Page 20 - Senior Times South Central Michigan May 2020 - 27-05
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Page 20 Senior Times - May 2020
By: Anne Gold
  Water. We all need it – and know we need
it – for optimum health and wellness, but
a shocking few live daily life in a properly hydrated state and certainly not with appro- priate consistency. One doctor-driven report revealed that fully 75 percent, a staggering three-fourths majority, of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration. It went on to under- score that, “Over time, failure to drink enough water can contribute to a wide array of medical complications, from fatigue, joint pain, and weight gain to headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.” Apparently, this is the tip of the proverbial dehydration-induced illness iceberg.
help replenish the amount of water that is lost.”
 “During a normal day, we lose about two liters of water just through breathing, sweat and other bodily functions,” notes board certi- fied internist Dr. Blanca Lizaola-Mayo. “Even while asleep, we can lose over one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of water-weight not just through sweating, but respiration as well. Even air conditioning has drying effects on our body. The health implications of dehydration are vast and can range from mild to severe, including problems with the heart, blood pressure and breathing, headaches and cognitive issues like concentration ... just to name a few.”
Understanding there are commonplace fac- ets of our collective lifestyles that put us at a higher risk of developing mild to severe dehy- dration, here are some insights and tips from preeminent health experts to help you stay hap- pily hydrated:
Do All Fluids Hydrate the Body? No. The Cleveland Clinic is very clear with its advisory that, “Some beverages are better than others at preventing dehydration,” and that “alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, teas and colas, are not recommended for optimal hydration. These fluids tend to pull water from the body and promote dehydration. Fruit juice and fruit drinks may have too many carbohy- drates, too little sodium, and may upset the stomach. Adequate hydration will keep your summer activities safer and much more enjoy- able.”
course of a few hours, body water deficits can occur due to reduced intake or increased water losses from physical activity and environmental (e.g., heat) exposure.” So, a perfectly hydrat- ed body can tip the scales into a dehydrated state in a fairly short amount of time, whether actively (as with exercising), or passively (as with breathing).
What Are Common Causes of Dehydration? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Sometimes dehydration occurs for simple reasons: You don't drink enough because you're sick or busy, or because you lack access to safe drinking water when you're traveling, hiking, or camping.” While certainly not all-inclusive, known causes for dehydration can encompass sweating from exercise and playing a sport; air travel; traversing in overly hot, humid, cold or windy weather conditions; drinking too much coffee and other diuretic beverages; recovering from a hangover; and a litany of other relative- ly commonplace daily activities.
 “Those who’ve felt that ‘afternoon slump’ should know that dehydration is the num- ber one cause of daytime fatigue. And, it’s important to understand that when we first start to sense thirst, we are already close to two percent dehydrated.”
For all of its importance, proper hydration is a delicate balance to uphold. An Institute of Medicine report cited the fragility of keeping the body duly hydrated, noting, “Over the
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Many factors impact how much water you need, including your age, gender, activity level, and overall health ... For women, the amount of total water is about 11.5 cups per day and for men about 15.5 cups. These esti- mates, however, include fluids consumed from both foods and beverages, including water. You typically get about 20 percent of the water you need from the food you eat. Taking that into account, women need about nine cups of fluid per day and men about 12.5 cups in order to
What Are Some Benefits of Proper Hydration? While the benefits of a properly hydrated body are copious, the CDC points
to a few top-line health advantages, including keeping your temperature normal; lubricating and cushioning joints, protecting your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues; and getting
rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements. Healthline also offers
a number of evidence-based health benefits of drinking plenty of water, which include maxi- mizing physical performance; optimized energy
How Much Water Do You Need?
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