BARCELONA, Spain, July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Experts in hydration from the US and Europe attended the 4th European Hydration Institute (EHI) Network Meeting in the Royal Academy of Medicine of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
- Social factors, offering a wide variety of beverages at optimal temperatures and increasing liquid consumption in the heat are strategies to help encourage adequate hydration
- Mild dehydration in the elderly may have no symptoms and this population group is considered at higher risk of suffering from it
- Taking exercise in hot conditions, especially in humid environments, may increase the risks of dehydration which could impair cognitive function and reduce work and exercise performance
The benefits of being well hydrated, drinking an adequate amount of fluids and keeping fit and active were discussed at the 4thEuropean Hydration Institute Network Meeting that was attended by more than a hundred experts from Europe and the US.
This 4th EHI Meeting featured lectures from international academics, doctors and scientific researchers with expertise in health and nutrition topics, including Professor Lluís Serra-Majem, Professor W. Larry Kenney, Professor Ryszard Gellert and Professor Maria Kapsokefalou; as well as those specialising in sports science and medicine: Professor José González-Alonso, Professor Alan St Clair Gibson and Professor Nicolás Terrados.
Professor María Kapsokefalou, Unit of Human Nutrition, Agricultural University of Athens, examined the barriers to proper hydration in older people. According to the results of recent research in Greece, when compared with younger adults, older people had a significantly lower water and beverage intake. Professor Kapsokefalou said that general psychological changes that directly affect thirst and appetite may be partly responsible for these findings. According to her, it is very important to socialize hydration as an activity to encourage people to drink, for example by providing a pleasant environment to make fluid intake an enjoyable activity. For Professor Kapsokefalou, "Social factors may be important contributors to proper hydration such as presence of caregivers aware of sources of water intake, developing structures that respect drinking and eating sensation and enhancing the social environment while eating and drinking. By also offering a wide variety of beverages at optimal temperatures and by increasing liquid consumption in the heat, we believe we can help to encourage adequate hydration."
In his presentation, Changes in renal function with age, Professor. Ryszard Gellert, doctor of medicine from the Medical University of Warsaw, and a specialist in internal medicine, nephrology and family medicine, explained the progressive kidney function decline that occurs with age and stressed the importance of older people maintaining adequate fluid intake, a healthy diet and exercise for optimal kidney function to be maintained for as long as possible.
Discussion on the importance of hydration in older people by W. Larry Kenney, Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University, focussed on Physiological regulators of fluid intake and how they change with ageing. Professor Kenney explained how "thirst is blunted in older subjects during and after exercise and heat stress-induced dehydration" and revealed that "Healthy older adults restore all of the fluid losses eventually, but replenishment is slower than in young adults". In his conclusions, he stated that "this age effect appears to be progressive, although the rate of decline is highly variable".
Professor Nicolás Terrados spoke about Limitations to endurance performance in the heat. "Exercise in the heat can impair cognitive function and hinder work and exercise performance. When the environment becomes hot and humid, the individual's risk of heat stroke increases due to a diminished capacity to evaporate sweat. In this context hydration is very important".
The European Hydration Institute stresses the importance and many health benefits of being properly hydrated and provides information to help people understand how best to do this in different situations on its website: http://www.europeanhydrationinstitute.org
About the European Hydration Institute
The European Hydration Institute (EHI) is a foundation established with the objectives of advancing and sharing knowledge and understanding of all matters relating to human hydration and the effects of hydration on health, wellness and physical and cognitive performance. The EHI was founded in response to the need expressed by a number of scientists, nutritionists, dieticians and health care professionals, for a one stop shop relating to hydration where: All hydration science and knowledge could come together; strategies for further advancing understanding in the area of hydration could be developed and support for efforts designed to ensure people across Europe are properly hydrated could be provided.
SOURCE European Hydration Institute (EHI)