Watering down the issue – Why you need to stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is vital to ensuring a healthy body and mind but many Australians seldom manage to consume the recommended daily intake. Incorporating more water into your daily routine is easy.

Hydration has been a hot topic in the media for many years however many people do not understand just how important it is to drink your daily intake of water. Water performs a myriad of functions to keep your body healthy and in peak condition and it is especially important for older Australians to stay hydrated. According to Nutritionist Catherine Saxelby, who works closely with leading water filter producer BRITA, “Even mild dehydration can quickly diminish the capacity of most of our organs to function properly, but especially the brain, the kidneys and skin.” With the National Health and Medical Research Council revising all the recommendations to include an additional two glasses of water a day for adequate hydration and optimal health, it is time we stood up and paid attention.

So why do you need to stay hydrated?
We need to stay hydrated in order to transport nutrients via the blood and lymph system, to remove waste from our bodies, maintain our body temperature and keep our organs working at peak capacity, all key functions of the body that are especially important for older Australians.

What are the tell-tale signs of Dehydration?
Telltale signs of dehydration range from mild symptoms such as headaches, feeling lethargic and having difficulty concentrating all the way through to more severe symptoms like muscle cramps and failing kidneys. “It’s easy to forget to drink enough. Thirst is not always reliable as a guide as when you were in your youth, so don’t wait until you feel thirsty before you drink”, says Saxelby. BRITA makes drinking water easier with a wide range of products including reusable water bottles, filter jugs and tap-connected filters that improve the quality and taste of tap water.

How much water should you drink every day?
As you get older, you need even more fluid. As a foetus your body is made up of over 93% water, however dehydration gradually continues as we age, where the water content drops to only 60% in later years. Aim to drink at least 8 – 10 glasses of water per day for optimal hydration.

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