Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Your Summer Fuel

All About Hydration

Guest Blog By Margaret Swearingen, MA, RDN
Registered Dietitian
Volunteers of America, Nutrition Services Division

Did you know that your body is made up of approximately 60% water? As the warmer months have started to arrive, it's very important to stay hydrated. Senior dehydration is a common health issue that can lead to bigger problems if proper hydration is not made a priority, such as urinary tract infections and low blood pressure. With age, there may be many reasons that you are not drinking enough fluids, such as a decreased sense of thirst or frequency of urination. Regardless, your body still needs an abundance of fluid so that tissues stay hydrated and metabolism works properly.

"But, I Don't Like Water…"

No matter your excuse, water is the preferred fluid to be used by the body. Try these tips to make that volume of water seem more achievable:

  • Drink small amounts of water throughout the day, rather than a large volume all in one sitting.
  • Though everyone's needs vary, a good starting point for seniors is five 8 oz. glasses of water per day.
  • Try adding some cut fruit to your water to change up the monotony.
  • Beverages containing alcohol or caffeine are diuretics, which can actually have a dehydrating effect on your body, despite the fact you're drinking them.

How Do I Know if I'm Hydrated?

The best indicator of hydration is actually the color of your urine. Urine from someone who is dehydrated will be closer to the color of apple juice. When a person is appropriately hydrated that color will appear more clear, in a range from lemonade colored to even nearly clear.

Grape Strawberry Lime Infused Water Recipe

adapted from

20 grapes
halved 2 strawberries
sliced 1 lime, sliced with peel removed

Chop the fruit accordingly so that the flavors can be released in the water. Place the cut fruit into a standard or infusion pitcher, fill with water, and let the flavors infuse for about 8 hours. If you allow this to infuse for over 24 hours, the water will take on a pink tint! Enjoy!