One of the best tips for staying healthy – no matter what your age – is to stay hydrated. This is particularly applicable for retirement age adults, however. Why is this?
Though the human body is made up of all sorts of organs, tissue, bones, etc., it’s approximately two-thirds water. Your body can’t perform its regular functions if it doesn’t have enough water. When you use more fluid than you consume, or when you lose too much fluid, dehydration results.
With the hydration tips included here, you and/or your loved one will be able to stay better hydrated.
How Serious Is Dehydration?
Truth be told, life-threatening effects can result from dehydration in severe cases. For those in their golden years, one common cause of hospitalization is dehydration. It falls within the 10 most diagnoses requiring hospitalization, in fact (for older adults).
The following warning signs/symptoms may be noticed if dehydration is occurring or has occurred:
- Urinary tract infection
- Organ failure
- Increased toxicity
- Slow metabolism
- Weight loss
- Loss of muscle tone
- Sunken eyeballs
- Labored speech
- Dry mouth
If only 2 to 3% of the water in your body has been lost, you will already feel thirsty. Before thirst kicks in, however, physical condition and mental performance will be impaired. Usually, around 1% dehydration is when this kicks in.
As tragic as all of this sounds, you can prevent dehydration easily. Per day, consuming approximately 6 to 8 glasses of water should help the average person stay hydrated (this can vary according to body needs and weight).
Great Ways to Stay Hydrated
Here are some easy ways to keep your body adequately hydrated:
- Consume foods with high water/fluid content – Consuming foods that are high in water content or fluid will assist the water you’re already drinking. To your meals and snacks, add things like ice pops, fruits and vegetables, and soups. Watermelon is also a tasty choice for hydration.
Even if you’re not thirsty, it’s important that you drink fluids and water. Many salad fixings are high in water content. Try a slice of melon or grapefruit for breakfast. Add taste to plain water by throwing in a lemon wedge. As a snack, consider Jell-O, frozen grapes, or fruit popsicles.
- Keep a close eye on your body for signs and symptoms of dehydration – You saw some of the signs and symptoms of hydration listed above. While some of these are extreme, others are not. One way of tracking your hydration is to weigh yourself. If you have a headache and you’re down a pound or two from yesterday, you may be dehydrated. Keep an eye on your skin, as well. Additionally, you may be dehydrated if you notice that you’re urinating infrequently or that your urine is dark in color.
- For frequent sips throughout the day, have water at hand – By sipping water throughout the day, you’re more likely to get all the water you need. Let’s face it, who can sit down and gulp 6 to 8 glasses of water in one sitting?
- Limit consumption of beverages that are dehydrating – Just because a beverage consists of fluid doesn’t mean it will hydrate your body. Serving sizes of dehydrating beverages should be reduced as much as possible including caffeinated sodas, alcohol, tea, and coffee. Replace them with 100% fruit juices, herbal teas, seltzers, sports drinks, water, and milk.
- Check to see if you’re losing fluids as a result of certain medications – Talk to your physician or check the prescription information sheet to see if dehydration could be a side effect of the medication you’re taking. This could be laxatives, stool softeners, blood pressure medications, cancer treatments, and more.
Drink and Eat Healthfully at Discovery Village At Southlake
Discovery Village At Southlake features diverse, savory culinary creations that are inspired by Old Florida. Do you have special dietary considerations? No problem. We’ve got you covered. Contact us at 682–253–8966 today to find out more.