Facts on Fluids – How to Stay Hydrated

Estimated read time 4 min read

A tall glass of iced water will quench your thirst. You may drink more fluids in the summer to avoid dehydration. It’s important to stay hydrated in the summer, but hydration is essential for your health all year long. Learn how much fluid is needed to keep healthy and what fluids to choose.

Fluids are important

Fluid is essential! Fluids play many roles. Fluids help to:

  • Move nutrients and wastes through your body
  • Keep your blood pressure in normal range
  • Protect and cushion your joints, organs, and limbs
  • Control your body temperature
  • Reduce your risk of heat stroke and dehydration

What is dehydration?

When you lose more liquid than you consume, you are dehydrated. Here are some signs of dehydration.

  • Thirst
  • Dry lips and a dry mouth
  • Flushed skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Dark yellow, strong-smelling urine
  • Low blood pressure and increased Heart Rate

Even if you do not feel thirsty, you may still be dehydrated. Drink fluids frequently even before you start to feel thirsty.

Get enough fluid

It would be best if you drank fluids according to your age, gender, and level of activity. You will need more fluids in hot weather or when you are exercising.

The chart below can be used as a guide for how much fluids you should consume each day. Remember that water, milk, coffee and tea can all be included in your fluid intake. Tea and coffee do not dehydrate you.

How much water should I drink every day?

No. According to research, drinking less than eight glasses of water a day will not have negative effects on your health. Everyone has a different amount of water they need to drink each day. It is important to drink enough fluids in order to prevent dehydration. Fluid intake can be made up of water and other fluids.

How to tell if you’re drinking enough

Check for thirst – If your mouth is dry or you feel thirsty, you may not be drinking enough. Drink fluids throughout the day. Once you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.

Check Your Urine If you have urine that is dark yellow and smells strongly, it may be because you are not drinking enough fluids. If your urine is clear or light yellow, you’re probably getting enough fluids. Your urine production can be an indication of how hydrated you are. You may need to drink more liquids if you don’t make much urine during the day or if it is dark.

Check Your Mood– If you have headaches or feel tired and lightheaded, you may be dehydrated.

Fluid Needs and Tips

  • Drink fluids throughout the day.
  • When you’re thirsty, choose water. Avoid soft drinks.
  • When you’re at school, work, or playing, keep water handy.
  • You can also get your fluids from other sources, such as soups, 100% vegetable or fruit juices, fortified beverages, and skim, 1%, and 2% milk.
  • Drink decaffeinated beverages more often to stay hydrated. Limit caffeine-containing drinks to three cups per day.
  • Sniff water as you eat your meals and snacks.
  • Keep a jug of iced water with slices of lemon, lime, or orange in the fridge at work or home.
  • Drink more water in hot weather or when you’re very active.

As you age, it is important to stay hydrated.

Older adults need to drink fluids all day long. Dehydration may cause dizziness, fainting, and low blood pressure, which can put older adults in danger of falling. Constipation can be made worse by dehydration.

Bottom Line

Choose water as your main fluid throughout the day. You should also include other liquids such as milk, coffee, juice, and tea in your daily fluid intake. Limit caffeine-containing drinks to three cups a day and avoid soft drinks. Drink more fluids if you’re active or in hot weather.

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