration can cause your heart to skip. I have found that even just a little dehydration can make my heart begin to flutter. So drinking more water and staying hydrated has helped with my heart palpitations.

I used to hate drinking water. Maybe it was the funny taste the tap water had in our town, but I would rather drink anything other than water. I guess I come by it honestly because I don’t think I’ve ever seen my 87-year-old grandfather drink anything but coffee and the occasional diet mountain dew. (It’s really quite remarkable really. I don’t know how he does it).

My view on water drastically changed when I got food poisoning one night from eating at an Applebees. Fluids were exiting my body in all manner of directions (curse you, Applebees!!) and I quickly became so dehydrated that I had to be rushed to the hospital. I spent the night there hooked up to IVs that helped me overcome the severe dehydration. From then on, I tried to make it a point to always stay hydrated.

I was reminded of this again when I started having heart palpitations a few years later. Many people (myself included) experience heart palpitations even from a small amount of dehydration. I didn’t want to chance it, so I made sure to get my recommended amount of water every day (I actually tracked it each day).

The result of drinking more water was incredible.

I feel like I have more energy, I don’t get near as many headaches (or sinus infections…but that could be due to other dietary changes), and the best, and most unexpected part is that it helped my digestion.

Does Drinking More Water Help Stop Heart Palpitations?

I have seen a number of comments online from people who say that drinking more water has helped or cured their heart palpitations. I think this is for two reasons:

  1. They were dehydrated and dehydration can cause heart palpations. When you become dehydrated your body is depleted of minerals that help regulate the bodies natural rhythm (sodium, magnesium, potassium, etc).
  2. Water helped them with digestion of heavy foods. One of the biggest things I noticed when I started drinking more water was that my body did a better job of digesting food. I felt better too. I think a big cause of heart palpitations come from irritation of the Vagus Nerve that runs throughout your body including your stomach. Which I believe is also why eating too much can cause heart palpitations as can IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

So I highly recommend that do yourself a favor and drink more water. I’m not saying ONLY drink water, but definitely make it a higher priority if you don’t already. I’ve even tried mineral infused water (like Smart Water) and I really like it. I’ve tried Vitamin water too and worked it into the rotation as well, especially since it has a lot less sugar than Gatorade or other sports drinks. I really enjoy coconut water too. This one is a good one to try if you’ve never had coconut water (I prefer it to others I’ve tried).

Drinking Too Much Water at Once Can Actually Cause Heart Palpitations

Quick word of caution: I made the mistake of drinking too much water at once (I still sometimes do this unfortunately). I would gulp down a whole class of water in a couple of seconds or drink a big glass right after a meal. This actually made my heart palpitations worse. To help fight this, I bought a Nalgene Bottle (which lets me take smaller sips throughout the day wherever I’m at) and an insulated water bottle that I try to keep with me when I am working out and exercising. I use this Nalgene Bottle when I work (its sturdy and I like how it shows how much I have been drinking, plus it allows me to drink small amounts while I work rather than guzzle water during a break) and I use this insulated water bottle when I workout. I love it. If you run or cycle, I highly recommend it. It’s awesome.

So what do you think? Has drinking more water helped your heart palpitations?

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