Water is of major importance to all living things. According to The USGS Water Science School, about 60 percent of the adult male’s and 55 percent of the adult female’s body is made up of water. Water serves a number of essential purposes in the body. For example:
- Water is a vital nutrient to the life of every cell, allowing cells to grow, reproduce, and survive.
- Water lubricates joints and acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord.
- Water helps the body facilitate many important functions such as circulation, absorption, digestion, transportation of nutrients, regulation of body temperature, and the production of saliva.
- Water helps your kidneys flush waste and toxins through urination.
Unfortunately, many adults over 50 do not drink enough water, putting them at risk for dehydration. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), older adults especially at risk for dehydration include those:
- With a decreased thirst sensation who do not feel the urge to drink often.
- Taking medications that increase the risk of dehydration.
- With physical conditions that make it difficult to drink.
Most experts recommend adults drink eight glasses of water (8 ounces each) each day. This is called the “8 by 8” rule. However, some experts suggest sipping on water constantly throughout the day. For older adults at greater risk for dehydration, the latter may be a better option.
To help ensure you’re getting enough water, follow these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Carry a water bottle with you at all times: Keep a reusable water bottle handy at all times. You can replenish the bottle’s contents any time you’re near a sink or water fountain.
- Drink before you feel thirsty: According to the CDC, thirst is your body’s signal that it’s headed to dehydration. That’s why it’s important to drink fluids before you even feel thirsty.
- Use natural flavoring in your water: Natural juices from fruits and vegetables like lemons, strawberries, and cucumbers are a great way to excite your taste buds with a little kick of flavor. Tea, coffee, fat-free milk, and low-sugar beverages also help keep you hydrated.
For more tips on staying healthy over 50, download our free guide today!