By Rebecca Fending
As the summer season and promise of fair-weather fun approaches, so does the risk of dehydration and heatstroke. And although it’s American Stroke Awareness Month, who’s to say that heatstroke can’t be included in that?
According to Healthline, seniors are at a higher risk of dehydration for a multitude of reasons. One of which is a lowered thirst response. Although you may be in need of water, the trigger in your mouth and body may not be relaying the message to your brain.
Seniors also experience a high risk of dehydration as they generally have less water in their bodies. Whereas you may have been able to garden all afternoon in your 40s without a glass of water, you need to consume at least one glass in a two-hour window now. Certain medications typically prescribed to seniors can also cause a decrease in hydration for seniors, including many diabetes and hypertension prescriptions.
So, what are some ways to consume more water and stay hydrated as summer advances? Aside from drinking water (which can get boring), below are several methods to ward off dehydration.
Prioritize your health this summer with:
- Focus on fruits and veggies: This can be an especially easy summer strategy as there are so many fruits and vegetables currently in season. Most produce contains a high water content in its flesh, namely cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce and even strawberries. Treat yourself to a fresh fruit salad or even make a smoothie to up your hydration levels. If eating lots of fruit isn’t possible for you, opt to experiment with finding your new favorite salad recipe using locally grown veggies!
- Drink more milk: Although this may sound strange, studies have shown that milk is actually more hydrating than water due to the high content of calcium, protein and electrolytes. You don’t have to drink milk plain, however. Add milk to smoothies, have a bowl of cereal or even relive your childhood with a classic glass of Hershey’s syrup and milk.
- Eat more oats: To piggyback off of “drink more milk,” eating more oats is another great way to consume more milk. Add oats, milk, chia seeds and honey to a container and let it sit overnight. The oats will soak up the milk and make it a covert way of hydration. Have the overnight oats for a satisfying, tasty and hydrating start to your day.
When in doubt, have a glass of water, and be sure to listen to your body this summer!