Summer is in full swing here in central Texas and it is hot! It is important to stay hydrated as temperatures rise. Dehydration can cause many unpleasant side effects such as muscle cramps, fatigue, reduced capacity to think clearly, loss of appetite, mild constipation, and kidney stones.
Other obvious symptoms include:
- Dry skin, mouth or cracked lips
- Has sunken eyes
- Frequent urinary infections
- Easily tired or confused
- Dark urine, small quantity
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
Due to changes in the body during aging, such as a decrease in total body water as well as a decrease in being able to sense thirst, dehydration can happen quickly in older adults. Staying hydrated every day is the best way to prevent this.
Benefits of keeping well hydrated:
- Makes up 75% of the brain
- Regulates body temperature
- Makes up 83% of blood
- Helps body absorb nutrients
- Cushions joints
- Promotes skin health
- Helps convert food into energy
- Protects and cushions vital organs
- Promotes regular bowel movements
Focus on drinking small, frequent amounts of fluid throughout the day rather than waiting to feel thirsty. Water is the best option for hydration, but any fluids count toward the daily requirement. If you are drinking juice or soda, try mixing it with half a glass of water to cut down on the sugar and calorie content. Additionally, you can get fluids through foods such as soups, fresh fruits and vegetables, and ice pops.