Quick question, are you drinking enough water? Drinking enough water every day is crucial for many reasons. Water helps regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, keep organs functioning properly, prevent infections and deliver nutrients to your cells. Being properly hydrated also aids in improving sleep, boosting your brain power, and enhancing your mood.
So how much water is enough? The amount of water your body needs depends on a variety of factors including gender, age, activity level and more. A recommended baseline for women is 2.2 liters and for men 3.0 liters a day. Now because I am not a “liter” kind of gal, if you calculate those liters into ounces, which most water bottles and shakers cups clearly identify for you, you are looking at approximately 70-ounces of water for women and approximately 105 ounces for men a day. Remember, this is just an approximation and as you increase your activity levels and time outdoors it is important to make adjustments and increase your hydration.
Here in Florida, we have a lot of very active older adults. Whether it’s playing pickleball, walking, biking, swimming or more, they are out getting things done! One important thing to remember as an older adult is that as we age, we tend to feel less thirsty and don’t always drink as much, or as often as we should. This puts older adults at a higher risk for becoming dehydrated.
Another thing that can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated are certain types of medications. Some of these can include, but are not limited to, diuretics, beta blockers, and antihistamines. If you are taking any of these types of medications it is very important to be cognizant of your fluid intake. If you have health concerns such as thyroid, kidney, liver or heart disease or are taking medications that make you retain water, you should consult with your physician on what a good amount of water would be for you.
The bottom line is this...stay hydrated, stay healthy, and stay active!
The challenge for this article: A fun way to make sure you are getting enough water is to mark a jug with the amount of water you want to drink a day and see how you are doing. You can even give yourself some encouragement and buy a water bottle pre-measured out for you or try a DIY version that you create on your own!
*This article was also published in the Coastal Breeze on September 21, 2021.