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Staying hydrated

Hydration is about more than having a drink when you feel thirsty. An average adult in Australia loses around 2.5 litres of water a day through normal activities.

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Staying hydrated

Studies show that as you age it can become difficult to stay hydrated and detect dehydration (ACG 2022). Learn how to identify the warning signs of dehydration and how to drink enough water each day below.

Important

Drinking too much water can reduce your blood sodium levels to dangerous levels. Some health conditions may need you to limit your water intake. Seek advice from your health professional before making changes to your daily fluid intake.

Studies show that as you age it can become difficult to stay hydrated and detect dehydration (ACG 2022). Learn how to identify the warning signs of dehydration and how to drink enough water each day below.

Important

Drinking too much water can reduce your blood sodium levels to dangerous levels. Some health conditions may need you to limit your water intake. Seek advice from your health professional before making changes to your daily fluid intake.

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Factors that may affect your hydration

Other factors that may affect your hydration include:

  • The side effects of some medications
  • Diseases such as diabetes
  • Excessive sweating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of blood

Other factors that may affect your hydration include:

  • The side effects of some medications
  • Diseases such as diabetes
  • Excessive sweating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of blood
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Benefits of good hydration

  • Increased endurance and lower heart rate during exercise
  • Reduced recovery time after exercise
  • Improved mood
  • Mental clarity
  • Improved health
  • Increased endurance and lower heart rate during exercise
  • Reduced recovery time after exercise
  • Improved mood
  • Mental clarity
  • Improved health
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Risks of dehydration

  • Falling from having low blood pressure
  • Heat injury or heat stroke
  • Urinary and kidney problems
  • Low blood volume shock
  • Delirium or psychosis
  • Seizures
  • In extreme cases, death
  • Falling from having low blood pressure
  • Heat injury or heat stroke
  • Urinary and kidney problems
  • Low blood volume shock
  • Delirium or psychosis
  • Seizures
  • In extreme cases, death
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Warning signs of dehydration

Some early warning signs of dehydration include:

  • Feeling thirsty or having a dry mouth
  • Not passing enough urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Some early warning signs of dehydration include:

  • Feeling thirsty or having a dry mouth
  • Not passing enough urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
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Other signs and symptoms of dehydration can include:

  • Having cracked lips
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Deep or rapid breathing
  • Forgetfulness or confusion
  • High heart rate or low blood pressure
  • Dry or sticky mucus around your mouth
  • Having a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Other signs and symptoms of dehydration can include:

  • Having cracked lips
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Deep or rapid breathing
  • Forgetfulness or confusion
  • High heart rate or low blood pressure
  • Dry or sticky mucus around your mouth
  • Having a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
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How to stay hydrated

  • Drink water proactively throughout the day regardless of your thirst. Consider carrying a water bottle with you.
  • If you find drinking water difficult, use close alternatives like cordial (mixed with water) and fruit juices to stay hydrated. Limit your consumption of tea, coffee, and alcohol as these can increase dehydration.
  • Eat food with naturally high water content. Tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, grapes and oranges are good options.
  • Use air-conditioning if the weather is hot to reduce fluid loss through sweating. Stay sun safe if you are heading outside by wearing a hat, applying sunscreen, and seeking shade.
  • Drink water proactively throughout the day regardless of your thirst. Consider carrying a water bottle with you.
  • If you find drinking water difficult, use close alternatives like cordial (mixed with water) and fruit juices to stay hydrated. Limit your consumption of tea, coffee, and alcohol as these can increase dehydration.
  • Eat food with naturally high water content. Tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, grapes and oranges are good options.
  • Use air-conditioning if the weather is hot to reduce fluid loss through sweating. Stay sun safe if you are heading outside by wearing a hat, applying sunscreen, and seeking shade.
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Helpful mobile apps for staying hydrated

Using the below mobile apps can help you keep track of your daily fluid intake and stay hydrated.

Using the below mobile apps can help you keep track of your daily fluid intake and stay hydrated.

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More helpful information

If you need more information, get in touch with one of our helpful team on 1800 951 971.

If you'd like to learn more about staying hydrated, follow the links below:

10 hydration tips

Staying safe during long heatwaves

Defying dehydration – there’s an app for that

Treating dehydration (includes a recipe to make rehydration fluid)

If you need more information, get in touch with one of our helpful team on 1800 951 971.

If you'd like to learn more about staying hydrated, follow the links below:

10 hydration tips

Staying safe during long heatwaves

Defying dehydration – there’s an app for that

Treating dehydration (includes a recipe to make rehydration fluid)

Read less...

Download and print this article below!

Staying hydrated

Reference

Aged Care Guide (13 Dec 2022) Hydration for elderly people and the dangers of dehydration. https://www.agedcareguide.com.au/information/hydration-for-elderly-people-and-the-dangers-of-dehydration

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