As we move through the summer months, we spend a majority of our time outside with family and friends. However as the heat rises, it increases the risk for dehydration which comes from not drinking enough water when it is hot outside. About 60% of the human body consists of water and we need to consume a certain amount each day to survive. This is especially important for seniors because, as we age, our body’s ability to conserve water decreases. With this in mind, it is important to prevent fluid and electrolyte imbalance in seniors. Here are a few fun ways to stay hydrated this summer.
The best fluid you can put in your body to stay hydrated is water. However, water can be boring and a chore to drink everyday. Did you know that infusing flavors of a vegetable or fruit to cold water can make it taste even better while still receiving the hydration benefits? According to OneGreenPlanet.org, “Infused water introduces even more health benefits to your hydration routine.” The sky’s the limit when infusing water including endless combinations of fruits, herbs and vegetables. An additional benefit of infused water is the nutrients gained naturally from the ingredients used to infuse the water.
Throughout the summer, it is most important to stay hydrated since this is the season for outdoor activity and higher temperatures. MadeInNature.com explains that popsicles are, “a great way to stay cool, hydrated and sneak in healthful ingredients to make your body hum.” Although many packaged popsicles have great amounts of sugar, home made popsicles can be utilized to improve the nutritional value of these summer treats.
Hydrate With Foods:
As the heat and humidity rises, staying hydrated can be difficult, especially for seniors who suffer from diabetes. Dehydration is most commonly the result of inadequate water intake but can happen to many seniors that have diarrhea, excessive sweating, loss of blood or side effects of prescription medications. In addition to increasing your daily intake of water to stay hydrated, eating foods that have a substantial amount of water content can provide the same effects. Such foods include but are not limited to: lettuce, cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries and celery.
Make Smoothies or Shakes:
Dizziness, headache, confusion, fainting and lethargy are some of the symptoms of mild dehydration. This means that the organs in the body are struggling to do their job properly. You can avoid dehydration with something as simple and tasty as fruit smoothies. Sipping on a smoothie not only hydrates your body but also provides plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Although there are many smoothie recipes available, nutritionists at Apollo Hospitals recommend smoothies like the Refreshing Watermelon, Mint & Lime Smoothie, Tropical Coconut & Mango Smoothie and Savoury Splash Tomato, Pear & Cucumber Smoothie to keep you hydrated and in the best health.
At Poet’s Walk, a Spring Hills Memory Care Community, we hold nutrition seminars that are focused on educating our clients on staying hydrated and the benefits of electrolytes, which allow them to foster a stronger and more enriched mind, body, and spirit. Our Vice President of Home Care Operations, Andre Gomez, explains our health seminars by saying,”Drinking fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body, including your heart, brain and muscles. Older adults often don’t get enough fluids and risk becoming dehydrated, especially during the summer months. One of our unique Signature Touches is to keep our clients hydrated through a variety of methods. Whether its by way of a healthy diet or by emphasizing drinking habits, we provide comprehensive nutritional assessments in the home and in our assisted living communities. This tailored approach ensures that our residents stay well educated on the importance of hydration so that they remain in optimal health.”