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Did you know that as adults age, the sense of thirst becomes less sensitive and attuned to the body's need for fluids? Lack of thirst, however, does not indicate the body needs fewer fluids throughout the day. According to the Mayo Clinic, adult males need on average 3 liters of fluid per day and females should consume about 2.2 liters of fluid per day. Fluids are important because water is essential for proper function of the body’s organs and cells. In fact, water makes up more than 60 percent of body weight.
When not enough fluids are consumed, a person may become dehydrated, a condition that can lead to exhaustion and low blood pressure. Older adults are at higher risk for dehydration because of a decreased sense of thirst and because many medications increase urination. To stay hydrated, men and women should aim for more than two liters of fluid per day. Fluids can include water, juice, milk, popsicles, soups and fruits. Fluids which contain caffeine should be limited due to the increase in urine output that caffeine causes. Alcoholic beverages also have diuretic effects and may increase urine output.
For a fun, tasty way to stay hydrated, try this recipe for Raspberry Ginger Ale Punch from Food Network's Paula Deen.
Raspberry Ginger Ale Punch
1 (2 liter) bottle raspberry ginger ale, chilled
2 cups pineapple juice, chilled
1 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
Lime slices, for garnish
Using a large pitcher, mix pineapple juice, limeade concentrate and ginger ale, stirring to combine. Top off with lime slices.