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The Importance of Staying Hydrated As You Age

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The Importance of Staying Hydrated As You Age

Water is essential for nearly every bodily function—pumping blood to the heart, regulating body temperature, carrying nutrients to cells, lubricating joints, protecting organs, and promoting healthy digestion.

While hydration is important for health at any age, older adults are more susceptible to dehydration for various reasons.

  • Older adults simply have less water in their bodies.
  • Older adults are less likely to feel thirsty when their bodies need water.
  • Some medications older adults commonly take can cause dehydration, such as diuretics laxatives, and blood pressure medication.
  • Older adults are more likely to have reduced kidney function.

Now that summer and warmer temperatures are here, it’s even more important to make sure you are drinking enough water to stay safe, avoid heat-related complications, such as heat stroke, and feel your best while enjoying the outdoors.

How to Tell If You’re Dehydrated

How do you know if you’re dehydrated? Common symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness and cramping
  • Dark urine
  • Dry mouth or cough
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lack of coordination and balance
  • Flushed skin
  • Anxiety or agitation

Tips for Staying Hydrated

While the solution to getting more fluids may seem simple, many people struggle to consume enough for healthy hydration or are unsure of how much that really is. The amount of water you need each day will vary depending on your weight or health conditions, so the best way to know is to talk to your doctor. But in general, older adults should drink about 1.5 to 2 liters (50 to 67 ounces) of water a day.

If you often find yourself forgetting to drink water throughout the day, these tips will help you remember to fill your glass as well as find other ways to stay hydrated.

Add flavor: Many people have trouble drinking enough water because of its lack of flavor. However, water is the most effective liquid for hydration, and many flavored drinks are full of sugar and artificial sweeteners, which can be dehydrating and bad for your health. If drinking water bores your taste buds, try making it more interesting by adding fresh lemon, lime, cucumber, or berries.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks have a dehydrating effect, especially if you overindulge. Avoid or limit your intake of drinks that have a diuretic effect, and always make sure to compensate with adequate water if you do partake.

Eat your water: Foods high in water content, such as cucumbers, celery, watermelon, oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and pineapple, can also help you stay hydrated.

Sip all day: Make drinking water part of your routine by consistently sipping on it throughout the day, particularly when the weather gets hot in the summer. A reusable water bottle or tumbler is an effective way to drink your daily amount of water slowly because you can take it wherever you go. Get a bottle that has the ounces marked so that you can easily track how much fluid you have consumed each day.

Know your health: People with certain medical conditions may have more specific needs for healthy hydration. It’s crucial to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your water-drinking routine and to ensure you are getting the right amount of liquid for your body.

Senior Living Services and Communities at Christian Health

We prioritize the health and well-being of older adults across our continuum of communities and services, from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing and memory care. Our compassionate care professionals, robust activity programs, and fresh, high-quality dining options ensure that every resident in our communities and every patient in our care enjoys a healthy, happy lifestyle.

For more information about senior living at Christian Health, please call (201) 848-5200 or visit