November 12, 2011
Readings about Hydration
Adequate fluid intake is important throughout life. Adults generally require an intake of 1 ml/kcal or 30 to 35 ml/kg of body weight. This generally equate to at least 2 liters or 8 cups of total fluids daily for most adults. Excess fluid intake can also occur, but is usually not dangerous unless fluid is being pushed beyond the thirst mechanism. With age, the sense of thirst diminishes. Dehydration in the older adult is associated with increased risk for falls, as dehydration adversely affects the sense of balance. Signs of dehydration include fatigue, mental confusion, poor skin tone, loss of ability to sweat, and constipation. Adults who take diuretics are at increased risk for dehydration. Excess alcohol intake, without intake of other sources of liquids, may cause dehydration because alcohol is diuretic. A graphic description of the color of normal urine can help adults recognize hydration. Urine that is dark yellow or amber generally reflects dehydration. Normal urine color is pale yellow.