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DON'T DRY OUT: Make Sure You Are Drinking Enough Water

You may wonder if you’ve been drinking enough water, especially when it’s hot out.

There’s a lot of confusing advice out there about how much you really need. The truth is that most healthy bodies are very good at regulating water. Elderly people, young children and some special cases—like people taking certain medications—need to be a little more careful. Here’s what you need to know.

The body regulates how much water it keeps so it can maintain levels of the various minerals it needs to work properly.

But every time you breathe out, sweat, urinate or have a bowel movement, you lose some fluid. When you lose fluid, your blood can become more concentrated. Healthy people compensate by releasing stores of water, mostly from muscles. And, of course, you get thirsty. That’s your body’s way of telling you it needs more water...

REMEMBER: The best way to deal with dehydration is to prevent it. Make sure to drink enough water in situations where you might become dehydrated. For those caring for small children or older people with conditions that can lead to dehydration, Guralnik advises: “You need to prompt the person to drink fluids and remind them often. It’s not just a one-time problem.”