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The importance of staying well hydrated

Updated: May 26, 2023


The importance of staying well hydrated

Water is the most important element. It is possible to live up to 10 weeks without food. It is impossible to live more than 15 days without water.


The role of water


- It maintains the body temperature.

- It is necessary for digestion, absorption, circulation, elimination and transport of nutrients.


How much water should I drink?


We have all heard that we should drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water a day. This is a general guideline, but other factors come into play, such as your weight and activity level.


Thirst: is the mechanism or reflex by which the body regulates its water intake.

Signs of thirst: Dry mouth inside. Dry lip and dry throat.

On a daily basis, we can quickly find ourselves in a state of dehydration. Remember that feeling thirsty is already a sign of dehydration. The real secret is anticipation!

The best thing is to drink in anticipation. To avoid feeling these signs.


The symptoms of dehydration


As we age, we feel less and less thirst. That's why it's very important to know how to recognize the signs of thirst. To avoid dehydration.

Exhaustion / dizziness / difficulty concentrating / thirst / muscle cramps / bad breath / mood swings / pain / headaches / dark yellow urine / decreased urination frequency / weight loss / skin folds, loss of elasticity / dry skin


These signs may indicate that you are slightly dehydrated. A few glasses of water will help you recover quickly. If you feel thirsty, the dehydration process has already started, so you should drink a glass of water right away.


Water deficiency can also have long-term negative effects. Not drinking enough water every day for a long time can lead to medical problems

In more severe cases of dehydration, you may experience:

- Extreme thirst

- Little or no urine output

- Low blood pressure

- Rapid breathing

- Fever

- Confusion

- Loss of consciousness

If you experience these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Depending on your condition, you may need an oral or intravenous rehydration solution to restore your fluids to normal levels.


Why are older people more likely to become dehydrated?


- Body water content decreases

- Any additional water loss is dangerous. Degradation of certain functions (e.g., communication, mobility or difficulty accessing water)

- Caregiver lacks time or knowledge to recognize the signs

- Kidneys weaken and become less able to retain water

- Memory loss reduces ability to remember to hydrate

- Thirsty feelings diminish even in hot weather

- Various treatments can cause a diuretic or laxative effect

- Pathological factors can increase water loss (e.g. fever and incontinence)


Advice for good hydration :


Set goals, e.g., start and end the day with a glass of water.

- Vary your drinks. Milk - juice - tea - soup

- Carry a bottle: keeping a bottle with you encourages you to drink more often

- Eat fruit. Rich in water, they also provide many essential nutrients for health

- Drink in small sips: to avoid the feeling of bloating that can spoil your appetite.


Tip to help hydrate:


Make juices in a blender such as smoothies

Add fruit to water for flavour (e.g. lemon)

Drink a glass of water before each meal

Put a sign by the tap reminding you to drink or put an alarm on your cell phone.


Why do we need to drink so much water?


First of all, our bodies are 60% water and our brains are 85% water. So our bodies need water to function properly. It is the substance that keeps us alive and our systems working properly.

Not drinking enough water can have a negative impact on our ability to function properly, concentrate or perform.

Water also plays an important role in our body's ability to properly digest food and absorb nutrients, as well as helping to cleanse the kidneys and liver.


Caregivers at home need to be educated to do the right thing and stay alert. Make sure you have the right reflexes to avoid dehydration.


Water and brain function are more connected than we think. Often we ingest this vital resource by thinking about our kidneys, liver and even our heart. But we forget something essential: the organ in our body that needs the most energy is the brain.


The cellular tissues of your brain are 85% water. When you are not properly hydrated, your brain can be the first to feel the effects.

This is because dehydration causes a decrease in brain energy. Drinking water is one of the most satisfying and simple ways to help you be efficient and productive at work.


Water is essentially used to maintain the balance that brain cells need to function properly. So the less water the body has, the more it affects that balance, and the brain loses efficiency. Water also helps maintain nerve signals, "feed" the brain (by providing the nutrients it needs) and get rid of toxins to optimize brain activity.


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