Fact: Water is the single most important substance we consume. A person can survive about two months without food but would die in about seven days without water. Water makes up about 75 percent of an infant’s weight and 55 percent of an older person weight.
Fact: Good hydration protects against kidney stones. It may also help protect against vascular diseases like stroke, and elevated heart rate, or a sudden drop in blood pressure. Water is especially important for people with diabetes.
Fact: Older people, especially the frail elderly, are among those at greatest risk of poor hydration since the they mechanism of thirst becomes less effective with age.
Fact: Dehydration can adversely affect vigilance, concentration reaction time, learning, memory, mood and reasoning and can cause headaches, fatigue, and anxiety. The institute of Medicine, which issues recommendations on the amounts of nutrients needed, states that an adequate intake of water ranges from 700 millimeters (about 3 cups) per day for newborns to 3.8 liters (16 cups) for lactating women.
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