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Stay Hydrated This Summer

Allie Dhuyvetter, R.D., Program Assistant, NDSU Extension Service

Water has a very important role in our body. It helps our cells, tissues and organs operate smoothly. Water also helps us maintain a constant internal temperature, prevents constipation, and cushions our joints and organs.

Exercise, medications or health conditions can alter how thirsty we feel. This is why thirst mechanisms are not always a reliable cue for when we need to drink water. Having a water bottle at work, in the car or in your bag can help remind you to drink water throughout the day.

As we age, the water content of our body decreases causing an increased risk for dehydration. Dehydration is associated with increased risk of falls, urinary tract infections, dental diseases, kidney stones, constipation and impaired cognitive function.  Dehydration is a frequent cause of hospitalization for older adults and can have some serious consequences.

What can you do to help others stay hydrated?

  • Provide beverages such as water, tea, coffee or milk during meals and snacks.
  • Provide access to water at all events. Consider offering small bottles or cups of water during outdoor services and events.
  • Encourage congregants to drink more fluids when temperatures are warmer.
  • Offer fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables typically have a high water content, which can help others meet hydration needs.
  • Consider including foods, such as soup and yogurt, which are naturally high in water on your menu to help others achieve their fluid needs.
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Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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