Have you had your daily cups of water today?
How many cups of water have you drunk today? Was it more than 8? We generally forget how important something as simple as water and hydration is to our daily health. Being over 50 only makes it more important. As we age, our thirst mechanism can get a little lazy so we cannot rely as much on this to guide our liquid intake. One study found older people may suffer from dehydration more often in hot weather because of aging nerves in their mouth, throat, and stomach. These thirst monitors are all sending weaker signals to the brain about needing water.
What’s a good amount of water too shoot for each day? According to the 2004 report from the Institute of Medicine on the Dietary Reference Intakes For Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate, an adequate intake for drinking water and beverages for men and women (ages 19 to 70+ years) is about 13 cups (101 fluid ounces) for men and 9 cups (74 fluid ounces) for women. Keep in mind the ideal amount of water for you personally can depend on many factors such as the temperature, your weight and how long you exercise.
I make sure I have some water or tea near me almost all of the time. You can try buying 4, 16-ounce water bottles and numbering them with a marker from one through four. See if you get through all four bottles (which gives you 8 cups of water) by the end of the day. If you have a cup of tea, it counts as one of those 8 cups of water. Every time you drive in the car, bring a bottle of water (or another beverage) with you. Every time you exercise, take a water bottle with you. You’ll get to 8 cups a day before you know it!