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The importance of hydration

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Water is fundamental for maintaining the body’s balance. As the main component of blood and lymph, it participates in the processes of digestion, absorption, metabolism, and excretion of metabolites, and is also responsible for maintaining our body temperature.

Did you know that 70% of an adult’s body weight is composed of water? With aging, the amount of water in the body decreases and its percentage reduces to 55%. With this decrease in water, associated with high temperatures and the natural decrease in the feeling of thirst, dehydration easily occurs. There are other factors that can compromise adequate water intake, including mobility, vision, and swallowing difficulties, and cognitive changes.

You can easily identify some signs of dehydration through strong odor and color of urine, decreased sweat production, dry mouth mucosa, reduced skin elasticity, headaches, weight loss, low blood pressure, constipation, tachycardia, and changes in consciousness.

To avoid dehydration and achieve the daily goal of 1.5L to 2L of water (approximately 8 glasses) per day, Nutrialma® recommends:

  • Flavor the water with fruits, spices, or herbs to stimulate its intake. For example, flavor the water with orange slices and mint leaves or apple slices and a cinnamon stick;

  • Include soup in your main meals, as it contains about 88 to 93% water, as well as a high content of vitamins, minerals, and fiber;

  • Add a thickener to the water in case of swallowing difficulties;

  • Consume at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables daily because of their high water content;

  • Drink milk, liquid yogurt, natural fruit juices or infusions with no added sugar, as they are also sources of water.

Reference:

Associação Portuguesa de Nutrição, Hidratação na pessoa idosa, 2015. FCNAUP. Projeto Nutrition UP65

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