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  • Jul 08, 2018

Let's drink to summer

The average adult needs 48-64 ounces of fluid each day.

By Elizabeth Stanton, Registered Dietitian, Elder Service Plan.

As the warm weather continues, it is important to remember to stay hydrated. Older adults and those with chronic illnesses are at greater risk for dehydration due to decreased thirst sensation, lower food and beverage intake, and medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes and kidney disease.

Thirst is a normal indicator of the body’s fluid needs, but it is not always reliable. The body is already mildly dehydrated by the time an average person starts to feel thirsty.

Dehydration can affect cognitive performance such as vision, tension, anxiety, fatigue and memory. Dehydration has also been linked to a negative mood, impaired motor performance, and short-term memory loss.

Severe dehydration can result in confusion, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, and in the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness.

How much fluid does a person need?
The average adult needs 48-64 ounces of fluid each day. Fluid needs increase on hot days or if you are ill with fever, diarrhea or vomiting. To help keep track of your daily fluid intake, try filling a container of water and keep it in your refrigerator.

Contrary to popular belief, water is not the only source of fluid. Fluid sources include coffee, tea, juice, milk, gelatin, ice cream, popsicles, sherbet and soup. Some fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, are also good sources of fluid. If you are trying to control your weight, your diabetes, or simply want to avoid extra calories and sugar, water is the best choice for fluid.

Do you know someone 55+ who needs extra support to stay healthy in their home and community? If so, meet the team at CHA’s PACE program and call 617-575-5850. CHA can help older adults who have comprehensive health and social needs that affect their daily lives.

This articles provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

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