Staying hydrated is an essential part of staying healthy.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a long word that means your body doesn’t have enough water and fluids to work properly. When you’re using more fluid than you’re taking in (and that includes sweating), you’re dehydrated.
How do you know you’re dehydrated? You urinate less—and when you do, your urine is dark amber. (Urine should appear light yellow and almost clear in your toilet.) You might get a headache or feel tired. Dehydration also causes dry skin and constipation.
Older adults are more likely to be dehydrated. Our bodies may not recognize thirst the same as they did when we were younger. Plus, people may drink less fluid because of concerns about urinary incontinence (accidental urine loss).
Dehydration can lead to urinary tract infections, heat stroke, heart problems, and more. It can also affect our kidneys, explains Sophia Chang, MD, MPH. “Changes to how our kidneys are working can impact our overall health. It can change how medications work. It impacts everything,” she explains.
Be sure to drink plenty of water and other nonalcoholic and decaf beverages throughout the day. Fruits also deliver healthy fluids. Soups and popsicles are other ways to take in more liquid.
If you’re worried about your hydration, speak with your doctor, who can tell you how much water you should be drinking every day.
Tips for Enjoying Water and Staying Hydrated
1. Take water with you.
Carry a reusable water bottle and refill often.
2. Make drinking water a routine.
Make consuming water a habit by drinking at certain times each day, like first thing in the morning or at mealtimes.
3. Jazz it up.
Toss in slices of fresh lemon, apple, cucumber, or berries. Add a splash of fruit juice or seltzer.
This article was originally published in the Summer 2022 issue of Clover Living magazine. Want to see more articles like this? Subscribe to Clover Living magazine for free (if you aren’t already subscribed) here.
Published on 8/30/22
Photo credit: Getty