Drinking Water - How Much?
The last issue related to drinking water we would like to consider is presented in reference 4. It deals with encouraging the elderly to drink 8 servings (2 quarts or liters) of water or other fluid daily, based on a 1990 USDA publication. The authors fail to find any evidence that encouraging the elderly to drink so much is prudent. In fact, they speculate that there may be reasons to limit water intake, at least for some individuals. They point out that some of the elderly are less able to excrete water, compared to younger people, and thus are prone to developing hyponatremia, as a result of the excessive water accumulation. Patients with congestive heart failure, hypoproteinemia, and liver or kidney disease would be at increased risk. They conclude stating that "...encouraging a fluid intake above a level that is comfortable for the individual seems to serve little useful purpose".
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