The body’s hydration signals in older men may be impaired

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Older men’s bodies may not provide the signals necessary to let them know they need to drink. In a new study on 10 younger men (18 to 30 years old) and 10 older men (54 to 67 years old) it was found that dehydration in older adults does not lead as easily to an increase in body temperature. The body then does not react to create sweat and thirst to signal that it is time to hydrate.

I’m almost 54 years old. I have never brought water with me to a workout. I find I just don’t get thirsty until it’s over. But, even as a kid, we used to go out and play sports for hours on end and no one brought water with them. Maybe I’m just conditioned to exercise without drinking.

Scientists have suggested that the reason that older adults feel less thirsty is due to a reduced ability to detect and respond to the level of salt in their blood.

When the balance between water and salt in the blood tips toward salinity, the body of a younger adult responds with feelings of thirst.

The researchers wondered if the same reduced ability to track blood salinity, or “osmolality,” that reduces sensations of thirst may also be the driver behind the less extreme response to dehydration in older adults.

Medical News Today