While discussing a variety of diabetes topics with a group of ladies late night one of them sat with an empty mug in her hand. Everyone around the table had a bottle or cup of water to sip. Joanie’s mug was dry.
A friend sitting across the table from her smiled as Joanie made a discouraging face. The other ladies lifted their bottles and cups and encouraged Joanie as she made her way to the ice machine for more water.
When Joanie sat down with her frosty mug of water her face told a story; the friends chuckled. Joanie does not like to drink water. Joanie was giving in to peer pressure to drink more water.
Encouraging people to drink may not sound very caring but for some people it may be the most helpful thing to do. Water is vital to life.
About 60 percent to 70 percent of our weight is water. Nearly every process that occurs in our body relies on water. The body depends on water to survive.
Reminding someone they may need water is telling them their body needs this liquid to maintain the health and integrity of every cell they have. The bloodstream requires water to continue flowing. Wastes need water to flush out the byproducts of living.
Water is needed to regulate temperature and keeps the body moist and lubricated. It aids digestion and prevents constipation. Water keeps the bladder free of bacteria.
As we age, the sense of thirst diminishes. Joanie does not feel like she needs more fluid. She most likely is afraid of needing to use a rest room on the long drive home. But still her body needs water.
Running to the restroom because of an increase of fluid counts as exercise. Over time as the volume of fluid increases in our bladder this organ becomes accustomed to the amount and can handle more before triggering a need to run to the rest room to get rid of it.
Check the color of your urine. It should be a light yellow color. The darker it is, the closer to dehydration you are. The easiest way to change the color is drink, drink, drink.
The conversation turned to fluids other than water. Does drinking coffee or tea count? Depending on a person’s size and body composition, about 64-96 ounces of new fluid are needed daily to maintain a hydrated state. Some need more.
As long as fluids are not toxic they are healthy. Careful attention to calories and caffeine is important. Increasing daily fruit and vegetable intake can also provide a significant portion of additional water. Many of these foods are 90 percent to 100 percent water by weight.
Beverages such as milk, juice, coffee and teas can contribute to a daily water intake. But water is the best bet because it is calorie free, inexpensive and readily available. Joanie, that’s something to think about, right?
Bobbie Randall is a Certified Diabetes Educator, registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a Diabetes Self-Management Training Program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital. Contact her at email@example.com or 330-684-4776.