Our bodies are about two-thirds water, and we typically lose some of that water each day through sweat, tears and exercise. Lost water is easily replaced by drinking more water and eating foods with high water content, such as squash, celery and watermelon. But if you forget to incorporate enough water into your daily diet, you can become dehydrated.
Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you have taken in. Small changes in your body’s water level often go unnoticed and do not cause problems, but losing larger amounts can cause you to feel sick. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney failure, seizures and brain swelling. Older adults tend to become dehydrated more often than their younger counterparts due to a variety of reasons such as medications, decreased mobility and less efficient kidneys.
Deborah Kurzrock, R.D., a registered dietitian who works in Radiation Oncology at Mills-Peninsula’s Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center in San Mateo, says it’s important to stay hydrated and drink a variety of fluids.
“If you’re thirsty, that’s a signal that you’re not drinking enough. It’s important to keep on top of your fluid intake throughout the day,” Kurzrock says.