The importance of good nutrition and hydration in maintaining health and wellbeing

People’s care and support plans should flag up any nutritional or hydration requirements. If you feel these are not specified sufficiently, or clearly enough, you should flag this up to your manager.

Why Hydration is Important

  • The body needs to have a regular liquid intake to function correctly. Most chemical reactions which need to happen in our cells require water for them to take place.
  • Water is essential to the composition of the blood and the transport of nutrients from our food around our body, it is essential for lubricating joints, our eyes and for transporting food and waste through the digestive and excretory systems.
  • If someone becomes dehydrated it can have serious consequences as it will prevent the body from functioning as it should.
  • Water makes up 2/3 of the body.
  • We lose water through sweat, urine and breathing and should drink regularly to replace the water lost.
  • We need to drink between 1.2 litres of non-alcoholic liquid which can be taken in tea, coffee, milk, juices (unsweetened).
  • We may need to increase our liquid intake if the weather is hot and to regulate it if we have certain conditions (such as diabetes) or illnesses such as urine infections.
  • Some kidney conditions require a specific liquid intake which should not exceed or fall short of a particular daily intake advised by the person’s doctor.

Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on people. People who consume excessive amounts of alcohol are not only at risk of dehydration, they are also at risk of malnutrition, as it can affect the body’s ability to absorb minerals and vitamins.

Use to answer question 8.1b of the Care Certificate

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