Updated: Jun 7, 2021
Summer is heating up here in the southeast, and it’s more and more important to make sure you’re getting enough fluids. Keep reading to find out why hydration is important and how to make sure you’re getting enough.
1. Water helps regulate your body temperature
It probably doesn’t need to be said, but when it gets hot outside or we’re working out, we sweat. This sweat helps our body cool off through evaporative cooling. So, remember if you’re sweating, to drink more fluids
2. Water helps Keep joints lubricated
As we age, many people find they have more aches and pains in their back and knees, and may even develop painful arthritis. Studies have shown that in well hydrated systems, the discs in your spine can gain more volume giving you more cushion in your spine. Other studies have shown and the properties of cartilage and synovial fluid (lubricating fluid) in joints are related to how hydrated you are. All this is to say, by staying hydrated, you are giving your joints more cushioning and lubrication and may find some pain relief.
3. Proper hydration can help prevent urinary problems
Our kidneys work to filter our waste products from our blood and send it to the bladder to be expelled through urination. When we are dehydrated, these waste products are more highly concentrated and can irritate the bladder leading to sudden urges to use the toilet and make someone more susceptible to UTIs. UTIs in older adults can lead systemic infections, cognitive changes, and more. By pairing good hygiene with enough fluids your bladder will thank you.
4. Good hydration improves your brain function
While our bodies are approximately 60% water, our brains are 75% water, so it only makes sense that changes in hydration can lead to changes in brain function. Studies have shown that cognitive function declines when your body loses only 2% of its body water. These cognitive declines include decreased concentration and short term memory, increased reaction time, and negative mood changes. Many daily headaches can be attributed to mild dehydration as well.
In good news, studies show that improving your hydration levels can improve your mood, energy, and attention. These benefits are even better in school children and the elderly.
5. Mild dehydration can cause orthostatic hypotension
There are a few reasons why people might get dizzy when they first stand up, but one common reason I see is called “orthostatic hypotension”. Which basically means low blood pressure with position changes. While some causes of this are related to cardiovascular problems, even mild hydration can lead to dizziness upon standing. This can be dangerous for older adults who may fall, and can be helped by ensuring proper hydration.
So how much water do you need?
Individuals do have different fluid needs depending on activity, climate, and other factors, a good rule of thumb is around 2 Liters, or 8 cups of hydrating fluids a day, which includes the water in your teas, juices as well.
Check out these water bottles that can help you get on track to meeting this goal!
Stay Hydrated and Your body will thank you!