Every summer, Radfield Home Care Bexhill, Hastings and Battle run a campaign to encourage our clients and staff to stay hydrated. We call it ‘Aim for Champagne’ after the light straw colour your pee should be if you are drinking enough fluid.
Our bodies are made mostly of water. When you think of all the blood flowing through our hearts and around our bodies and how our eyes and mouths need moisture, not to mention how much we sweat, it’s easy to see fluids keep us going. All parts of our bodies need plenty of moisture to work well. Our kidneys clean our blood and flush impurities out in urine.
Our brains are a jelly-like substance and need liquid to function. Without a good supply of fluids to our brains, we can get headaches, even confused, or dizzy. Our joints and muscles need fluids to help them move freely and our bowels need liquid to keep things running comfortably. Our skin needs plenty of moisture to keep it flexible and soft and help prevent pressure sores and ulcers.
Our bodies need plenty of fluids. Eight glasses of water a day is a commonly suggested amount. Not very appealing for many of us but it isn’t strictly necessary to drink plain water. Adding squash to water can make it taste nicer and there’s nothing wrong with a good cup of tea. After all, many of us have been drinking tea since childhood, it refreshes us and a chat over a cuppa has solved many a problem!
Age UK recommend drinking 6 to 8 cups of liquid a day. This can be made up of any drink you like, although alcohol doesn’t count. In fact, it’s a good idea to drink extra non-alcoholic liquids if you drink alcohol. Plenty of tonic with the gin, or a glass of water before bed will help counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
You can also include liquids in the food you eat if you find it difficult to drink large amounts. Soups, stews, fruit, vegetables and salads all have a high water content and contribute towards good hydration.
How do we know if we are drinking the right amount? The best way is to look at your pee. If it is the colour of champagne, you are doing well.
If it is the colour of lager, you need to drink more. So the paler it is the better. If it has a strong smell and is dark yellow try increasing your fluids. If it doesn’t improve or you have other symptoms then see your doctor.
Other tell-tale signs you are not drinking enough are headaches, low mood, lethargy, getting confused easily or having dry eyes or skin. Again, these can also be symptoms of various illnesses so if they persist see your doctor.
Being well hydrated is beneficial for good health and especially so in warm weather. We perspire to keep cool, and need to drink more to make up for what we lose in sweat on a hot day. It doesn’t always need to be water; in fact, an ice-lolly could be just the ticket in a heatwave.
If you, or someone you care for, is reluctant to drink enough, it is worth asking why and exploring the underlying cause. In many situations it will be possible to overcome the problems or find ways of coping with drinking the right amount.
Get in touch with your local Radfield Home Care office today and find out more about the support we offer and the difference we can make.