Finally, summertime! Hello June. Hello sunshine. Hello heat and hello dehydration. It really can sneak up on you. I know.
I’m lucky, ultimately nothing bad happened. I had been gardening. I didn’t bother to take a break or have anything to drink. I got a bit light-headed and felt unwell. A few glasses of water and a bit of down time in the shade and I was fine. But it hit me, I am now old enough to start taking dehydration seriously. So, I did a little research.
Seniors are at a greater risk of dehydration than younger adults.
Our bodies lose water as we age. Until we hit our forties the average human body is made up of about 52 to 60% water or fluids. After age sixty, those numbers drop by about 8%. It’s a natural occurrence which has to do with the loss of muscle mass as we get older and it’s the main reason seniors experience dehydration faster than younger adults. Add to that, as we age our thirst receptors become less efficient, so we don’t get the same cues to drink as we used to.
Even a mild case of dehydration can make you feel unwell. As a matter of fact, as a senior, by the time you start to feel a little woozy, you have likely already depleted your naturally reduced fluid levels by another 2 to 5%. More serious dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, urinary tract infections and a host of other ailments. Dehydration can happen easily. The good news is, it’s easy to prevent.
Stay hydrated. Eight glasses of water a day is the commonly held goal. I don’t want to feel woozy in the garden again, but wow, eight glasses a day is a challenge for me. So, I was delighted when I came across this little nugget in my research. While eight glasses a day is great, Baycrest Geriatric Centre in Toronto says most seniors only need to consume about 1500mls or 6 cups of water a day to stay healthy. I can do six! I know I can. I bet you can too.