Water is one of the most “forgotten nutrient”. Many underestimate its critical importance and the need to stay hydrated. With the warmer weather upon us, we are more prone to sweating and dehydration, which increases our body’s requirement for hydration. Water makes up more than two-thirds of our body’s weight and helps with a variety of vital functions including:
Functioning of our cells and organs
Carrying nutrients to our cells
Regulating body temperature
Lubricating and cushioning joints
Protecting sensitive tissues like the spinal cord
Aiding elimination of waste
How much water do we need?
Fluid needs will vary depending on your exercise level, the climate (temperature) and your body weight. The general rule of thumb is to aim for 2 liters per day. You don’t need to rely on drinking alone to meet your water needs. For example, fruits and vegetables like watermelon, tomatoes, and cabbages contain over 90% water.
Why older adults are more susceptible to dehydration?
As you age, you become more susceptible to dehydration due to the body’s ability to conserve water, thirst sense becomes less acute, and you’re less able to respond to changes in temperature. What’s more, older adults, especially people in nursing homes or living alone, tend to eat less than younger people do and sometimes may forget to eat or drink altogether.
Tricks to drinking more water:
Surprisingly enough, water is an “acquired” taste for many. A trick to drinking more water throughout the day is infusing it with frozen fruit, lemon, or lime wedges. It adds just a touch of sweetness and trace vitamins and minerals. Try frozen berries or even sliced lemon or lime. Make sure to carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. I really love the ThinkSport water bottles.