Feeling as healthy and as youthful as possible doesn’t have anything to do with finding that mythical Fountain of Youth – it could be as easy as drinking water from the sink, right in your own home. However, some seniors may find it difficult to consume the amount of water their bodies need to flourish, which can lead to a variety of health concerns.
Why Stay Hydrated? The Health Benefits of Drinking Water
The human body is composed of at least 50% water. In fact, even our bones are 20% water! And, we lose around two-to-three quarts of water on a daily basis. During the hot summer months, when we sweat as a means to cool our bodies down, we’re losing even more of that much-needed water. Dehydration can lead to a variety of health issues, from headaches and memory troubles to kidney stones and blood clots.
Recent studies show that when it comes to drinking water, the health benefits for seniors are numerous. Chronic dehydration is a key component in many illnesses seniors face, such as heart disease, hypertension, asthma and even arthritis and joint pain. Seniors also may get dehydrated more often than their younger counterparts simply due to a decreased sense of thirst, certain medications they may be taking or decreased kidney function.
Preventing Dehydration in Seniors
Water acts as a coolant, lubricant and transport agent in your body. It’s needed to regulate your body temperature, remove toxins and waste, carry nutrients and more. Signs of dehydration include confusion, feeling fatigued or drowsy, dry mouth, low blood pressure and rapid heart rate and low urine output. If you aren’t sure if you’re dehydrated, try pulling on the skin on the back of your hand. If it doesn’t return to normal right away, it’s time to increase your water intake.
Enjoy all the health benefits drinking water provides and prevent dehydration by following these tips:
- Keep a bottle of water next to you. If you have water nearby at all times you’ll be more apt to drink it regularly. Keep a bottle of water on the end table or nightstand, or fill a pitcher with water and place it on your coffee table to easily refill your glass.
- Balance water output with water input. If you’re going to be partaking in any physical activity, it’s likely that you’ll be sweating, especially during these remaining warm summer days. Before, during and after your workout, make sure to drink plenty of water to ensure you’re replacing the fluids you’re losing.
- Try different beverages. You don’t have to drink plain old water all the time. You can get the necessary fluids from hot drinks like tea or coffee, or cold drinks like fruit juices. Add some lemon, limes or other fruit to your water to give it a little boost in flavor.
- Avoid sugary choices. While getting fluids from drinks other than just tap or bottled water is fine, avoid sodas sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Your body doesn’t need those types of ingredients. They provide little to no nutrients, and they can contribute to developing diabetes and other problems.
- Get water from other sources. Some fruits and vegetables are high in water content, with the added bonus of providing vitamins, minerals and other healthy nutrients. Eating soups or broths for lunch is another way to add more fluids and nutrients to your diet.