How Much Water Should a 70 Year Old Drink

As we age, our bodies undergo various changes that affect our water needs. And, while it’s important for people of all ages to stay hydrated, it’s particularly critical for older adults to consume adequate amounts of water. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how much water a 70-year-old should drink and why staying hydrated is so important in later life.

Why is hydration important for older adults?

Water is essential for a healthy body, regardless of age. It aids in digestion, regulates body temperature, cushions joints, and helps to transport nutrients throughout the body. However, as we age, our bodies naturally lose water, making it harder to stay hydrated. Additionally, certain medical conditions and medications can cause further dehydration.

Dehydration in older adults can have serious consequences, including an increased risk of falls, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, constipation, and even hospitalization. It can also exacerbate existing health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Therefore, it’s crucial for older adults to drink enough water to prevent dehydration.

How much water should a 70-year-old drink?

The amount of water a person needs to drink varies based on factors such as body weight, activity level, and climate. However, as a general rule, the Institute of Medicine recommends that women aged 70 and above drink at least 7 cups (1.7 liters) of water per day, while men in the same age group should drink at least 9 cups (2.2 liters) per day.

It’s important to note that these recommendations include all fluids, not just water. Therefore, beverages such as tea, coffee, milk, and juice can also count towards your daily fluid intake. However, it’s essential to limit sugary drinks such as soda and sports drinks as they can have negative effects on health.

Factors that affect hydration in older adults

Several factors can affect hydration levels in older adults, making it essential to stay aware of these and to adjust fluid intake accordingly. Some of the factors include:


Many medications can cause dehydration by increasing urine output or decreasing thirst. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider about how medications might impact fluid needs.

Mobility and access to fluids

Older adults who have mobility issues or are confined to a bed may have difficulty accessing fluids. In these cases, caregivers should ensure that fluids are readily available and accessible.

Health conditions

Certain health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart failure can increase the risk of dehydration. Individuals with these conditions should work with their healthcare provider to establish appropriate fluid intake guidelines.


Hot and humid weather can cause an increase in sweating, leading to greater fluid loss. Therefore, it’s crucial to increase fluid intake during hot weather.

Tips for staying hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for overall health and well-being, and there are several tips that older adults can follow to ensure they consume enough fluids. Some of these tips include:

Keep water or other fluids nearby

It’s essential to have water or other fluids readily available and within reach throughout the day. For example, having a water bottle at your desk or next to your favorite chair can serve as a reminder to drink fluids.

Set reminders

Setting reminders throughout the day to drink fluids can help ensure that you stay on track with your fluid intake goals. This could include setting a reminder on your phone or using a timer.

Eat hydrating foods

In addition to drinking fluids, certain foods can also help keep you hydrated. Foods with high water content, such as watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges, can contribute to overall hydration.

Monitor urine output

Monitoring urine output can be a good indicator of hydration status. Clear or light-colored urine indicates adequate hydration, while dark yellow urine can be a sign of dehydration. Therefore, it’s essential to pay attention to urine output and color and adjust fluid intake accordingly.

Drink before, during, and after physical activity

Physical activity increases fluid loss through sweating, making it important to drink fluids before, during, and after exercise. This can help prevent dehydration and maintain optimal performance.

Avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine can both have diuretic effects, increasing urine output and contributing to dehydration. Therefore, it’s important to limit these drinks and consume them in moderation.

What does the research say?

In this study, researchers wanted to find out how to help older people stay properly hydrated, especially when they are in the hospital or a care facility. Dehydration, which means not having enough water in the body, is quite common among older folks. It can lead to problems like constipation, falls, and urinary tract infections, which are not fun at all. The researchers also wanted to see if the older adults felt happier with these hydration-boosting methods.

To figure this out, they looked at a bunch of studies that were done before May 2020. These studies tested different ways to make sure older folks were drinking enough fluids. In total, they looked at 19 studies that had almost 1,000 older people in them. They also combined the results of two of these studies to get a bigger picture.

Now, let’s get to the interesting part! The researchers found that some methods worked better than others.

Behavioral interventions: These are things like reminding people to drink water or making it easier for them to get a glass of water. These seemed to work well. Imagine if someone regularly reminded your grandma to drink her water, she might stay better hydrated.

Environmental, multifaceted, and nutritional interventions: These are a bit more complicated. Environmental means changing the surroundings to encourage drinking, like putting water bottles within reach. Multifaceted means using multiple methods together. Nutritional means focusing on the kinds of foods that can help with hydration. These methods didn’t always work consistently, so they were a bit hit or miss.

The researchers also did some math stuff (called meta-analysis) with two of the studies. They found that the groups of older folks who got help to drink more fluids drank about 300.93 mL (that’s about a cup and a half) more liquid each day than those who didn’t get any special help. So, it seems like these interventions can make a real difference!

However, there’s a catch. The researchers say that there isn’t a ton of good evidence about this yet, and they want better studies to be done in the future. They want these studies to use really good methods for checking if someone is hydrated, instead of just guessing. So, in the end, they think that reminding older folks to drink water and making it easier for them is a good idea, but more research is needed to be sure.


Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and well-being, particularly as we age. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women aged 70 and above drink at least 7 cups (1.7 liters) of water per day, while men in the same age group should drink at least 9 cups (2.2 liters) per day. 

However, various factors such as medications, health conditions, and climate can affect fluid needs, making it essential to stay aware of these and adjust fluid intake accordingly.

Incorporating strategies such as setting reminders, eating hydrating foods, and monitoring urine output can help ensure adequate hydration. By staying hydrated, older adults can help prevent a range of health issues and maintain optimal physical and cognitive function.

What are your thoughts on staying hydrated as you age? Do you have any tips or strategies for staying hydrated that have worked for you or a loved one? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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