The study lasted 22 years and included 47,909 men between the ages of 40 and 75. The men were surveyed every four years about the amount of fluids they drank. Those who drank at least 2.5 liters a day decreased their risk of bladder cancer by 24 percent.
How do you know you are drinking enough fluids?
Water is essential for your body to function properly. It flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to cells and keeps your tissues healthy. You lose water when you breath, perspire, and through urine and bowel movements, so you must replenish your body's supply.
The amount of fluids you need depends on your individual health, lifestyle and environment. On average, according to the Mayo Clinic, adult men need about 3 liters (13 cups) of fluid per day and women need around 2.2 liters (9 cups).
Tips to make sure your body is adequately hydrated:
- Drink a glass of water with each meal and between each meal. Do not drink fluids only when you feel thirsty. Older adults tend to be dehydrated because of their reduced sense of thirst.
- Monitor your urine color. The lighter the color, the better hydrated you are. Drink more fluid if your urine is the color of apple juice.
- Drink water before, during and after exercise. The more active you are, the more fluids you need to replenish the fluids lost from sweat.
- Pregnant women, nursing mothers and people who are taking antihistamines or antidepressants should increase their fluid intake slightly.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Though water is the best source of fluid for your body because it's calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available, your body can get fluids from other beverages you drink and the food you eat. Watermelon and tomatoes, for example, are at least 90 percent water by weight.
Willamette Valley Cancer Institute's dietitian can help patients develop nutrition plans based on their indiviudal needs. Call 541-681-4945 to schedule a free appointment.