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  • Cameron Oglesby

Drinking lots of water can be good for your health. Or bad.

Updated: Nov 14, 2021


There’s an old rule of thumb about drinking eight glasses of water a day. Is that enough? Too little? Or too much? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend fluid intake of just under a gallon (3.90975 quarts) for men, just under three quarts (specifically, 2.85306) for women – more if you’re sweating from heat or exercise or dehydrated from high altitude. Anywhere from 45% to 75% of your body weight comes from water – not just water you drink, but also water you eat. Cantaloupe, strawberries, lettuce, cabbage, celery, spinach – and, of course, watermelon – are up to 99% water, pizza as much as 49%. Good for your health Keeping hydrated helps regulate your body temperature, transport nutrients to where they’re needed, maintain brain function, and improve physical performance. It helps prevent nausea, fatigue, constipation, headaches, and dizziness.

Drinking water just before a meal can trick your brain into thinking your stomach’s fuller, reducing the number of calories you eat, particularly if you’re an overweight, older adult. It can also help you burn off calories you do eat, by temporarily boosting your metabolism by 24% over an hour.

If all that weren’t enough, drinking more water can also help prevent kidney stones, relieve headaches, and improve your mood, particularly if you’re an older adult.

But there can also be too much of a good thing.

Bad for your health Drinking too much water at a time can play havoc with your body’s electrolyte levels, lowering the amount of sodium in your blood. That can lead to weakness, confusion, nausea, vomiting and, in severe cases, even death.

It can also overwhelm your kidneys. Though they can excrete up to six gallons of water a day, they can filter and process only 24 to 37 ounces of water per hour. (That’s why it makes sense to spread out your water intake over the day.)

Balance matters Hydration is just one area where striking the right balance – between too much and too little – is crucial.

Senior care is another. Too little care that’s needed can bring about health and safety problems, while too much can undermine elders’ independence and needlessly squander their retirement savings.

That’s why our coordinated, holistic senior care plans are built not on a one-size-fits-all menu of standard services, but on the basis of our thorough, three-part assessment of our clients’ and their families’ needs and desires.

If a senior just needs help with housekeeping and cooking, for example, a full-time companion is a waste of money. But if an elder needs home nursing, a full-time companion instead of a nurse can be a risk to health. If bathing’s difficult, will a walk-in tub and grab rails solve the problem, or is assisted living necessary?

By defining the specific holes in a senior’s safety net, we discover what kind of care, and how much of it, is needed – and what isn’t.

So please contact us for a consultation. It’s a great start to preserving health, independence, and retirement assets. Without your cup running over.

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