Jane Fonda, 82, Cindy Crawford, 54, and Julianne Moore, 60, all extol the health benefits of drinking a lot of water every day. And their advice is worth following for both women and men.
A study published in the Journal of Physiology finds that older guys (around 61) are less able to regulate their body temperature than young ones (around 25). Staying well-hydrated counteracts that and other health risks, such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, falls, confusion, and headaches.
Older women face the same risks from dehydration.
Unfortunately, studies also show 31% to 48% of older folks are chronically dehydrated. The reason may be that there's a widespread loss of sensitivity to feeling thirsty caused by factors ranging from the side effects of medications to chronic health issues such as diabetes or obesity.
And for some, the cause of dehydration is simply to avoid frequent bathroom visits. But that can backfire by causing bladder irritation.
To help you get in the habit of drinking enough water, here are five strategies for staying well-hydrated:
1. For a week, write down how much water you drink as you drink it. You'll become consciously aware of your routine.
2. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. Then keep a water bottle with you throughout the day; sip from it at least twice an hour.
3. Add natural flavors like lemon or lime to make water more tasty.
4. Before you have a cup of coffee or another beverage, drink a glass of water.
5. As your furnace or heater cranks up indoors, run a humidifier to counter the dehydrating effects.