How Proper Hydration Supports Healthy Aging
The importance of hydration and drinking water daily cannot be understated, and following those guidelines becomes even more important and impactful as you age. Drinking enough water can aid blood flow, weight management, skin quality, and more. Plus, water can help you maintain strong mental health so you can be happy and productive year after year. Here is more about the importance of hydration and how you can modify your day and routine to always give your body what it needs.
Water Becomes Even More Important As We Age
You’ve probably heard the statistic before. An adult's body is made of 60% water. Many of the organs in your body also contain a lot of water. Your lungs are 83% water, your heart is 73% water, and so on. Since water is a part of most of your organs, you need to help maintain their functionality by drinking water. An adult male needs about three liters, and an adult female about 2.2 liters daily. You need to drink water or otherwise become hydrated every day of your life.
You may not realize that staying hydrated becomes more important as you age and reach your later years because you’ll be more prone to dehydration. This is due to several factors, including a diminished sensation of thirst, the fact that you have a lower urine concentration and a smaller fluid reserve. That doesn’t mean you can drink less. Instead, you should drink more to make up for your body's limitations.
As people age, there’s a greater chance of cognitive issues like dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Hence, keeping your mind sharp is essential. You may not be able to avoid those issues completely, but taking care of yourself gives you a chance. While different studies show differing stories about how impactful hydration is on cognitive function, there is certainly a positive connection between hydration and good mental health. Since you need water to function, even mild dehydration can affect your mood, thinking, and reaction time.
There’s also a belief that dehydration can affect the serotonin and dopamine levels that help to regulate your mood, so when these levels are off, you could experience anxiety and depression. Needless to say, you need to drink your water to stay sharp as you age.
Dehydration Affects Skin and Energy Levels
If you feel a lack of energy during your later years, there can be several causes, including dehydration. Your consumption habits, including the amount of water you drink, can also be to blame. A lack of hydration can affect your metabolism and lead to fatigue. Drink water throughout the day, and you can have more energy when it’s time for exercise.
Proper hydration can also help to prevent wrinkles as you age. Your skin is also over 60% water, so you can use a moisturizer with hydrating ingredients and take hot, steamy showers to nourish the skin and flush away the toxins and irritants that can lead to premature wrinkles.
Hydration can also help any joint pain you experience because hydration lubricates the connective tissues whereas dehydration can contribute to pain and arthritis. Many seniors deal with arthritis pain in their later years, and hydration can be the solution.
How You Can Drink More Water
Now that you understand the importance of staying hydrated and drinking water, you likely need to actively change your habits to live your best life as you age.
One of the easiest ways to create a habit is to leave yourself reminders. You can set a timer on your phone to remind you to use a moisturizer in the morning or drink a glass of water throughout the day. Since the same part of the brain is responsible for interpreting both thirst and hunger, you may feel like you need food, but you really require water, so leave a note on the fridge or pantry to pour a glass instead of eating unhealthy food.
Also, become knowledgeable about dehydration symptoms, so you know when you should hydrate. Signs can include dry mouth, headaches, decreased urination, and dizziness, among other issues. If you feel any of those, seek hydration.
You may shy from water because, although you know you need it, there’s not enough flavor to keep you returning for more. Remember that you can stay hydrated without drinking water by enjoying fruit-infused water, unsweetened green tea, broths, and soups.
Find some way to avoid dehydration, and your body will thank you, especially as you age.