When it comes to fitness, our interest and abilities may change as we get older. But one thing will not — the need for proper hydration. Staying hydrated, however, can be a little more challenging in our senior years, as our sense of thirst may no longer be as attuned to our needs. Also, some commonly used prescription medications can increase the risk of dehydration. Regardless of age, here are some helpful tips for making sure you’re protecting your health with enough drinking water.
- Post a note on the fridge door as a reminder to sip some water every hour or to drink a glass of water with meals.
- Keep a jug of cool water infused with slices of lemon, orange, and lime, or even cucumber to add to the enjoyment.
- Try herbal teas. Avoid caffeine, which has a diuretic effect.
- Enjoy foods that have high water content daily like fruits, vegetables, and soups.
- Whether or not you’re thirsty, drink water before, during, AND after exercise.
Drinking enough water is key, but so is the quality of the water! Because aging also results in reduced immune function, resistance to common "bugs" like colds and flu will be weakened. In short, we become more susceptible to infections, even from sources we have been exposed to for many years – like drinking water. This will be especially true if your drinking water comes from a private well. Microorganisms in water can cause stomach upset and diarrhea, which can then lead to dehydration. But even if your home is on "city" water, installing a disinfection system, such as an ultraviolet sterilizer, provides that extra insurance – safe water at every tap, 24/7.
Staying active is certainly key to maintain health as we age. But so is ensuring adequate intake of clean, safe drinking water