September 30th, 2010 at 2:12 am
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Are You Drinking Enough Water?

by Sue Lanza

Picture the hottest summer day when all you can think about is drinking liquids to quench your thirst. But in the fall and winter, you don’t have the sun beating down on you to remind you of the importance of staying hydrated. That could easily spell disaster if you aren’t careful.

Even with all the cautions to drink water, studies are showing that most folks are still not meeting the minimum daily requirements for fluid consumption, leading them to potentially dangerous consequences for their bodies. In fact in the news today, I heard about an experienced hiker who collapsed and died from dehydration or overexposure. It started me thinking about how easy it is to for seniors to not focus on keeping their water levels up.

Where do you stand on this issue?

I know I was guilty of not drinking enough water for years. I never got into medical trouble because of it but I realized that my water consumption was much lower than the minimum daily recommendation of one liter daily (approximately 2 water bottles of 16 oz each). By the way, the water suggestion is 2 – 3 liters daily for active people but the amount required varies based on where you live, how active you are and your age.

I made an effort to push myself to drink more water by using lemon when I’m at home or the handy low calorie flavor packets when I’m out. I now easily consume the equivalent of 2 liters each day without much effort.

Most of us are sick of everyone asking, “are you drinking enough water” but the question is vital because it is really life threatening to the body when we don’t drink enough. All the processes in the body are impacted and kept in running order by fluid intake. Our organs, cells and tissues cannot properly function without enough water.

Someone once told me that by the time I am thirsty, my body is already beginning to be dehydrated. Actually, it is true that when the human body is only slightly dehydrated (missing one percent or less of fluids), the first symptom is thirst. As dehydration continues, a variety of symptoms take over: anxiety, lack of appetite, lethargy, dizziness leading to confusion and loss of motor control. This is serious business as the brain, which uses most of the water in our body, can have face irreversible problems with even a small amount of necessary water missing.

So as the sun starts setting earlier and not giving us the “drink, drink” reminders, find a method to prod yourself to keep up with your daily liquid intake. Your brain and body thank you in advance!

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