Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water

Hydration: Why It’s So Important

Your body depends on water to survive.  Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work correctly.  Your body uses water to maintain temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints.

It is important to drink throughout the day to replace the water your body loses.  Water makes up more than half your body weight.  You lose water when you go to the bathroom, sweat and even when you breathe.  You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you are physically active, when you have a fever, if you are vomiting or have diarrhea.  If you don’t replace the water you lose, you can easily become dehydrated.

Staying hydratedSigns of dehydration are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
  • No tears when crying

Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration.  Be proactive by drinking plenty of water.  The elderly are at greater risk of becoming dehydrated, because as you get older, you don’t have the same urge to drink.  Therefore, it is important for the elderly to drink throughout the day, even if they say they are not thirsty.

The average recommendation for daily water intake is 6-8 eight ounces of water a day.  Some people may need a little more, some a little less

In addition to water, fruits and vegetables contain water as well.   The top fruits that contain approximately 90% water per volume are watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and peaches.  The top vegetables containing water are cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, radishes, celery tomatoes and cabbage.


Here are some helpful tips for keeping properly hydrated:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day.
  • If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink
  • Be sure to drink water before, during and after a workout.
  • When you are feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger.
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. You should drink water when you wake up, at every meal, and before you go to sleep.  If this does not work for you, schedule to drink a small cup of water every hour.