Healthy Aging Tips: Benefits of Hydration Whether You are 5 or 95!
Think drinking enough water isn’t important? Think again! Here is the second instalment in the "Healthy Aging Tips" series.
The adult body is at least 60% water (Haas, Elson M.. Staying Healthy with Nutrition, rev (p. 13). Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale. Kindle Edition). Water is the primary component of all bodily fluids. Experts believe that many individuals are walking around in a dehydrated state every day, and this contributes to an unhealthy body.
As you age, it is critical to ensure that you are getting enough water to maintain bodily functions. The benefits of drinking enough water far outweigh running to the bathroom many times a day!
Here are some of the benefits of hydration as you age.
Increases Your Blood Circulation
If you want to maintain healthy blood circulation, then drink more water each day. The blood in your body is made up mainly of water (with proteins, ions, nutrients, and wastes mixed in). When you are dehydrated or not drinking enough water, your blood circulation begins to decrease which can lead to changes in blood pressure, feelings of lethargy and dizziness, among other things.
Maintains Your Brain's Functions
Dehydration can reduce the brain’s activity, leading to unusual symptoms such as mental confusion, dizziness or memory loss. As the dehydration progresses, you may develop delirium. The brain has a high-water content and so it makes sense that staying hydrated is good for brain health!
Supports Your Immune System
Water helps keep your urinary tract and kidneys healthy. When you drink at least eight glasses of water each day, your body is better able to flush away the toxins that can contaminate your cells. Your urinary tract needs a lot of water to eliminate the chemicals and bacteria that you ingest daily. By eliminating dangerous toxins quickly, you can help fight everyday illnesses such as influenza and colds.
Normalizes Your Blood Pressure
Water helps regulate blood pressure. If you aren't drinking enough water, then your pituitary gland will increase the production of vasopressin or the antidiuretic hormone. This natural chemical regulates the body’s retention of water. When it is low, your kidneys may excrete too much water, causing frequent urination. When it is high, your kidneys may reabsorb water as opposed to passing it in urine. Both conditions can lead to dehydration. High concentrations of vasopressin can cause your blood vessels to constrict, making it more difficult for your heart to pump blood. This can lead to high blood pressure that causes headaches and can also lead to a stroke. In addition, chronic abnormal blood pressure can harden the arteries and blood vessels in your body.
Controls Your Blood Glucose Levels
Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine. If you have diabetes, it is essential to maintain your blood sugar levels to prevent complications. As noted above, blood is made up primarily of water. If your body is dehydrated, blood flow to your organs can be compromised, for example kidney function. By drinking more water, you can address the kidney problems that commonly occur with diabetes.
Preventing Dry Eye Conditions
If your eyes feel dry and itchy most of the time and you’ve seen your eye doctor to rule out any serious issue, the problem may be that you aren't drinking enough water. When your eyes are dry, you will rub at the eyeballs, eyelids and the area around the eyes to create moisture while eliminating discomfort. By rubbing the delicate skin around your dry eyes, however, you are irritating and stretching the skin in that area, which can lead to crow's-feet and wrinkles. Begin to drink more water each day to prevent a dry eye condition along with aging wrinkles.
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Yours in health and wellness,
Francine Alleyne (RHNP™)
Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner™
and Registered Health & Nutrition Counsellor™
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DISCLAIMER: Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing any symptoms. I am not a doctor. This post and anything else you find on my website is intended for informational, educational and self-empowerment purposes ONLY and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease.