A new study found that staying hydrated may actually benefit healthy aging. What are some simple ways people can stay hydrated better?
In the study, published Monday in eBioMedicine, a team of researchers tested the hypothesis that having optimal hydration may slow down aging in people.
“It is known that some people age faster than others, some people live into old age disease-free, while others develop age-related chronic diseases,” they wrote. “(F)inding mechanisms and implementing preventive measures that could slow down the aging process has become a new challenge for biomedical research and public health.”
Indeed, the researchers found that those who stayed well-hydrated developed fewer chronic conditions, were healthier, and tended to live longer than those who, perhaps don’t get enough fluids, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) noted in a news release.
On the other hand, those who had serum sodium levels “in the upper part of the normal range”–this increases as people drink less fluids–tended to have higher risks of developing chronic diseases, were biologically older, and die at younger ages.
“The results suggest that proper hydration may slow down aging and prolong a disease-free life,” one of the study authors, Natalia Dmitrieva of the NHLBI, said in the release.
Although the researchers noted that further studies are needed to confirm the link between hydration and aging, staying hydrated has been known to be important to the body. From keeping the cells of the body functioning properly to regulating body temperature, staying hydrated has various key functions for people’s health.
In general, women are said to need 92 ounces (11.5 cups) of water a day, while men need a minimum of 125 ounces (15.5 cups) according to the Mayo Clinic Health System. It’s not uncommon, however, for people to not reach this daily intake requirement.
Here are some simple tips for drinking more water and staying hydrated. (Courtesy: the Mayo Clinic, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL), and Healthline)
Carry water with you
It may be easier to remember to drink water if you have it with you. Taking it on the go in a water bottle from home may help remind you to drink water throughout the day.
Another way to drink more water is to track it, whether by using an alarm or an app or simply taking note of how much water one has already taken. This doesn’t mean getting obsessed with it, though, but just being more aware and reminding oneself to stay hydrated.
Have it in different ways
On days when plain water just doesn’t feel enough, people can still stay hydrated by having it in different ways. For instance, they can flavor their water by infusing it with herbs and fruits. Or perhaps by consuming fruits and veggies that are high in water content. Some examples include cucumbers, berries, cabbage and melon.
Even other beverages like skim milk are said to have good hydration properties, and that’s along with the other nutrients that it contains.
Add it to a routine
Those who find that they’re still a bit forgetful about hydration may try adding it to their existing routine. For instance, if they keep forgetting to drink water throughout the day, they can simply keep in mind to drink a glass of it after they brush their teeth or after using the bathroom.
Having a glass of water before meals may even provide other benefits, as it also helps digest food better and the body to feel full faster.
Have a hydration buddy
Sometimes it’s easier to take on a challenge if one does it with a friend, and this may apply even when it comes to hydrating. Having an accountability partner to remind you to stay hydrated, or perhaps even challenge each other to drink more water, may provide a bit of healthy motivation.
Have a nice cup you actually like
It may sound simple, but having a bottle that a person enjoys seeing and using may help motivate them to drink more water. It may also help if the bottle has measurement markers to keep track of the water intake or even motivational quotes to keep them going.