HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU BE DRINKING

May 30, 2019

 HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU BE DRINKING

ThedaCare Provider explains the Importance of Hydration in the Human Body 

NEW LONDON, Wis. – When we feel fatigued, irritable and have the occasional headache, there is a possibility these symptoms arise out of a very basic and common problem—dehydration.

“When patients complain of dizziness, lightheadedness and mild headaches, these situations can often improve with increased fluid intake,” said Bryan Hendrickson, MD, a family physician at ThedaCare Physicians-New London. “The best source of hydration is water. Our bodies need water to function properly.”

Hydration becomes even more important as we age, explained Dr. Hendrickson.

“We become more and more sensitive to dehydration with age. It can affect the kidneys, blood pressure and thinking,” he said. “Older people often feel less thirsty, even when their bodies need water. Staying hydrated is also important for safety in taking medications.”

Consider these facts:

  • Our bodies are over two-thirds water, and even our bones are composed of more than 20 percent water.
  • Water is needed to transport all nutrients, hormones and even waste through our bodies.
  • Exercise performance is impaired when an individual is dehydrated by as little as two percent of body weight.
  • An active person who is dehydrated will suffer from reduced blood volume, decreased sweating (the body’s natural cooling system) and an increased core temperature.

A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight (in pounds) and divide it by two. This is the number of ounces of water that you should be drinking each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will need about 75 ounces of water per day, said Dr. Hendrickson.

“If you have kidney or heart problems, though, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the right amount of fluid intake for your situation,” he added. These chronic health conditions require special monitoring for both fluid intake and retention.”

Try these tips to keep you and your family members hydrated:

  • To track your water intake, take a water bottle with you throughout the day and set a goal for how many times you need to empty and refill the bottle.
  • See how often you can make water your first choice for a beverage. It can take time to adjust to drinking plain water. If this is difficult, look for healthy alternatives with simple non-sugar flavoring. Add a lime or lemon slice to your water - or try other fruit. Soda, juice, and milk can contribute to hydration, but be cautious about the extra calories. Avoid alcohol, because it dehydrates you, and remember to avoid caffeine for at least four hours before bedtime.
  • Involve young children in your family’s hydration program. For fun, drink straight out of a measuring cup and chart your progress with a graph or stickers.
  • If you don’t haul your own water around in a water bottle you should drink a full glass of water at dawn, at meals and once between each mealtime.

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.