Are you thirsty? Chances are you aren’t but your body really is. Water loss develops quickly if you are working outside; and with this heat, it can happen quickly too. Take a minute and weigh yourself before an activity and at the end. For every pound lost, two cups of fluid should be consumed to replace the water you lost before your activity.
The age groups to watch the most are children and the elderly. Children do not tolerate heat as well as adults and are not as quick to adjust to changes in temperature. Children tend to forget to drink water when they are playing and need to be reminded. Even if children are swimming they can be losing water, and in general children should take water breaks every 15 minutes and drink half a cup of water during that break.
The elderly may not be able to rely on their sense of thirst to know when to drink water. Our ability to sense thirst declines over years. Failure to do so may increase risk of urinary tract infections, pneumonia, pressure ulcers, confusion and disorientation. Also, since body water decreases with age, older adults have a smaller margin of safety and are at higher risk for dehydration. Lack of fluids is one of the most frequent reasons people over 65 years of age go to the hospital.
How much do I need to drink then? Most adults need at least six cups of water per day; general rule of thumb is to consume 34 ounces daily. The easiest way to tell is to check your urine. If it is dark and has a smell then it is concentrated with metabolic wastes and a signal that your body needs more water.
No, you don’t only have to drink water to consume it. You can get water from foods and beverages that are high in water content. For example milk, fruits, vegetable, soups and broths. Also, stay away from sugary foods and beverages. The sugar in them pulls water out of your body and incite other health concerns.
Your body is a lot like running a business. Along with eating healthy, keeping your water intake up helps it run better. Consistent deposits of liquid assets can contribute to large dividends of good health.