Drinking enough water is essential for all-round good health, and every system in the body relies on adequate hydration to function correctly. We all know the importance of drinking water, but it's all too easy to forget to drink enough.
Seniors are at a greater risk of dehydration than other adults. Becoming dehydrated can contribute to various health problems, including urinary infections and confusion, so it's worth taking steps to ensure proper hydration. Below, you can find some straightforward and enjoyable ways to keep yourself healthy and hydrated.
According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking around eight glasses of water per day is enough to keep most people well hydrated. However, you may need to up your intake if you're more physically active than usual or during spells of hot weather.
Although drinking eight glasses over a day sounds simple and achievable, it's surprisingly easy to forget or lose track of your intake when life gets hectic. Furthermore, it's hard to monitor how much you're drinking if you take small sips from a bottle throughout the day.
Getting in the habit of drinking water at set times in the day and supplementing with sips in between can help you get into good habits. If you make a point of drinking a whole glass of water at the same times each day, it'll soon become second nature. Many people find it easier to build their water drinking routine around key points in the day. For example, ensuring you drink a glass of water immediately upon waking and before every meal will take care of half your daily water intake and make it easier to remember to drink.
Some people enjoy the flavor of fresh, plain water. However, finding ways to make your drinks more flavorful can make drinking water more enjoyable and encourage you to stay hydrated.
If you find plain water boring, consider adding slices of fresh fruit, crushed berries or herbs to give it flavor. You can purchase water bottles with an infuser section to hold fresh ingredients so that you don't get a mouthful of fruit when you take a sip.
However, beware of adding syrups and sugary powdered mixes to your water. Although these flavorings are tasty, they are calorie-dense and can lead to weight gain, tooth decay and other health problems. Sugar-free squash syrup is a beverage additive that can be found online and in some specialty drink shops. If you can find sugar-free squash where you live, it could be a great way to jazz up some of your daily drinks and encourage reluctant water drinkers to rehydrate.
Smart water bottles aren't cheap, but they could be a good solution for people who struggle with remembering to drink water. These bottles use integrated technology to track your water intake and remind you to drink regularly with a sound alert or visual reminder. Some bottles can even track your physical activity to calculate your water needs more accurately.
HidrateSpark makes some of the best smart water bottles for seniors because the bottles glow at regular intervals to remind you to take a sip. The bottle can also monitor every sip you take to track your water intake in real time and records your progress through an easy-to-use smartphone app.
Although drinking fluids is essential for staying hydrated, you can supplement your intake by adding foods with a high water content to your diet. Water-rich foods are hydrating, but many also contain essential vitamins and other nutrients to improve your overall health.
Cucumbers are 95% water and pack a punch when it comes to nutritional content. According to the Cleveland Clinic, cucumbers contain natural anti-inflammatories that can help relieve irritated skin, and they may also have anti-aging properties. Strawberries are another water-rich food, containing 91% water and high levels of flavonoids. Flavonoids are associated with improved cognitive function, making them an excellent choice for seniors.
Urinary incontinence can make people reluctant to drink because they want to reduce the need to urinate. Addressing urinary incontinence can significantly improve your quality of life and remove barriers to staying properly hydrated.
Many older adults believe that urinary incontinence is an inevitable part of aging, but the truth is that it can often be cured or improved at any age. Pelvic floor exercises, timing your bathroom trips regularly and reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake can all help. If your urinary incontinence isn't curable, there may still be ways to better control it. Your health care provider can provide advice on managing urinary incontinence, and the health care team at the Park Regency Loveland assisted living community are always on hand to provide support to residents.