Narrator: Today, there are lots of choices when it comes to drinking beverages. But what should you drink as you get older? For Richard, who is 64, it's water.
Richard: Water is basically the only thing I drink. I don't know, every now and then I'll drink juice, but usually I don't even have juice in the house. So water is virtually all I drink.
Narrator: Gloria, who is 79, also drinks a lot of water.
Gloria: I try to drink water during the day. I always have water with my meals. If I have something else with it like milk or ice tea or something, I'll try and have some water there too. That makes me drink it.
Narrator: It's important for older adults to consume plenty of liquids, especially water. You need to replace the fluids you lose every day.
Dr. Connie W. Bales Ph. D, R.D: Well water is very important because it contributes to regularity and it's necessary for all the reactions in body. We know that thirst regulation is sometimes impaired with aging, so don't wait until you get thirsty to drink water. Make it a part of your day, and drink it every day.
Narrator: Other good beverage choices are unsweetened tea, low-fat or fat-free milk, and 100 percent fruit juice, although you should get most of your fruit from whole fruit and not fruit juices.
Dr. Connie W. Bales Ph. D, R.D: Fruit juices can be good as long as they're not overdone and that we recognize them as a part of our servings of carbohydrate every day. So we would actually encourage fresh fruit over fruit juices.
Narrator: You can actually increase your intake of water by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which have a high moisture content. To help control your calorie intake, try to limit beverages like soft drinks and sports drinks that are high in added sugars.
Dr. Connie W. Bales Ph. D, R.D: Beverages like sodas and sweetened sports drinks really need to be limited. They are a source of empty calories and work against our goal of achieving nutrient density.
Narrator: Likewise, alcoholic beverages give you calories but few nutrients. If you drink alcohol, limit the amount to 1 drink daily for women and 2 drinks daily for men. Water is something that many people know they should drink, but they just forget to do it. Gloria has found a way that works for her.
Gloria: I kind of look at it as a medicine that I'm taking. So when I get up in the morning, I'm supposed to have certain medicines before meals, and I will sit in the living room and think about the day and sip until I get that 8 ounces in me, however long it takes.
Narrator: You should make sure that you get enough water, but don't overdo it.
Dr. Connie W. Bales Ph. D, R.D: It can be overdone and so there are cases where people drink so much water that they have some problems with electrolyte balance. And also it can contribute to having to go to the bathroom a lot during the night. So you may want to limit your fluid intake towards the end of the day.
Gloria: I try to drink water during the day, and I'll take it down to the beach with me when I go, but oftentimes I'm either so busy reading or falling asleep or people watching, I forget to drink the water. But I try, best I can.
Narrator: So, what's best to drink as you get older?
Dr. Connie W. Bales Ph. D, R.D: Water is always a safe choice and one of the best choices for adults of all ages. We recommend that adults get at least 6 glasses of water every day, and they may need even more if they are in situations where it's very hot or they're losing a lot of water via sweating.