You most likely know the feeling of thirst – or even of being parched. But as you age, that sense of thirst diminishes. So even when your body needs to be replenished with water, you might not realize it.
Because of that, many older adults don’t drink enough liquids. It’s not known exactly what causes this reduction in thirst, but the consequences of it are well known: Dehydration is a common cause of hospitalization among elderly people.
Seniors are also at greater risk for dehydration because of how body composition changes with age. Older adults have less water in their bodies to start with than younger adults or children.
Water is necessary for nearly every bodily function, from lubricating joints to regulating body temperature and pumping blood to the muscles. So not getting enough of it can have serious health consequences.
Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs not only oxygen, but also water to work properly.
Proper hydration helps:
- Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Regulate body temperature
- Improve digestion
- Cushion and lubricate joints
- Protect organs
And drinking more water can help you lose weight!
How much water?
Your size, activity, metabolism, location, diet, physical activity and health all factor into how much water you need, but a simple guideline that’s easy to remember and usually easy to achieve is to drink half your bodyweight in ounces. If you weigh 150 pounds, aim to drink 75 ounces of water each day. This doesn’t account for all factors, so feel free to calculate your own healthy water intake goal based on your needs and any recommendations from your doctor.
Once you’ve set your goal, aim for that every day for the first week and mark in your calendar each day that you hit your goal.
We challenge you to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day for the next week.
Share your progress in our September Healthy Aging Challenge in our private Facebook group.