Drinking fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body, including your heart, brain, and muscles. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, flush bacteria from your bladder, and prevent constipation.
Being Well-Hydrated Improves Sleep Quality, Cognition & Mood
Older adults often don’t get enough fluids and risk becoming dehydrated, especially during summer when it’s hotter and people perspire more. In general, we all don’t replenish lost fluids in hot weather or when we are sweating a lot more.
Warning signs of dehydration include:
- feeling thirsty
- dark yellow and strong-smelling pee
- feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- feeling tired
- a dry mouth, lips and eyes
- peeing little, and fewer than 4 times a day
Dehydration can happen more easily if you have:
- vomiting or diarrhoea
- been in the sun too long (heatstroke)
- drunk too much alcohol
- sweated too much after exercising
- a high temperature of 38C or more
- been taking medicines that make you pee more (diuretics)
How you can reduce the risk of dehydration
- Drink fluids when you feel any dehydration symptoms.
- If you find it hard to drink because you feel sick or have been sick, start with small sips and then gradually drink more.
- You can use a spoon to make it easier for your child to swallow the fluids.
- You should drink enough during the day so your pee is a pale clear colour.
- Drink when there’s a higher risk of dehydrating. For example, if you’re vomiting, sweating or you have diarrhoea.
Here are some tips to keep up your water intake
- Drink a water based beverage after every meal
- Consume fluids before you are thirsty.
- If you drink caffeinated beverages, alternate your decaffeinated beverage throughout the day.
- Try flavouring your water to make it more interesting for you
- Dilute juices. Fruit and veggie juices can be too thick and sweet. Try diluting them with water of a club soda.
- Eat your water. Most of your fluid needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. However, you can get some fluids through the foods that you eat as well. For example, broth soups and foods with high water content – such as celery, tomatoes, or melons – can contribute to fluid intake.
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you. That was you always have water at hand! Our favourite bottles to keep hydrated are EcoVessel.
- Order water when eating out. This will keep you hydrated, save money and reduce calories all at the same time.
- Add citrus. Adding a slice of lime or lemon to your water may improve the taste and make you want to drink more water than you usually do.
- Keep a water intake journal. Tick off a box on your phone every time you have a glass! It always feels good to tick off lists.