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.
People don’t often get enough fluids and risk becoming dehydrated, especially during summer when it’s hotter and people perspire more. Older people are more at risk of dehydration as they don’t sense thirst as much as when they were younger. Thirst deterioration can become a problem when on medication that causes fluid loss. However, bear in mind that the kidneys also lose some ability to eliminate water as we age. Warning signs of dehydration include weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion and urine that’s dark in colour.
To stop dehydration, you should drink 1.5 – 2 Litres of water per day (Plus a extra Litre if you’re someone who likes to train in the gym or play sport) but don’t drink it all at once! It’s important to stay hydrated gradually, throughout the day. An easy way to maintain hydration is by taking small sips throughout the day. Don’t forget coffee and tea don’t count in your water consumption, you’ll need to drink a further 2 large glasses of water for every coffee shot. We also recommend consuming fluids at meal times by eating water-rich foods, such as salad, fruit and vegetables.
It’s possible to take in too much water if you have certain health conditions, such as thyroid disease or kidney, liver, or heart problems, or if you’re taking medications that make you retain water, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and some antidepressants. We recommend checking with your doctor to be sure you’re getting the right amount.
If you haven’t had a sip of water whilst reading this, have a sip now.