Do yourself a favor and pour a tall glass of water before you read this. Trust me. You’re going to want it in about three minutes.
It turns out there’s a good chance you’re thirstier than you realize – dehydrated, even.
Because while you might THINK you’d notice something like that, new research reveals how millions of older Americans are parched without realizing it. And that could have an impact on your health in ways you may not even recognize.
In one specific case, it could even have utterly devastating consequences.
But the solution couldn’t be simpler. Do this ONE thing now, and you’ll never have to face any of those risks.
Dehydration danger rises with age
The truth is NO ONE really knows what the “right amount” of water to drink is. Besides, most experts agree it almost certainly varies from person to person.
And trust me, I’m not one of those water nuts pushing glass after glass after glass ALL DAY long. But one thing we do know is MOST seniors are falling short and in danger of becoming dehydrated.
When you’re younger, you have a pretty simple mechanism for ensuring you stay hydrated. You get thirsty. And when you feel dry, you get something to drink.
The system works so well it’s hard to imagine it would ever fail. But it DOES. And it turns out it’s for a variety of reasons.
As you get older…
- muscle loss leads to lower water reserves in the body
- kidneys struggle to retain water
- hormones that tell you to drink short-circuit
- medications can interfere with water retention
- drugs can also interfere with thirst signals
Any one of those conditions could lead to at least mild dehydration. Which, in turn, can cause problems such as feeling a little light-headed and not quite like yourself. The kinds of symptoms that many of us might find easy to dismiss as just a sign of aging, perhaps, or a medication side effect.
But dismissing them could turn out to be a BIG mistake. Because dehydration… even mild dehydration… could mess with cognitive function, causing scores to plunge on tests of attention, processing speed, and working memory.
Hydrate to dodge stroke damage
The good news is it could all be resolved with a cup of water. Or tea. Or coffee. Or even many fruits and berries, which are practically water in the shape of food.
Whatever the form, focus on fitting some extra water into your routine even when you aren’t feeling particularly thirsty. Because this new study shows how missing out can have a very specific impact on your brain, especially in older women.
But cognitive struggles might not even be the worst of it. There’s another situation in which even mild dehydration could have MAJOR consequences. And that’s if you should have a stroke.
Folks who are dehydrated at the time of a stroke have DOUBLE the risk of long-term impairment afterward.
So, now about that glass of water you poured earlier. I’ll bet you’re just about ready for it now. Go ahead and drink up.