Staying hydrated during the summer can be a challenge! You can go for almost two months without food but only a few days without water. Let’s explore why your body needs water—especially as your body ages—how water can reduce health complications and stress on your body, and our top 8 tips to jazz up your water and help you stay hydrated daily.
Consider these facts:
- More than two-thirds of the weight of the human body is water.
- The brain is 95 percent water.
- Your lungs are 90 percent water.
- Your muscles tissue contains 73 percent water.
Water is essential to regulate body temperature and transport oxygen to your cells as well as nutrients to your organs. Water also removes waste and protects your joints and organs. If you take in less or lose more fluid than you need, the end result is dehydration, the excessive loss of water from the body.
You need water to maintain the following:
- To replenish what’s lost via perspiration and respiration (breathing)
- To flush toxins
- To keep your body’s core temperature balanced
- To help keep blood circulating
You can, of course, be dehydrated if you’ve spent a long time in the heat, are running a fever, have severe diarrhea or vomiting, have exercised strenuously, or haven’t been drinking at all. Serious effects of dehydration include hypotension (low blood pressure), heatstroke, urinary tract infections, nausea, dryness of the mouth and skin, vomiting, constipation, and recurring headaches. Recent studies have also linked the lack of water to arthritis, kidney stones, and heartburn.
Most likely, if you’re drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, you’re getting plenty of hydration. As you age, however, you may experience the following, which can lead to an increased need to stay hydrated:
The diminished thirst mechanism: As you age you experience a reduction in your sensitivity to changes in fluid status in your body.
Your brain doesn’t tell you that you’re thirsty. This factor significantly impairs your ability to maintain water level balance and increases your risk for dehydration.
Medications with a diuretic (a substance that increases the discharge of urine water): As many people get older, they need medications that have a diuretic side effect. If you’re on a medication like this, you may need to increase your fluid intake. Make sure to talk to your doctor before making any changes.
Changes in renal physiology and anatomy: due to a decreased size in kidneys, blood flow to the kidneys is restricted and the kidneys function more slowly
So you don’t necessarily need more water as you get older—you may just need to be more conscious of getting enough.
Although water is the best source of replenishing your body’s fluids, there are a variety of fluids you can drink that can still provide you with hydration to replace your body’s daily fluid loss.
Try one of these 8 tips for staying hydrated:
- Fruit ice: Enhance your water by making fruit ice! Simply add fresh fruit or even mint to your ice tray and filling them with water.
- Hot or iced tea: Berry, mint and herbal teas are a delicious way to stay hydrated.
- Guilt-free bubbles: Kicking the habit of drinking sodas can be a tough habit to break, but you don’t have to completely deprive yourself of drinking the bubbly. Try picking up some sparkling mineral water or soda water when you’re in the store. If you’re using sparkling water try adding some fresh lime juice.
- Broth: Eating chicken broth or a light soup can increase your water intake. Broth is great for hydrating the body plus you get nutrients like vitamins and proteins.
- Fresh herbs: Add freshly sliced ginger to your water to enhance the flavor and provide you with nutrients. You can also add bruised mint leaves or lemongrass, you can even go floral by adding lavender or rose hips—they are loaded with vitamin C.
- Fruit or veggie water: Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit make great water enhancers. Freshly sliced cucumbers are a refreshing favorite as well. Try making a healthy H2O cocktail by combining fresh ginger, cucumber, lemon, and spearmint.
- Eat more fruit and veggies: Many fruits and vegetables have a naturally high-fluid content. Fruits contain 80-90 percent water and you stock up on your nutrition that people can miss out on in their diets, like potassium, fiber, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Tomatoes, onions, lettuce, cucumbers, and other water-rich greens provide just as much water as fruits.
- Keep it healthy: Skip sodas, which have no nutrition whatsoever. Regular soda is nothing but sugar and diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners. Substitute sugar laden 10 percent “real juice” types with real 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices.
*Agin, Brent, and Sharon Perkins. Healthy Aging for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub., 2008. Print.
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Priority You MD provides personalized, integrative healthcare for general wellness, anti-aging, athletic performance and weight management as well as more complex medical issues. In addition, our facility also provides aesthetic services and fitness training. Combining diet, nutrition and exercise with evidence based medicine and preventative therapies, our goal is to help our patients achieve and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
Priority You MD utilizes IV therapy protocols from Trim® Nutrition. These proprietary nutrient injections are formulated by doctors and compounding pharmacists who use the highest quality materials and follow strict manufacturing protocols in a class 10,000 compounding facility.
Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, Trim® Nutrition and Priority You MD’s clinical staff of physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, and research and development specialists are dedicated to the mission of Making Bodies Better™.