Generations Magazine - April-May 2016 - Why Drink More Water - image 01

… because it puts a smile on your face, and a more positive outlook on life.

It is amazing that normal activities of the human body result in a loss of two to three quarts of water daily. This water needs to be replenished to maintain an optimum health profile. Just a two percent drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and reading skills and difficulty staying focused.

The more we age, the less we feel thirsty, and the less water we drink. Confusion between hunger and thirst may cause us to eat instead of drink. To maintain health in our elder years, it is very important to build good habits that keep our bodies properly hydrated — drinking the right amount of ionized water will keep our bodies healthy.

How do we lose water?

We lose the most water through urination. Healthy kidneys filter our blood and excrete by-products as liquid urine. Diuretic medications cause the body to purge more fluid. If you have kidney disease or take “water pills,” your doctor will give you special instructions on how much water you may drink every day.

Warm weather in Hawai‘i causes us to perspire and lose water. Some chronic disease conditions also cause us to sweat more.

Dry, climate-controlled environments dehydrate skin, nasal passages and mouths. Every time we breathe out, our lungs lose moisture.

A smaller but important source of dehydration comes with the use of laxatives and other remedies for constipation. Increasing fiber for regularity and to keep our gut healthy requires increasing water intake at the same time. When we have bouts of diarrhea it is very important to drink water to replace lost fluid.

A properly hydrated body can maintain proper blood and tissue composition. Joints are lubricated, body temperature is regulated and lungs and airway are moistened for proper breathing. Over time, inadequate hydration or dehydration may lead to arthritic conditions, sore muscles, labored breathing and increased body temperatures.

Symptoms of dehydration:

Chronic fatigue and lethargy
Labored Speech
Chronic pain
Dry Mouth
Sunken Eyeballs
Passing only small amounts of dark, deep yellow odorous urine

Other Complaints with dehydration:

Loss of muscle tone
Excess weight gain
Slowing of the metabolism
Organ failure
Dry skin
Digestive complications
Persistent constipation

Seniors may get dehydrated without knowing it, and experience chronic physical and mental problems that could be easily corrected by drinking adequate amounts of the right kind of water. Unless your doctor has asked you to restrict your water intake, drink two to three quarts of ionized water every day — it takes a little practice, so start now. Here’s to your health!


Alan Matsushima, Health and Wellness Consultant

808-384-7354  |