Time & Tide: Your Water Works

One of the most easily overlooked causes for that general feeling of malaise at our age is dehydration.

Water makes up over one-half of our body weight and its importance in maintaining the delicate chemical balances that enable us to function should not be underestimated.

The consequences of even mild dehydration include altered mood, impaired memory, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, anxiety and headaches. Besides the changes in electrolyte balances in the blood, dehydration impacts serotonin levels in the brain and that can affect memory and mood.

An easy way to monitor your hydration level is to check the color of your urine. It should approximate the color of pale straw.   Anything darker than that means you need to drink more.  How much water should you drink? Everyone has heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s about 1.9 liters, which isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations.  Although the “8 by 8″ rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it’s easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as, “Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day,” because all fluids count toward the daily total.

 

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