Staying Healthy

The fountain of youth

Proper hydration is essential for optimal health, but many older adults still don't drink enough water.

By , Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

photo of a man outdoors drinking from a water bottle while hiking

When scientists search for life on other planets, they first look for the presence of water. After all, the laws of nature say that life as we know it needs water to exist and thrive.

Drinking water serves us earthlings in many ways. It helps deliver nutrients to cells, regulates body temperature and blood pressure, prevents infections, and keeps organs functioning correctly. It's probably no surprise, then, that adults who stay well hydrated appear to be healthier and develop fewer chronic conditions. Conversely, prolonged dehydration raises the risk of conditions like urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and constipation. Dehydration also can interfere with cognitive functions like attention and memory.

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About the Author

photo of Matthew Solan

Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Matthew Solan is the executive editor of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. He previously served as executive editor for UCLA Health’s Healthy Years and as a contributor to Duke Medicine’s Health News and Weill Cornell Medical College’s … See Full Bio
View all posts by Matthew Solan

About the Reviewer

photo of Howard E. LeWine, MD

Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Dr. Howard LeWine is a practicing internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Chief Medical Editor at Harvard Health Publishing, and editor in chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. See Full Bio
View all posts by Howard E. LeWine, MD


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