It is imprtant to stay hydrated. Read more here to find out why and how.
Did you know that on average, over half of your body weight is water? Water plays a very important role in helping your body to work, bu tnot drinking enough water is a very common problem for older adults.
The thirst sensation decreases as we age, which means older adults may not notice that they are thirsty. Adequate fluid intake is therefore essential. Water helps eliminate waste from your body, it can help prevent urinary tract infections and constipation, and it can help reduce stress on kidney function. Water also helps to keep our internal body temperature stable. Water is perhaps the most important nutrient to help keep your body’s cells, tissues,and organs running smoothly.
Hydration needs differ based on several factors – age, gender, activity level,environmental temperature, and humidity levels. As a general rule of thumb, men need about 13 cups (104 oz) of fluids daily and women need about 9 cups (72 oz).
What counts as “fluids”?
The good news is we can consume these fluids in our beverages and foods. Many foods,especially fruits and vegetables like watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, and lettuce, can contain up to 90% water. Our food intake typically accounts for about 20% of our daily water intake. Additionally, although caffeinated beverages should not make up a major portion, they can contribute toward your fluid goals.
How do I know if I’m hydrated?
As a general rule of thumb, if you’re drinking enough water so that you rarely feel thirsty throughout the day, and your urine is consistently a pale yellow color, you’re likely hydrated well. If your urine is dark yellow or apple juice-colored,reach for that glass of water!
Older adults are at greater risk for becoming dehydrated if they are not able to sense thirst or, more likely, may be hesitant to drink out of fear of needing to go to the bathroom. It is important to recognize the warning signs of dehydration.
Signs of Dehydration
· Dry mouth, flushed skin, fatigue and headache
· Increased body temperature, breathing and pulse rate
· Dizziness, weakness and impaired breathing with activity
· Hunger (our bodies sometimes mistake dehydration for hunger)
Here are some tips to stay hydrated all day:
• Have a glass of tea, milk, or juice with your meals
• Drink a glass of water at regular times during the day, such as when you take your medicine
• Take a sip of water as you pass a water fountain!
• Choose a cup of yogurt or a piece of fruit for an afternoon snack
• Drink water before and after being outside on a hot or cold day
• Add a lime or lemon to a tall glass of ice water for a flavor twist
Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink – enjoy water all day!