One thing every person over 50 should be doing for their health, regardless of what diet they follow or how much they exercise, is drink. Drink all day. Drink even when you’re not thirsty. Drink whenever you think of it. Water, tea, coffee, diluted juices, all those new sparkling flavored waters. Suck on ice chips. Eat watermelon or grapes, soups or stews. Always be thinking about how you can get fluid in you, because…
Dehydration is a problem in older adults:
- Who gradually lose their thirst sensation.
- Who pee more because urine is less concentrated and kidneys use more fluid to remove the same amount of waste (and so urine can be light-colored even when you’re not drinking enough: darker pee is no longer a good indicator of dehydration)
- Who pee more because they have diabetes, or undiagnosed diabetes, or prediabetes. You start to pee out glucose when it reaches a certain threshold in your blood.
- Who have more fluid-losing hot flashes as the body becomes less efficient at temperature regulation.
- Who take more medications that have a diuretic effect.
Signs you may be dehydrated:
- You’re tired.
- You have a headache.
- You’re becoming forgetful or you’re having difficulty concentrating.
- You’re testy or irritable.
- You feel lightheaded when you stand up or climb stairs.
- You’re constipated.
- Your mouth or eyes are dry.
Read that list again. You could clear up so many issues just by downing a big glass of water. Don’t believe people who tell you that drinking 8 glasses of water a day is a myth.
You know when the best time to drink is? Right now.