Dehydration in Adults (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Dehydration in Adults Prevention
Taking in an adequate amount of fluid and food (they both often contain adequate electrolytes in a normal diet) is the way most people avoid dehydration. The USDA recommends the following:
"Because normal hydration can be maintained over a wide range of water intakes, the Adequate Intake (AI) for total water was set based on the median total water intake from U.S. survey data (IOM, 2004). The AI for total water intake for young men and women (age 19 to 30 years) is 3.7 L and 2.7 L per day, respectively. In NHANES III (study), fluids (drinking water and beverages) provided 3.0 L (101 fluid ounces; about 13 cups) and 2.2 L (74 fluid ounces or about 9 cups) per day for men and women age 19 to 30, representing approximately 81 percent of total water intake. Water contained in food provided about 19 percent of total water intake."
The above are estimates; other research bases the amount of fluid intake on weight and provides tables to estimate an individual's fluid intake. Dehydration is often preventable even under more stressful conditions such as participation in sports or work on hot days.
Anticipation of the need for increased fluid intake is a key to prevent dehydration.
Clemson University has developed recommendations for fluid intake when a person needs to endure outside activity in hot weather:
Drink the following amounts of fluids when exercising rigorously or in very hot weather:
Dehydration can be prevented by making the decision to take actions to stay well hydrated.
Dehydration in Adults Prognosis
When dehydration is treated and the underlying cause identified, most people will recover normally. Dehydration caused by heat exposure, too much exercise, or decreased water intake is generally easy to manage, and the outcome is usually excellent. However, the prognosis worsens as the severity of dehydration increases and also depends on how well the underlying cause responds to appropriate treatment.
Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/19/2016
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