Every day, our bodies lose about two to three quarts of fluids that we need to replace by drinking water. However, many people aren't getting the amount of daily fluids they require, which can cause dehydration and a slew of other side effects and health issues. The risk of dehydration is even greater in seniors because of natural changes in the body.
To remedy this hazard, everyone should be sure to drink enough water every day and avoid beverages that can more easily lead to dehydration. Fortunately, there are many ways to dress up water and make it more interesting. Infused water has become a recent trend across food blogs and in households, offering strong sweet flavors without additional calories or sugars.
Dehydration and aging
Staying well hydrated is even more essential as we age, and there are real consequences of not drinking enough water. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, critical mechanisms that regulate water content in the body may change with age. In some cases, seniors may not feel thirsty but could be dehydrated. As the kidneys age, they also lose some of their ability to conserve water, letting more fluids out of the body.
In addition, certain medications and hormonal changes caused by menopause can also have an impact on how the body regulates water. Medications for high blood pressure and depression are diuretic, which means they can quickly dehydrate a person if those fluids aren't replaced regularly. Hydration levels and necessities vary from person to person, but as a person ages, it's essential to take these changes into account with daily habits. Even when someone isn't feeling thirsty, he or she needs to drink about eight glasses of water every day.
Where flavor comes in
Of course, there are many different things you can reach for to drink throughout the day, and just about everyone has a favorite beverage. However, if certain drinks replace regular water throughout the day, it is easier to become dehydrated, particularly if those beverages are diuretics. But you don't have to sacrifice flavor to stay properly hydrated, as there are plenty of healthy drinks that are equally delicious.
One solution is flavored water that is infused by natural fruits. These beverages are easy to make and require just a few ingredients. Plus, they have no unnatural sugar or chemicals like those found in soda or fruit juices. If you've ever taken your water with a slice of lemon, then you already have the gist of these drinks. Infused water brings the idea of natural fruit flavor to another level. Over the past few years, infused water has taken off, giving birth to a whole new genre of drink with a variety of simple recipes. Here are some to try out:
- Lemon, basil and strawberry: This recipe comes from the blog Natasha's Kitchen and involves three ingredients plus water. To make the infused water, cut up four to six strawberries into quarters and slice up half a lemon. Next, give the basil a little scrunch to release the flavor. Fill up a pitcher with the fruit and ice before adding cold water. For best results, wait one hour before drinking this fresh mix.
- Lime, cucumber and mint: If you need something really refreshing, try these three ingredients for a green boost. To concoct this infused water, cut up one full cucumber and one lime into thin slices. You will need about five mint leaves to get enough flavor in a pitcher of water, but you don't need to cut or tear them up. Instead, just give the leaves a twist before placing them with the lime and cucumber slices with ice in the pitcher. Fill with water and leave for one hour.
- Blueberry and orange: For a little more contrast in color, cut up two oranges into thin slices and put them in a pitcher along with a handful of blueberries. Add your ice and water. You can give the oranges a squeeze and slightly squish the berries to add flavor, and this recipe is better when it is chilled for about 24 hours.
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