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How Aging Affects Hydration

Popsicles aren't just a nice treat. They can help you stay hydrated, too!

Dehydration can happen to anyone at any age. The human body’s central nervous system uses messengers, called osmoreceptors and baroreceptors, to send signals to the brain when fluid levels are low. They tell the brain that your body is dehydrated and needs to initiate the sensation of thirst, in order to maintain a better fluid balance.

As people age, these messengers become less and less receptive. This means that, while your body may be in a dehydrated state, your brain is not being told to initiate thirst. Certain medicines and medical conditions can also influence how receptive these messengers are.

Signs of Dehydration

Some signs that your body might be dehydrated are a dry scratchy throat, dark colored urine, chapped lips, headache, irritability, feeling dizzy, or cold hands and feet.

The Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids everyday not only helps to ward off dehydration but also provides your body with many other health benefits! Being properly hydrated protects against things like urinary tract infections, kidney stones, constipation, dry skin, and high blood pressure. In addition to these benefits, keeping your body hydrated can help to boost brain function, increase energy, and help to maintain a healthy weight.

Tips on How to Stay Hydrated

Are you wondering what you can do to increase your fluid intake and enjoy the benefits of being properly hydrated? One way to do this is to drink approximately 6-8 glasses of water each day. See the list below for some additional tips to help you meet this goal!

  • Replace plain water with herbal tea, coffee, or flavored water. Or try infusing your water with fruit and herbs!
  • Eating fruits with a high-water content is a great way to stay hydrated! Some fruits with a high-water content include grapes, watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, and cantaloupe.
  • Homemade popsicles are a fun way to beat the heat and stay hydrated!