The right fluids are critical for winter and as we age.
Typically 80 percent of your fluid intake
comes from beverages; 20 percent from food.
Had a drink lately? We’re not talking alcohol, but, rather, water and other healthy beverages. While most people think about staying hydrated during hot summer months because we sweat more, we really should be watching our fluid intake all year round. Why? Fluid loss occurs through breathing, sweating, and urine and bowel movements. Because fluids help rid the body of toxins, the amount we ingest each day is important.
Most of us have heard the “eight cups” rule — to drink eight cups (8 oz. each) of water daily. But the actual amount for each person varies according to level of activity, overall fitness, even age. The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy adult men consume about 13 cups of total beverages daily. Women can consume less — about 9 cups — daily. That’s in addition to fluids we should be getting from eating certain foods, such as soup or fruits and vegetables. In fact, 80 percent of your fluid intake typically comes from beverages; 20 percent from food. Athletes should consume more.
Thirst can be your general guide when it comes to hydrating your body. But keep in mind that as we age, thirst sensations tend to diminish, putting the elderly at risk for dehydration if fluid intake isn't monitored. Another risk in older adults occurs when they limit fluid intake to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom, a common problem. In Missouri, dehydration ranks among the top medical conditions that cause preventable hospitalizations.
Think healthy beverages as much as possible. Water is best, but you also can count milk, sports drinks, juices, coffee and small amounts of soda toward your daily goal. Keep a close eye on hidden calories and sugar levels, though. You don’t want to negatively impact your weight and health while getting the hydration you need.
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
At St. Anthony's, our vision is to be the area's premier health care organization
— and your first choice for health care services.