Feeling tired? Dizzy? Having headaches? Darkish urine? These are all symptoms of dehydration.A major cause of hospitalization among older people, dehydration can cause serious health problems.For fear of urinary incontinence, for lack of feeling thirsty or due to memory loss, many older people neglect to keep well hydrated.

Did you know that…

Total body water decreases with age? This is due to a loss of lean body mass and an increase in fat body tissue.

Stay well hydrated? Sure, but why?

The human body is made mostly of water. Absolutely essential to our well-being and survival, water plays many important roles:

  • It carries oxygen and nutriments.
  • It disposes of organic waste via urine and stools.
  • It keeps our joints lubricated.
  • It maintains body temperature.
  • It normalizes blood pressure.

How much liquid should I drink?

The human body cannot store water. This is why a liquid intake of 1 mL is recommended for every calorie consumed, meaning a daily average of 2 to 2.5 liters. This includes all types of liquids, although, obviously, some choices are better than others. Juices, for instance, should not be consumed in large quantities, whereas water, tea and herbal tea are recommended at all times. Here are a few tips:

  • Drink often, in small quantities. Do not wait until you feel thirsty.
  • Always have a water bottle close at hand.
  • Keep a glass of water on your bedside table.
  • Stock up on your favourite drinks.
  • Make it a habit to drink more when you take medication, if needed.

Some people may find it hard to drink that much liquid on a daily basis. Luckily, well-chosen foods can fill as much as 30% of your daily hydration needs.

  • Soups and broths
  • High water content vegetables: celery, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, strawberries and cabbage
  • Milk and soy drinks (which are also very nourishing)

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