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  • How Much Water Should You Really Be Drinking?

    by Jeff Roberts

    The amount of water you need depends on varying factors, including how physically active you are, or even what climate you live in.

    Luckily our bodies come equipped with an attentive water detection system called thirst. Once your body has lost between one to two percent of its total water content, it will signal its needs by making you feel thirsty.

    But while this gauge may be helpful in a general sense, by the time you actually feel thirsty you may already be dehydrated. One report found that about 75% of Americans are dehydrated regularly.

    There are a few other signs that may be a signaling that you are dehydrated as well, including dark coloured urine, dry dull skin, fatigue and even mood swings.

    What Your Urine Is Telling You
    A simple rule of thumb for assessing your water needs is by looking at the colour of your urine. Dark urine likely indicates your kidneys are retaining fluid to maintain normal body functions. However, this isn’t to be confused with darker urine due to supplement intake, such as multi-vitamins.

    If you are dehydrated, you will also likely urinate less often. According to Dr. Mercola, a healthy person urinates about 7-8 times per day. So monitoring how often you are urinating in a day is an important assessment tool.

    Who Is Most Affected By Dehydration?
    The elderly population are more prone to dehydration for a few reasons, including taking high amounts of prescription drugs, or not having the proper mental capacity to get the right intake of water. According to BBC:

    “A 2013 analysis of death certificates by the [UK] Office for National Statistics had shown that 1,158 care home residents suffered dehydration-related deaths between 2003 and 2012.
    But Dr. [Lee] Hooper said those figures were not clear-cut as patients often stopped eating or drinking towards the end of life. She also stressed that while care homes could sometimes do better, it was important to point out that identifying dehydration and solving its causes was complex.

    ’The reasons older people do not drink enough are that as we age we lose our sense of thirst so they may not be thirsty. [Or they] decide not to drink because of continence issues, because they don’t have as much social contact or because of frailty or forgetfulness.’”

    For these reasons, it is especially important to be aware of how much water an elderly person is drinking if you are caring for them. If you are a massage therapist serving an aging population, please explain why water is so important for their health. Please see our hydrotherapy course for massage continuing education credit for your massage therapy state license renewal.

    Read the full article here

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