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Published July 11, 2022
Evan Johnson, an associate professor in the University of Wyoming’s Division of Kinesiology and Health, recently took part in a podcast presented through the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA).
Johnson, whose academic research focuses on examining the physiological mechanisms and overall health benefits related to optimal hydration, physical activity and heat exposure, shared the importance of hydration during all stages of life on the IBWA podcast, “H2O In The Know.”
The podcast notes that how much water a person should drink each day is a “moving target.” Johnson explains it is critically important to establish healthy hydration habits early, as these will contribute to a healthy aging process.
“Children who have parents who hydrate with water are more likely to continue the healthy habit into adulthood,” Johnson says.
As people age, it is natural to experience changes in the sensation of being thirsty. However, health conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease, especially affecting older people, make getting enough water to drink especially important.
A common question on this topic is: “How much water should we drink on a daily basis?”
“For most people, the best thing to do is look at your urine color on a normal basis, and track that,” Johnson said during the podcast. “And when you see that urine color darken, well, that’s a great hint that says, ‘OK, in the next two to 12 hours, I’m going to want to increase my water intake a little bit.’”
Currently, Johnson and colleagues Danielle Bruns and Emily Schmitt, both assistant professors in the Division of Kinesiology and Health, are specifically researching water intake in older adults as it pertains to nocturia (having to wake in the night to urinate).
Although commonly disregarded as “just a normal sign of aging,” the effects of nocturia on quality of life and the health care-related economic burden ($231 billion in 2019) are significant and reversible. Early results show no difference in water intake volume between older adults with nocturia vs. those without. Therefore, the next steps include further definition of the mechanistic disruptions to body water homeostasis, circadian rhythms and cardiovascular function that result in nocturia.
For more information about healthy hydration, and to listen to the complete podcast featuring Johnson, visit https://bottledwater.org/nr/podcast-explores-connection-between-drinking-water-and-healthy-aging/.