As we move into the warmer summer months, staying hydrated does more than quench our thirst. Water plays a key role in our body’s daily functions. Water is the fuel our body needs for our internal temperature control, lubricating our joints, maintaining fluid balance, protecting our organs and tissues, and removing harmful waste from our kidneys and liver.
Our blood and muscles are primarily made up of water. Our body fat and every other part and organ in our body has water components as well.
Dehydration can happen quicker than you realize, and it’s important to know what to be on the lookout for and how to avoid dehydration in the summer and beyond.
Anyone can become dehydrated, but the situation is especially common as you get older. As you grow older, your thirst is significantly reduced. In addition, you are more susceptible to dehydration because you have less water in your body compared to younger adults.
Other factors that may put older adults at greater risk of dehydration include forgetting to drink fluids or challenges getting up to get a drink. A recent study from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Nursing found that up to 40% of older adults may be chronically underhydrated.
Symptoms of dehydration can tend to go unnoticed. In fact, these symptoms are often attributed to the natural effects of aging, medications, or other medical conditions. With that, it is essential to be aware of the signs of dehydration for you and your loved ones.
Understanding these warning signs can also help you act before the situation gets worse. These include:
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:
Key findings from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommend a daily water intake of 11.5 cups for women and 15.5 cups for men. However, it is also recommended to speak with your healthcare provider about how much water you should be drinking daily as they can better consider your medical history and current medications.
Certain medications can be more likely to cause dehydration. Speak to your physician about any medications you are taking that may have dehydration as a side effect.
While it may be challenging to always meet your preferred water intake, here are some creative ways to get it in:
Following these tips will do much more than keep you cool; they will help keep you healthy.
What symptoms of dehydration have you experienced in the past? What beverages or treats do you enjoy most in the summer?
Tags Healthy Eating