It is important to drink plenty of water, particularly as we age.
Staying hydrated has many health benefits, from better cognition to reduced joint pain.
The conventional wisdom says to drink eight glasses of water per day. However, you should consult your doctor to determine the appropriate fluid intake.
It is important to stay hydrated. This aspect of good health is often overlooked. It becomes even more crucial as we age. Dehydration is more common in adults 60 years and older due to a variety of factors, such as a natural drop in thirst and changes in body composition. The elderly are more likely to be taking diuretics or other medications which cause fluid loss.
You may be struggling to drink eight 8-ounce glasses a day, the amount of water recommended by most health experts.
The importance of hydration
Reduced joint pain
Did you know that the cartilage of our joints is composed of approximately 80% water. By staying hydrated, you can keep your joints lubricated and reduce friction. Less friction results in smoother joints, and less pain.
Improved temperature regulation
Dehydration can cause your body to store more heat. It also reduces your tolerance to heat. Water helps you sweat more when you are overheated. This cools you down. This cooling system is essential in preventing heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses.
Maximizes physical performance
Your physical performance may suffer if you do not stay hydrated.
It is especially important to do this during intense physical activity or in high temperatures.
Even if your body loses 2% of its water, it can be noticeable. It is not uncommon for athletes lose up to 6-10% of water weight through sweat.
It can also lead to increased fatigue, decreased motivation and altered body temperature. Exercise can become more difficult both mentally and physically.
It has been proven that optimal hydration can prevent this, and may even reduce oxidative stresses during high intensity exercises. It’s not surprising, considering that about 80% of muscle is water
Staying hydrated is important if you are prone to sweating and exercise frequently.
It has a significant impact on energy levels and brain functions
Hydration has a strong impact on your brain.
Even mild dehydration can affect brain function. For example, a loss of 1 to 3% of your body weight.
Researchers found in a study of young women that fluid loss after exercise (of 1.4%) affected mood and concentration. This also increases headache frequency
The same team of researchers conducted a study similar to this one on young men. The researchers found that fluid losses of 1,6% were detrimental to working memory, and also increased feelings of fatigue and anxiety.
Fluid loss of 1 to 3% is equivalent to 1.5-4.5 lbs (0.5-2 kg), if you weigh 150 pounds (68kg). It can happen during normal activities and even in high temperatures.
Other studies have found that mild dehydration affects mood, memory and brain performance in children, adults and older people.
Can help treat and prevent headaches
Some people can get headaches or migraines from dehydration
Dehydration can cause headaches.
Some studies show that water consumption can also help to relieve headaches for those who suffer from them frequently.
The Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Scale, which is a system of scoring migraine symptoms, showed significant improvement in 102 men who drank an extra 50.7 ounces of water each day.
Plus, 47% men who drank a lot more water reported a headache improvement. Only 25% of men in the control groups reported the same effect.
Researchers have concluded, however, that more research is required to confirm the benefits of increasing hydration in reducing headaches and improving headache symptoms.
Can help relieve constipation
Constipation can be a problem caused by an infrequent bowel movement and difficulty passing stools.
There is some evidence that supports the recommendation to increase fluid intake as part of a treatment protocol.
Constipation is associated with low water consumption in both older and younger individuals
Constipation can be reduced by increasing hydration.
Mineral water can be beneficial for people with constipation.
Mineral water rich in magnesium, sodium and potassium improves the frequency and consistency of bowel movements in people who suffer from constipation.
Constipation can be prevented and treated by drinking plenty of water, especially for those who don’t drink water enough.
Can help treat kidney stones
The urinary system can be affected by painful stones. These are clumps formed of mineral crystals.
Kidney stones are the most common type of kidney stone.
Water intake may help to prevent kidney stones in those who have already had them.
The volume of urine that passes through the kidneys increases with higher fluid intake. It dilutes minerals so that they are less likely to form crystals and clumps.
Water is the main component of your blood. If you do not drink enough water, your blood can become concentrated and cause an imbalance in vital minerals. These minerals are essential for the proper function of your heart.
Water intake is important to support your body’s detoxification system, which eliminates waste and harmful substances via urination. Your body’s powerful detoxification processes can improve your health.
The unpleasant symptoms that occur after drinking alcohol is called a hangover.
It is a diuretic and will cause you to lose more water that you intake. Dehydration can result.
Dehydration can cause symptoms such as thirst, headaches, fatigue and dry mouth.
Drinking water is a good way to prevent a hangover. You should drink water in between drinks, and at least one large glass before bed.
Drinking water can reduce the symptoms of a hangover.
Can aid weight loss
You can lose weight by drinking plenty of water.
Water can boost your metabolism and increase satiety.
According to some studies, increasing your water intake may promote weight loss. This is because it can slightly increase your metabolism and therefore the amount of calories that you burn each day.
In a 2013 study, 50 overweight young women were shown to lose significant amounts of weight and fat by drinking 500 mL (16.9 ounces) more water three times a day for eight weeks.
It is also important to consider the timing. The best time to drink water is 30 minutes before eating. You will feel fuller and eat less.
Dieters who drank water before eating meals, lost 44% more over the course of 12 weeks compared to those who did not drink water.