August 19, 2022
You know it’s important to move your body and eat healthy foods, but do you know the importance of staying hydrated? You work hard to improve your health at the YMCA - drinking enough water is another key step in keeping you healthy!
Why is Hydration Important?
Your body needs enough fluids to function properly - it counts on water to survive. Water is used in the body to:
- Cushion joints and help them move better
- Control body temperature
- Pump blood to your muscles
- Keep organs working well
- Plus, more!
Older Adults Have a Higher Risk for Dehydration
As we age, we may lose our sense of thirst; this means your body may need more fluids than you think. You might not drink enough water if you cannot tell what your body needs. Some medications can make the body flush out water more quickly, increasing risk for dehydration. Certain medical conditions can put you at higher risk for dehydration. Talk to your doctor about how much water you should drink!
How Do I Know if I’m Dehydrated?
You can tell if you’re drinking enough fluids by looking at the color of your urine. Is it a clear pale yellow color? You’re probably good to go! If it’s dark and looks brown or amber in color, you might be dehydrated. Some symptoms of dehydration may include dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, dry eyes, and constipation.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Everyone is different, and there are factors that impact the amount of water that you need to drink. Some of these factors include activity level, age, medical conditions, and overall health. As a general recommendation, try to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day (8 ounces per glass). If you sweat when you move your body, like in a SilverSneakers class, you are losing extra water, and you may need to drink more than general recommendations. As a general rule, if you’re feeling thirsty, drink up!
Tips for Drinking More Water
1. Add hydration to your routine. Plan times throughout the day to drink water and try to make it into a healthy habit! You might consider drinking a glass of water:
- Before and after your SilverSneakers or other fitness class at the Y
- When you wake up
- With every meal
- Before you go to bed
2. Keep a reusable water bottle with you all the time. It’s easier to stay hydrated when you always have the option to drink water. Bring your water bottle to the Y so you can grab a drink if you get thirsty during your class.
3. Eat foods with a high water content. You can get fluids in ways other than just drinking water! You can boost your hydration by eating foods such as watermelon, lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, and cucumbers. Include foods like this in your meals if you have trouble drinking enough water. You can also eat low-sodium soups or stews to get more fluids in.
4. Add some flavor to your water. You might be more likely to drink more water if it tastes good. Try adding fruit like sliced lemon or oranges, cucumbers, apples, or fresh herbs, like mint or basil!
Have any questions about staying hydrated? Our nutrition team at the Y is here for you – we offer one-on-one nutrition consults for guidance & support. Start with a free 15-minute nutrition discovery session with someone on our team – send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org