Water is one of the most essential elements to life and makes up 60% of your body. Yet, nearly 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. This affects our performance because our bodies needs water to function blood flow, kidneys, electrolyte balance, and digestion. Additionally, our muscles are made up of 85% water, and dehydration results in premature fatigue in performance. The Dietary Reference Intake for water is about 3 liters of water per day, but the right amount of water can vary from person to person. It’s important to get what you need; water has so many benefits you may not have thought of.
Potential Health Benefits of Water
Increases Performance: When properly hydrated, you can delay fatigue during activity. After exercise, water helps reduce the affects of stress on your body.
Prevents Headaches: Dehydration can cause headaches.. Drinking water can help relieve pain. Not all headaches are caused by dehydration, and a study found that the intensity and duration of pain was reduced through water consumption.
Cancer Prevention: Studies have shown that proper hydration can reduce the risk of colon and bladder cancer by 45%1.
Less Joint Pain: Proper hydration protects the fluids around your joints. When you’re dehydrated your body pulls fluid from other sources, leading to decreased cushioning in the joints. Its important to note, that the function of glucosamine is to help pull water to the joints, and staying hydrated can reduce the need for supplementation.
Helps to Cleanse and Digest: Water aids in the breakdown and digestion of food. If you’re not drinking enough, the food you eat will sit there. This causes the pain and back up associated with constipation. Excess waste is also removed through the assistance of water, and is filtered out through sweat and the kidneys.
Healthy Glow: Drinking plenty of water helps you look younger. When our skin is hydrated we are building more cells, and improving the consistency of our skin.
Seniors are specifically prone to dehydration for various reasons, including chronic medical conditions, medication side effects, a loss of thirst sensation and forgetfulness. Here are some tips to help reduce risk for dehydration in older adults*:
- Have a glass of water before going outside or on a walk, especially on hot days
- Take sips of water or low-fat milk between bites at mealtimes
- Drink a full glass of water when taking medication
- Avoid being outside on high heat days
- Do not stop drinking liquids even if you have a urinary control problem. Talk with your doctor about treatment options for urinary diseases
Are you drinking enough water?
* This information does not constitute medical advice. Call a medical professional immediately if you are experiencing severe symptoms.