Hydration For Seniors

How Much Water Should Seniors Drink Daily?
How Much Water To Drink Daily?

Dehydration is one of the ten most frequent diagnoses reported for hospitalization for persons over 65 — and that’s in the United States alone. It is also one of the easiest conditions to treat at home preemptively, avoiding costly, time-consuming emergency room visits.

Why Do Older Adults Become Dehydrated Quickly?

There are several reasons why dehydration is more common among seniors. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

A Decline in Total Body Fluid

As we get older, the amount of water our bodies hold begins to decrease. As an older adult, you are more responsible for replenishing your body’s water reserves much more than when you were younger. Everyone loses muscle as we age, and muscle atrophy accelerates as you approach about 70 years old.

Muscles hold the most water, and there are over 600 muscles in the human body! This makes up by far the most weight in humans, so you can see why as we lose muscle we lose water. Also, when partaking in exercise of any form, be sure to hydrate afterwards.

Lowered Thirst Response

It seems intuitive to rely on your body’s natural signals when it comes to your needs. After all, it’s what you have been doing for your whole life. Like we mentioned above, your brain does not work as efficiently as you age, so the signals it sends to let you know you’re thirsty also do not work as well. Thus, you won’t feel like you should drink water even though your body needs it. So even if you don’t feel quite so thirsty, you should have a regular hydration schedule. In other words, reach for that glass of water often!

Decreased Kidney and Brain Function

As you age, your kidneys and brain tend not to work as efficiently as they used to. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering blood and creating water which becomes urine, and your brain is responsible for sending these instructions to your kidneys. Since there is decreased function of both, you have two reasons why you lose more water. First, your brain isn’t telling your kidneys to create the right amount of urine, and then on top of that, your kidneys don’t create the usual correct amount. Unfortunately, this is just part of the aging process.

Underlying Conditions and Medications

Many older adults need to take medications for different conditions as you age. Some common conditions or symptoms that cause direct dehydration are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Overheating/heat exhaustion
  • Blood Loss
  • Increased Urination

Diabetes and hypertension are also common causes of dehydration. With uncontrolled diabetes or high blood sugar, your body attempts to lower the sugar in your blood, and it does this by excreting more water in the form of urine from your body. In addition, you want to make sure that you are on the right dose of diabetes medications – if you force out too much blood sugar through medications, you will also force out water/urine.

Hypertension is another common cause of excessive water secretion. This happens usually after years of uncontrolled hypertension. High blood pressure will eventually hurt kidneys (think of it as pressure from the blood that is directly hitting the kidneys, like chipping away at the blood vessels that course through the kidneys), and if your kidneys don’t work as well, they will produce too much water/urine.

In addition, there are some medications that can cause dehydration, usually through causing increased urination. The most common types of medications that can cause increased urination as a side effect are:

  • Diuretics: Heart failure is the most common cause of fluid retention in the body. Your heart doesn’t pump as efficiently, and therefore blood and water get “backed up” into your body and lungs. Diuretic drugs (which many people call “water pills”) such as Lasix and Bumex essentially force you to urinate, and a side effect can be dehydration.
  • Anti-hypertensives: These medications dilate your blood vessels; therefore, more blood is filtered through your kidneys causing more urine production and therefore loss of water.
  • Drugs for enlarged prostate: Medications such as Finasteride help shrink the prostate. As this happens, more urine is produced, and you can become dehydrated.
  • Drugs for anxiety: Medications such as Valium and Xanax work by relaxing your muscles; they also relax the muscles around your bladder, which causes you to urinate more.

Alcohol Consumption

In general, everyone should be mindful of their alcohol consumption. Alcohol interrupts the signal between the brain and kidneys that regulates urine production. Because of this, people who are drinking alcohol urinate more than they should.

Infection

Bladder infections are a common cause of excessive urination and dehydration. The excessive bacteria and inflammation –– as your body fights the infection –– cause irritation of the bladder itself. This results in bladder spasms, so you will often urinate without meaning to. Additionally, in an effort to fight the infection, your brain tells your bladder to urinate more, essentially trying to “flush out” the bacteria from your body, but this can result in urinating too much, causing dehydration.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia

While not related to the body’s ability to retain fluid, older adults who struggle with memory loss often forget to drink or struggle with the physical act of drinking. This is why, as a caregiver, it is essential to keep track of when a loved one or patient takes in fluids, how much they imbibe, and the specific types of liquids.

A chart, or another written system, can be helpful so that even on the busiest of days, a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia does not begin to suffer from dehydration. The consequences of dehydration for an older adult are much harder to remedy than in younger folk, and indeed, it is easier to simply make sure that an older person’s fluid intake is appropriate, healthy, and nurturing.

Mobility and Incontinence

While an older person may still have good thirst recognition, it is unfortunate that mobility and dissatisfaction with bladder functionality will often prevent an older adult from seeking out water and fluids. Sometimes, this may even cause them to avoid drinking fluids altogether. Trying to reach for a drink or the thought of dealing with having to get up and go to the bathroom repeatedly, especially if you have chronic pain or arthritis, can make drinking seem like more of an inconvenience than a necessity.

The fact is that less fluid intake worsens incontinence. Explaining this may be a long conversation with your loved one, but as far as mobility is concerned, a caregiver, or older person themself, should keep healthy hydrating foods easily accessible.

Signs of Dehydration in the Elderly

According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the most common signs to look out for in an older adult who may be dehydrated:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Fizziness
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Confusion
  • Dark Colored Urine
  • Extreme Thirst
  • Less Frequent Urination
  • Constipation (water is required for proper colon function and gut motility)

If these sound like common occurrences for either you or a loved one, you might want to look into increasing your water intake, but check with your doctor first, as drinking too much water can also be a problem (though unlikely). One of the most significant risks involved in dehydration among older adults is that many of the symptoms go unnoticed. This is either because they are hard to glean or because patients with dementia have difficulty communicating.

For this reason, I aim to emphasize the importance of responsible hydration. Keep track of your fluid intake (for yourself or a loved one), and frequently replenish, even when you sometimes don’t want to.

Proper Hydration in Older Adults
Take care of your body by drinking plenty of water each and every day!

How To Prevent Dehydration

Now you know why, and a little bit about how an older adult is more at risk of becoming dehydrated. Here comes the important part — how do you prevent dehydration?

Depending on the leading issue causing insufficient water intake, some tools may be more helpful than others. Overall, responsible hydration is the key to keeping anyone healthy.

Keep track, and most importantly, remember the things that bring the most joy! Humans love to eat and drink. Believe it or not, fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water (and fiber!), so if you do not enjoy water itself, it is helpful to eat fruits and veggies. You can also flavor water to make it more delicious.

With that said, you should limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine can overstimulate the bladder and cause you to urinate more than you should. A few cups of coffee or tea, however, do not contain enough caffeine to cause this. Other drinks that should be avoided are very sugary drinks such as soda. They contain an excessive amount of sugar, and your body often tries to get rid of this sugar by having you urinate.

Also, make sure to stay in a cool environment. Too much heat or sun can cause excessive sweating and dehydration. Make sure you take water with you if you are going to be outside in the sun.

Hydration doesn’t have to come exclusively from water. Naturally, you still want to make sure that you get two or three daily glasses of actual water; however, there are some other unexpectedly wholesome sources of hydration:

  • Skim milk
  • Strawberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon (most fruits, in general, have super high water content)
  • Popsicles
  • Broths and soups
  • Yogurt
  • Lettuce, celery, and tomatoes (just like fruits, most veggies have remarkable water content)
  • Flavor additives for water

Keeping Track of Your Hydration

Now you know why, and a little bit about how an older adult is more at risk of becoming dehydrated. Here comes the important part — how do you prevent dehydration?

Depending on the leading issue causing insufficient water intake, some tools may be more helpful than others. Overall, responsible hydration is the key to keeping anyone healthy.

Keep track, and most importantly, remember the things that bring the most joy! Humans love to eat and drink. Believe it or not, fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water (and fiber!), so if you do not enjoy water itself, it is helpful to eat fruits and veggies. You can also flavor water to make it more delicious.

With that said, you should limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine can overstimulate the bladder and cause you to urinate more than you should. A few cups of coffee or tea, however, do not contain enough caffeine to cause this. Other drinks that should be avoided are very sugary drinks such as soda. They contain an excessive amount of sugar, and your body often tries to get rid of this sugar by having you urinate.

Also, make sure to stay in a cool environment. Too much heat or sun can cause excessive sweating and dehydration. Make sure you take water with you if you are going to be outside in the sun.

Hydration doesn’t have to come exclusively from water. Naturally, you still want to make sure that you get two or three daily glasses of actual water; however, there are some other unexpectedly wholesome sources of hydration:
seven cups of water per day.

Here’s an example of a daily hydration schedule:

  • One glass of water when you wake up.
  • Some kind of fluid with breakfast (orange juice or a nice cup of tea)
  • A drink or water-rich food between breakfast and lunch.
  • A drink with lunch.
  • A drink or hydrating snack in the afternoon— afternoon tea, anyone?
  • A drink with dinner
  • A full glass of water before bed (doesn’t need to be at the bedside table if night urination interrupts your sleep)

If you’ve been counting, we’re at roughly seven glasses. Here’s where the schedule comes in. You can make a chart and record precisely what you are having and how you feel at the end of each day. You can do something as simple as put tally marks on a whiteboard for every liquid you have.

If all of this sounds confusing to you, there is one easy way to keep track of your water: see how your urine looks! A very light yellow is a good sign that you are well-hydrated. Urine that is very clear is a sign of too much water, and dark yellow or brown means you should be drinking more water.

The fact is that it’s not an exact science. The point of keeping track of your hydration isn’t to force yourself to drink a rigid eight glasses of water a day; instead, it’s to make sure that you’re getting enough. It’s a ballpark estimate. It’s about being self-conscious, health-conscious, and self-caring.

Hydration Advice for Caregivers

Prompt Them To Drink

Keep a schedule of your loved one’s fluid intake, and do not be afraid to prompt them when the time comes. Chances are, depending on their condition, they may not alert you when they are thirsty, even if you’re right there. It is also a good idea for you to examine the patient’s urine for color and signs of infection such as blood, pus, or cloudiness in the urine.

Color and Flavor

Older persons without natural thirst recognition, especially those who have dementia or Alzheimer’s, are more attracted to bright, colorful, flavorful things. Offer things that are fun and tasty. Would you want to drink water if someone was forcing you to? You’re not even thirsty, and on top of that, it’s difficult to swallow? Probably not. You can also refer to the list of hydrating foods and help them find a favorite, hydrating snack.

Keep Fluids Accessible

An older person with mobility issues may find it a hassle to reach fluids, even when they are very thirsty. Keep a glass or a bottle of something they enjoy next to their favorite chair, within arms reach, or at the very least make cups or glassware an easy grab if they are capable of and interested in fetching their liquids from the fridge. (Note: it is much safer for those with limited mobility to use plastic instead of glass which may shatter and cause injury.)

Keep Track

If an older adult isn’t capable of (or too interested in) keeping track of their hydration, it’s in your hands. The same simple methods can be applied for keeping track of your intake. Tally marks and elaborate charts are helpful.

In Closing

Our bodies are made mostly of water, but that doesn’t mean we have an endless supply. Like a sponge, we dry out if the water doesn’t come from somewhere else. Our bodies, like oil to a machine, function correctly when water maintains them: every single thing in our body works better when hydrated, from moving to digestion, to thinking and speaking properly. As an older adult, don’t risk neglecting maintenance on yourself or your loved one. Staying hydrated can taste good, and, most importantly, it makes you feel your best every day.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hydration

  • Can I drink too much water?

    There is a possibility of drinking too much water. Still, the Mayo Clinic says that it’s an uncommon condition in which your kidneys cannot get rid of excess water, and eventually dilute your blood. But have no fear. You would have to drink a lot of water for this to happen— far more than a few too many glasses.

  • Is it okay to hydrate with coffee?

    The myth that coffee dehydrates you has been debunked. While still a diuretic (makes you urinate more), coffee doesn’t actively dehydrate you or offset hydration. As long as coffee isn’t your primary source of fluids, you’re good to go with a cup of Joe.

  • Do I have to drink plain water at all?

    While it’s possible to get hydrated from various juices, liquids, and snacks, the shortest, most foolproof way to get hydration is through plain old water. Try to get yourself to drink at least a few glasses of purified water per day, to be sure you’re getting hydrated. If you don’t particularly enjoy plain water, you can add sugar-free flavoring to it.

  • Why does my doctor say I should drink a different amount of water than seven to eight glasses?

    Always listen to your doctor! Everyone’s water intake needs are different—and that’s beside the fact that medical conditions and medications affect how your body hydrates. If your doctor says five glasses, drink five. If she says eleven, drink eleven!

98 Comments

  1. Good article but ruined it by referring to “glasses” of water. Is that 4 oz, 6, 8, 10, 12, oz, etc.? Can’t you be precise & go by ozs? Because of that, didn’t get much out of it.
  2. Got out of hospital dehydrated..71..forhead and around nose dry n flaky. Have vertigo from it as well. Dizziness. Weak tired. When i was going to gym always drank plenty but with covid not going .so when I’m just laying around house. Its hard to drink that much. But I’m doing better 32 iz day have to increase 64. I will. Its so important for us. Heart brain and more. Lets do this. We can!
  3. I am 67 years old And I went to see my gynecologist. He said I had traces of blood in my urine and strongly encouraged me to go see urologist. I did not want to go. He told me you don’t want to chance it. I have been his patient for over 30 years and I trust him, I had an MRI contrast for my kidneys Yesterday which I would have avoided but the pain would not go away. I get the results on Monday. I want the advice Of the best bottle water to drink because I get conflicts from trainers . I Live in Florida and I’m hesitant to use tapwater. I would deeply appreciate any assistance you can provide
    1. Don’t drink distilled water. It doesn’t contain minerals your body needs. If you want to avoid tap water, drink bottled water like Poland Springs or non-branded water…
    2. I 74 and live in TX. We have a lot of chemicals in our water, particularly during the summer due to the algae bloom in the lakes. We use a Brita water filter pitcher and it really helps take the chemical taste and smell from the water. My son-in-law got me one that is narrow and it doesn’t take up much room in the fridge. I was depending on bottled water and the water filter pitcher has saved me a lot of money. A filter can be installed on your water supply in the kitchen too.
      1. Go for 8 glasses. A regular table “glass” is normally considered to be 7-8 ounces. Or fill two quart jars and have a drink every time you go past them or use your own method to space them out throughout the day.
  4. I am old, and stubborn. I never, ever drank water I always drank ice tea ( until my teeth started to stain ) I then switched to ginger ale. I had the worse case of dry skin this winter, and it began very early in the season. So, I tried water again-still not a fan-but I am now drinking 67 ozs a day, I must have coffee in the morning, but with in a week, skin much better, face looks better? Not so pale and sickly looking. Any way I’m happy I gave it a shot again.
  5. I’m 70, and have 4 of those fake Yeti 20oz tumblers. $7, from Harbor Freight. I’ll keep one upstairs and down, and perfect for yard work and road trips! It’s an easy way to monitor water input. (I brew a gallon of ice tea, using ONE small spearmint tea bag, giving it a tiny bit of taste. My sons mockingly call it ‘flavored water’, but they love it, when they visit). It will hold ice most of the day. My wife splurged for a real Yeti, but she only has one. Looking at this chart – I need to drink more! But I do start the day with 2 glasses of water. Mostly to ward off kidney stone devils! Another nice thing – the drink stays cold or cool, as you wish. And there’s no condensation or water ring on furniture.
  6. Our son is a singing & guitar teacher & drinks a great amount of tap water. He is active 07/24 a father & an inspiration to his Mother but my husband frequently has seriously high levels of cramp, rolling around on the carpet & then struggles to stand & does not drink enough tap water & has a smart answer. Plus he then gets cramp in bed in the middle of the night. Arrived at kitchen table, to find my hero, at table, with enormous jug of water, over a foot high, drinking water, so my pressure did work, but for how long? Forever I pray. Thanks & have a great relaxing festive time. Sue ????????
  7. I am diabetic man and in my 60’s and my skin is dry and very itchy especially after a shower. It drives me crazy. I have no rashes or any other outward signs and Doctors have no answers for me. Lately my mouth is always dry and I have difficulty swallowing because of it. I think it may be dehydration. I am going to increase my water intake and I am hoping that it will help but I am concerned if I drink before bed that I will be up all night urinating. That’s my only worry.
  8. I started to drink 2 liters of water per day for a week. I can see changes in my face and my heel cracks was reduced and its done a magic.
  9. I am 85 years old and usually drink a lot of water, since we were traveling and staying in a hotel, I did not think about drinking water…when I was home I took one of my pitcher and drew a line with a magic marker to indicate 8 glasses of water which would remind me to drink….after 5 day of not drinking water I was feeling very very weak and had a headache . I went to the emergency and found out that I was dehydrated..after drinking 4 glasses of water I felt better…LESSON LEARNED..DRINK YOUR WATER….
  10. I wish I had known sooner to drink so much water. I drank diet mountain dew and maybe 2, 8 oz. Glasses of water when taking my prescriptions. I’m pretty healthy for not have been drinking so much soda. Hopefully. I will start feel in ng more intergetic!
  11. My husband has dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons. He has foley cath full time changing it now every 2 wks due to UTIs. He has problem of excessive secretions in his throat. How much water a day? He is bedfast. He weighs 165 lbs. he is otherwise healthy and eats well. He has to be suctioned some for excessive secretion issues.
  12. Wow. This is great. My Mom is 100 last Dec and drinks 4 or 5 glasses a day. I think it does make a difference and keeps the UTI away. Thank you everyone for all the input. It really helps to hear how others are doing. Giselle*
  13. I drink 16oz bottles 10&15 all day and night if I’m up. If I gotta pee when in bed tired, lazy to get up I can’t get back into bed the same way as I was, SO what I do all the time I use my pee bottle from when I was in the Hospital and go right back to sleep not unless it’s full but I have two. I’ve learned to plan ahead and it works. Just wash out with Clorox, the best way to clean it and no odor, TRY IT!!
  14. I am 65 and still working/active. For the past 5 o 6 years I have had frequent severe headaches starting at the top of the neck. Occasionally they have escalated to a really debilitating, pulsing pain. The pain usually connects to one or other temple and occasionally down to the hip. I had monthly migraines with aura since puberty and since menopause I have occasional migraine auras with little o no pain. I have recently found out that drinking ALOT more water elimates all this! Clearer, calmer mind and little or no pain, although it is obvious that my neck vertebrae are starting to grind together. I remember several years algo that a chiropractor told me my joints were dry; it took me a long time to act on her advice!
  15. I am an 82 yr.old and take herbal products to keep blood pressure normal-My BP went up and was instructed to drink 170 oz, daily to lower it.Is that safe for me?? My pressure has been controlled for just over a year on my herbal in take. Thanks for any input Audrey
    1. I’m one of many who doesn’t drink water, never have…have two coffees a day, a beer if weather is hot..worked for thirty years in extreme heat..(N.W Australia) but still never consumed water. Health seems okay (age 76). Resting heart rate is around 46/48 ….don’t exercise much but do walk around five kms a day…just never get thirsty !
      1. What you are doing re hydration is not healthy. For one thing, coffee is a diuretic so it can’t be considered a source of hydration. Please talk with your doctor. And you also may not know is that we old people don’t feel thirsty even when we’re dehydrated. Which is one of the top reason why so many of us older ones are dehydrated.
  16. I read thru and enjoyed this post. I was concerned about hydration and noted I am doing well most days. those night time leg cramps are to be avoided and keeping hydrated is a waaaaaaaaaay big deal in that concern. Thank all of you for your posts. By the way I consume about 80 ounces of water(alone) a day plus a cup of coffee in the morning.
  17. 85 years young Advice given me was “to assist children to cure bed-wetting, give only one drink after 3pm.” It worked for a very embarrassed boy. Now part of the family mantra.
    1. I collapsed ( 83 age ) in hotel room. Walked 14 km in city and museum. Ate breakfast at 10:30 am .did not eat again . No water all day. Had Healthy spa drink that was veggie. Got back at 6pm after hours at museum. Had a rum )2 oz ) and collapsed on floor and took 6 stiches stitches over my eye and got back to room at 1 am. . Dehydration was no 1 cause.
  18. Have read all the comments. I too have been having issues lately with not enough water. 67 year old retired female good health, family of 4. I havd been putting 3 drops kemon barley water in each glass as I hate the water taste. Is this ok for 8 glasses per day?
    1. Have you tried Smart Water? It was the only water that I could stand the taste of during chemo. I am hooked on it now. Has no taste at all.
      1. I would do Liquid IV which is essentially 3 bottles of water to one packet. They come in different flavors and you can buy different flavors.
    2. I’m 65 yrs. I drink 2.300 lleterof water every day. Is it ok for my age. Bt I feel sleep always . Can u reply me pls
  19. This reading has been very interesting. I just don’t get thirsty & really find water very boring however, since I lost my instruction booklet on what to do when you get past seventy 70 (l am 75). It is not for sissys! Your article was a goodgood reminder. So I am going to start doing much better on hydration! Thanks for all the goog information!
    1. Interesting. This implies you may have been “dehydrated” for much of your long life. You know, most institutional “experts” that publish “science” are clueless fakes hiding behind and supported by the unnatural miasma of corrupt modern “institutions”. They are not Einsteins. More like temporary high school teachers in intellect. If you drink too much, you will become hypotonic. Over 3 litres on a cool, lazy day is rather a lot of water… That is not to say dehydration should not be adressed, however. Just drink if you haven’t had a pee for a couple of hours or if your pee is not pale. Ane when you are thirsty, of course. “Listen to” the body. It is the real expert.
      1. By the time you feel thirsty or urine is dark, your body is already dehydrated, so waiting until those events occur and guzzling water is not the solution. It is best to drink moderate quantities of water and throughout the day rather than “binge drink” to keep from getting dehydrated in the first place.
          1. I am a 66 year old woman. I drink over a gallon of water a day ( I know this because I have gallons of water delivered bi-weekly. I am a four year breast cancer survivor & have osteoporosis, degenerate disc disease & osteoporosis & arthritis, & had three small cysts on my parathyroid that disappeared. Is drinking over a gallon of water a day too much? I’m always thirsty ( which I blame on my medications). How does one know if you are dealing from “water intoxication? My friend said they have it. It that a real thing?
      2. Could not agree more. No one “really” knows how much water we need, I am not going to sit here and gag at drinking another glass of water. I drink about 3-4 glasses of water a day and for me that is enough. My doctor yesterday said that is way too little. We always did fine drinking when we wanted to, yes, yes I have heard not to wait till I am thirsty, when in doubt pull the skin on your hand it should bounce right back. I am 72 and frankly tired of being told what to do at my age than when I was a child!!
        1. I appreciated your comments. I feel the same way. It is very unpleasant and upsetting to me to force myself to drink more than I want. I can drink more and enjoy it by making spritzers from my favorite fruit juices mixed with seltzer water. My current favorites are peach and apricot juice. Usually I put in up to 1/3 glass of juice and 2/3 water, but that is my personal preference.
      3. Aquaman If I saw your post earlier, My late Mum who was 93 yrs old will be still alive. I have been brain washed and drowned by water marketing from Kidney foundation. Such as mild dehydration will cause permanent kidney damage. In fact older people need less water intake because they are more likely to excrete less. Since someone was 30 yrs old, Kidney function started to decline. When there is overhydration, elderly can get water intoxication due to low sodium because of high fluid intake. For elderly with weak kidney function, they are prone to get Hypervolumeia(Fluid overload). If there is one episode of volume overload, there will be heart failure, high blood pressure, swelling, slowing or fasting heart rate, ruining of heart muscles and lung congestion. Fluid distribution system has been changed after volume overload and irreversible. Nausea, headache, bloating tummy are part of the symptoms of failing heart. If there is no congnitive impairment, elderly should pay extra precaution for proper hydration. Less is better than more for Seniors.
    2. From one Reesie to another: drinking more has totally improved my overall health and well-being … lowered my BP, stopped night leg cramps, helped me to lose weight…. keep up the goodgood work, flower girl!
  20. Ice Water (made from my own water) versus plain tap water which is healthier? I drink 8-10 16 oz. ice water daily my sister in law says this is not healthy should not be using the ice. Please help! Thank you in advance.
    1. Tap water provides many more nutrients than bottled but if your filteri my your tap water it won’t remove the beneficial nutrients
    2. She is right Cold water not good raises BP hzrdens fatty foods in body. Hot water also not good. Only warm water closest to body temp. Tea ok warm.
      1. That’s a pretty flippant answer. At age 75, I haven’t slept thru the night for 25 years, as I get up every 2 hours to pee. Sleep is also important. Surely there has to be a balance.
          1. I am 72 and have IBSD. Drinking more than 34-40 oz per day brings on an episode that leaves me weak and dehydrated. It can be a vicious circle.
        1. I’m 78, and my M.D. says “to stay hydrated, drink about 64 oz. (8-8 oz glasses, per day).” Generally, pace the water intake so bedtime is about 4 hours away … that should help reduce sleep interruption to maybe once or no times per night. So, for example, I go to bed about 11:00 P.M. every night, and rise at 5:00 or 5:30 A.M. next morning — usually that’s when it’s time to use the bathroom. Immediately after that, I have an 11 ounce bottle of Ensure Max (30 grams of Protein) and an 8 oz. glass of water. The shower is next, followed by another 8 oz. glass of water. It’s nearly 7:00 A.M. – so 5 more 8 oz. glasses of water, juice, over the next 12 hours amounts to an 40 oz. as water or, maybe some fruit like watermelon to carry the day. For me, that means 67 ounces +/- per day. The benefits are immense.
    1. Hi Frank, I had the same problem. After I was cleared by my doctor that there was no underlying medical problem, this what works for me. I drink 1 litre of water from the time I wake up at 6 a.m. until noon then another litre of water from noon to 6 p.m. (1 litre is just a bit over 32 ounces.) This help to keep me hydrated throughout the day. I don’t add commercial powders or squirts to the water because of the chemicals. If I have juice, I do not include juices in this amount; mostly because of the high sugar content. I have changed my night-time med schedule from bedtime to morning before breakfast so there is no need for additional fluids at night to take them. If my mouth feels “dry” before I go to bed, I rince my mouth with water. However, it is worth noting my mouth only feels dry if I have eaten something too salty or sugary. So, even this can be managed by better diet. As I am not dehydrated by the end if the day, there is no need for additional water after 6 p.m. Of course, there may be times when you want to enjoy a beverage in the evening, but you won’t be playing catch up on your hydration. I wish you health.
    2. Put a large bottle beside your bed to pee in. Make sure it has a secure lid.This saved my brother from nightly trips when he was recovering from a broken back. You’ll go right back to sleep, promise.
  21. I am 77 and very active. I’ve started drinking a glass of water right before going to bed and usually, I no longer have to get up to urinate during the night.
  22. This is one awesome post Amie? I try to drink water every now and then – before going to sleep, after I wake up (Studies say that water can help to restart our organs), and during my meals. Currently, I don’t track my water intake, but I am going to start doing it. As tracking is the only way we know for sure whether we have accomplished our goals. I do carry around my own water bottle (20 oz) so tracking will not be tough for me ? Also I try to make water more interesting, I usually go with iced tea ? I don’t have a measuring cup, so I am just going to try and finish my bottle 3 times a day ? (that will get me close to my daily intake needed :D). Anyways, thank you for the comprehensive post ? Water has so many benefits and yet many of us forget to drink enough of it everyday and most of us are not aware of what our daily intake should be.
    1. There is an exercise to stop leg cramps before they start. I used to have a lot of them and it works. Stretch legs while lying down pulling your feet up towards you while keeping legs flat. Hold that position for a second or two then relax. Repeat a few times.This stretches the calf muscles and really does work. As well as water of course.
    2. I found that taking potassium and magnesium (helps the potassium absorption) eliminates leg cramps. This is the first time I have heard that drinking water will do that. BTW I am 74 years old and fairly healthy.
  23. Benefits of drinking water should be known and apply in our lives which is an essential part of the human life. Research showed that optimal hydration reduces the risk of stroke, manages diabetes and guard against many kinds of cancers. Want to know more about benefits of drinking water or Advantageous Impact of Water over the Human health? Please read our full article…
    1. Pity Aged Care facility’s do not see the importance of getting the Clients/Residents to drink water- my experience in such places is they are lucky to drink 2 glasses of water per day- so dreadful, people constantly dehydrated, affecting body & mind…sad
      1. I have found that too. My father died from complications of dehydration. It’ s been in my experience the older generations just weren’t big water drinkers, so I just push fluids, whether decaf, tea, water down juice or ensure. If I get them to take in at least 48 ounces of fluid a day not including fluids from food by a non active senior that’s a good day.
  24. Many elderly people have kidney issues and should check with their doctor on how much water to drink daily due to their kidneys not functioning properly. I had this problem dealing with my father who lived in the Phoenix desert where it’s very hot and people normally think “drink water, drink water, drink water, so you don’t get heat stroke, etc.”.
  25. I was told by a medical professional that an elderly person should not drink as much water as a younger person because it flushes the electrolytes from our body. Have I been misinformed?
    1. I’m certain you have been misinformed. The elderly need plenty of water. I’m a caregiver and I can tell you first hand that if they don’t get enough water (I use half their body weight in ounces of water, ex.. weigh 150 lbs, give 75 ounces of water a day) then they will be so confused, tired, urinary tract infections, muscle aches, joint aches, constipation, etc. Elderly people don’t usually get thirsty until they are very dehydrated. You can’t wait that long. Encourage them to drink all day long and MEASURE their water intake. Seriously… water is life for the older folk.
      1. Yes check with your doctor. Too much water can cause muscle tremors and seizures . It depends on the diagnosis esp in the elderly.
    2. This happened to my Mom several times. The reason is the older you get the organ of the body are not as efficient and pass through the body without the good of nutrients your body needs. She was hospitalized many time for electrolytes low and took IVs of sodiun and potassium and was like watering a wilted flower.
    1. Minimum 57 oz of water. Good rule of thumb is half their body weight in ounces of water. If they weigh 150lbs, they need 75 ounces per day. Their joints, organs, brains, muscles, etc are getting older and don’t work as well as when they were younger. I can’t stress this enough… the elderly need WATER. I’m a caregiver and if my clients don’t get enough water, they get so confused, fatigued, their muscles and joints hurt, they get urinary tract infections, they get over medicated, constipated, etc. I’ve found that many of my clients weren’t sick… they were thirsty!
      1. Hi Diana, I’m 71 and in good health. I haven’t paid much attention to water most of my life. I drink if I’m thirsty, But …. I read your comment and thought maybe I should learn something. I’ve lived alone for 20 years and food and drink, I mostly wing it. I DO take vitamins and see a Dr. regularly. This may sound stupid, but cola is a regular part of my day. Caffeine does not affect me. Sometimes I have a cup of coffee before bed because the warm of it lets me relax. So why is coffee or soda bad when they ACTUALLY ARE 90% water. Why does water have to be ” real ” or clear ? I don’t understand the true water story. Thanks for listening, LINDA. J.
        1. Linda, Certain beverages (those that contain caffeine) and foods (like asparagus and watermelon) are diuretics; in other words, they work to REMOVE water from your system, and speed up dehydration. When you have edema (retaining water in the legs etc.) eating asparagus and watermelon are healthy and safe ways to move the water out. However, drinking caffeine is extremely bad for keeping hydration; plus the huge amount of sugar in colas is also another health risk. Just because water is one of the ingredients in these drinks doesn’t mean that it isn’t completely made useless in your effort to hydrate due to the other chemicals involved.
          1. you really need to do some research on this. Seriously, I believe you are putting our erroneous information. I hope no one takes your advise. Watermelon is a great way for water intake; I believe it is one of the best. And coffee as well as tea also can help with the intake of fluids.
  26. Nice to read your information of drinking of water Thanks a lot Please keep educating people more and more .
  27. I am a 75 yr old woman. I just spent a day in the hospital being rehydrate. It wasn’t fun and I thought I drank plenty of water during the day. Obviously I didn’t drink enough. I awoke at 3am with stomach pain and diarrhea (I get diarrhea when I am stressed) . Every part of my body ached and I had a severe headache but I didn’t have any idea what the signs of dehydration were. It seems that the elderly need to be made aware of how serious dehydration can be not just how to prevent it. Thanks for your blogs Susan Dade
    1. I am a caregiver for a 95 year old man that weighs 160 pounds and has dementia. I’m here to tell you that if we don’t get him to drink AT LEAST 80 ounces of water (we usually give him 100 ounces) he gets so lethargic, has falls, gets recurring bladder infections, and gets so confused he can’t remember his 3 son’s names. A good rule of thumb is at least half of your body weight in ounces of water. But it all depends on what you eat, medications, exercise, kidney/bladder function, etc. We also give him a pinch of himalayan salt on his tongue at night to help him stay hydrated and we put trace mineral drops in his water for electrolytes. It’s been 2-1/2 years of this regime and all is good.
      1. Thanks for your information, Diana. It is so hard to get mama to drink, plus she strangles a lot on fluids, even thickened. May I ask what kind of mineral drops you give your 95 year old man? Thanks! Theresa
        1. Sorry Theresa! I just saw this. We used 2 different ones. We used Trace Minerals liquid for a while, then we switched to Power Paks by Trace Minerals with 1200mg Vit C because it was easier to measure in his water. We eventually just started putting half teaspoon of himalayan pink salt in half gallon of water and got him to drink that every day. I think that worked even better as far as keeping him hydrated.
  28. Thank you for this . my 90 year old mom how much does she absolutely need? she drinks 1 glass coconut water, 2 ener-c waterbased 1 cup of coffee a.m, about 2-3 glasses water, plus 1 ensure daily. she goes for 3-4- 25 min. walks daily up low grades and down. thank you .
  29. I am 86 I find I need water, 250 ms in a glass nearly every 2 hours during day. Without it I start to feel weak, dizzy and light headed, as though I will fall and there was a time recently when I had missed water for about 4 hours I found that when I tried to remember the phone numbers of certain people I was not able to remember what their names were. I decided to have a large glass of water and lie down for a quarter of an hour or so – and then my mind started to clear and I felt my usual self. Very scary. Also of a night I frequently found my mouth was very dry with tongue sticking to cheeks and roof of mouth – not pleasant – water again to rescue. So I need around just over 2 litres each day. It works for me.
    1. Hi Colleen- have you talked to your Dr. about this? Increased thirst is one of the symptoms of diabetes, I would make sure to discuss with your physician. Best, Amie

  30. How much water an individual needs to drink usually differs from person-to-person. However, 8 glass a day seems to be the norm. I like the time break up that you have mentioned as to the best times to drink water. Really helpful! Will surely follow it. Thanks for this post!
  31. Great Article! Its very important to drink sufficient amount of water as it will keep body hydrating. It will also removed toxics from body.
  32. I appreciate reading your blog and have also written about the importance of older people’s drinking enough water. I know you’ll want to check out this Huffington Post article–http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/online-myths_n_3954799.html–where Mayp Clinic weighs in about the inaccuracy of quoting one of their physicians about drinking water before going to bed to avoid heart attacks.
    1. Thank you Susan! We’ve made the appropriate edit, and appreciate you setting the record straight. Come back and visit us again!

      1. I visit often and will certainly continue, Amie. Those of us writing blogs focusing on older people often address the same subject from a different perspective. I invite you to check http://helpparentsagewell.com/2012/07/28/aging-parents-thirst-dehydration-in-the-heat-of-summer-or-any-time/ plus the post that follows (with the quick test for hydration).
          1. 41 yo male living in NYC. I’m 5’7″ tbut weighed just shy of 200 lbs. Determined to lose weight I threw myself back into the gym (3-5 x weekly) maintaining moderate to hard ❤ rate approximately 1.25 hour per sessionnn and lost approx 10 lbs. in 7 months. My goal was/is 170-175; however, I hit a brick wall for several more months as my weight frustratingly fluctuated between 179 lbs to 190. For months I had anxiety abt working out and feeling like my age was the factor. Turns out in an effort to cut out sodas and juices I was over hydrating by drinking nearly a gallon of water each day in addition to water from prepared meals/salads etc. Until one week I traveled and didn’t have accesss to so much water for several days and I started losing weight despite not being able to be as active or work out during my travel. Confused, I googled “how much does a gallon of water weigh” and the result I got was 8 lbs. So I started reducing my water intake to approx 28-36oz. After 2 weeks with regular exercise routine I lost approx 12 lbs as my weight only varied by 3 lbs between 175 lbs & 178 lbs. And now I notice when the variance is related to how much I drink. The closer I stay 30 oz of water the more the scale stays at 175.

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