Necessity of Water

— Written By Marilyn Wells and last updated by Cathy Sprinkle

As the hot, humid summer is here and perspiration pours off as we work, don’t forget to drink that water! Water is the least expensive, easiest form of hydration for our bodies. Our bodies crave liquids to help organs continue to work at their optimum. As we age, our sense of thirst fades so we need to be mindful of keeping liquids on hand and sip every few minutes. Drinking a glass of water with meals is also helpful. After rigorous activity it is important to drink extra liquids. Water is the ideal drink but juice, tea and coffee also provide hydration. Some foods contain more than 90% water, such as cucumber, celery, tomatoes and spinach.

Symptoms of dehydration include headache, dry skin and mouth, decreased urine output, constipation, dizziness or lightheadedness and fatigue. If you develop these symptoms, increase fluid intake immediately and if symptoms continue, contact your doctor. Some medications can inhibit thirst and increase urinary output, and illnesses like diabetes and heart disease can increase the risk of dehydration. Eight glasses of water is given as a guideline for amount but that may vary with each person. A simple way to judge whether you get enough fluids is by the color of your urine output. It should be almost clear or pale yellow. Continue to drink water even if you are not thirsty. Getting enough fluids is vital for optimal health and body performance!