We’re all well aware of the benefits of drinking enough water on a day-to-day basis but as it turns out, it actually becomes even more important to stay properly hydrated as we get older.
We spoke to some of the top doctors and health and wellness advocates in our network to see why they suggest increasing water consumption as we age.
Whether you’re already gulping down eight glasses a day or you struggle to remember to rehydrate, these compelling science-backed reasons make a strong case for increasing water consumption for the long haul.
Helps retain internal water.
Every time you give your body more water than it actually needs, you are helping your system refresh itself warranting for and improved overall health.
In fact, according to Jolene Caufield, Life Coach and Manager at Healthy Howard, as we age (starting as early as 20 years old), all facets of our bodies undergo changes including a gradual decrease in our internal water.
“This gradual decrease in our body’s water is associated with the loss of muscle mass, especially when we reach our senior years,” Caufield explains. “Our cells hold about 60-70% of our total body water levels but with the decrease of muscle mass made up of these cells, our bodily water levels decline as well.”
Improves physical and mental health.
“Studies show that those who drink more water have healthier minds. Our cognitive abilities often slow down as we age, and even slight dehydration can impact our ability to think and reason more clearly,” explains Dr. Lina Velikova, MD, Ph.D.
“Furthermore, research proves that exercise is much easier for those who’re well-hydrated, improving our endurance, lower heart rate, and improving the body recovery speed.”
Studies also suggest that people who drink more water are in a better mood than those who fail to stay hydrated.
“As we age, keeping a high level of morale is essential since it helps us deal with old age and all problems that might come with it. That said, we can see how drinking water is a no-brainer,” explains Dr. Velikova.
Helps prevent illness.
“The amount of fluids we intake each day can have a massive impact on our ability to fight off illnesses,” says Dr. Velikova.
“As we age, we become more prone to infections and illnesses, and drinking enough water will ensure we will be able to fight off it successfully.”
Helps regulate body temperature.
Recent research points to people who are older don’t have the same body checks as far as temperature regulation that somebody younger has.
Why is that important? According to Kuudose Trainer and Health Expert, Joey Thurman, CPT, NASM, CES, if we aren’t drinking enough water our bodies feel pain, exhaustion, possible heat stroke, and fatigue.
“This is very important as you workout as your body isn’t able to regulate its temperature as well and water is important for doing that. Even if you don’t feel thirst, drink some water!”
Encourages proper digestion.
Sufficient water intake is also necessary to proper digestion, and as a result, reducing constipation. According to Jenny Fontana NT, NCFAC, NCRC, as people age, they often increase the amount of medication they take for various disorders and illnesses.
“Many of these medications can have a side-effect of constipation, so it is important to drink adequate water to minimize these effects.”