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At Royal Voluntary Service, we know how important it is to stay well hydrated - at any stage of your life. It’s easy to do, but also easy to forget.

We hope that people with concerns about hydration, carers and families, find this guide useful. Print this page or our guide Hydrate, feel great to give to someone you know.

Thanks to our friends at the British Nutrition Foundation for the use of their information in this guide. Find out more by visiting

It's so important to keep hydrated

Many people get dehydrated by not drinking enough fluids or by losing fluids and not replacing them.

Drinking plenty every day may…

  • Increase energy levels
  • Boost your mood
  • Improve concentration
  • Reduce headaches
  • Help protect against illness, such as urinary tract infections.

However if you don’t drink enough…

  • You might feel tired, dizzy or disorientated/confused
  • Your memory and reactions may not work as well as they could
  • You are at greater risk of a slip or fall

Follow our top tips to stay hydrated

  • Aim for 8–10 drinks a day - This will replace the fluids you lose naturally. We’ve created this useful water chart for you to download which will help you to keep track.
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty - Make a point of having a drink regularly.
  • Always keep a drink close by - Whether you’re out and about or watching TV.
  • Looks count - Ice and a slice and your favourite glass can add ‘drink appeal’.
  • Souper foods - You can get around 20% of the water you need from the right food. Soups and stews are good, some fresh fruit and vegetables are up to 80% water.
  • Check it out - If your urine is dark, it’s often a sign you need to drink a bit more.
  • Not just water - Tea, coffee, herbal teas, hot chocolate, milk drinks, fruit juices, smoothies and fizzy drinks all keep you hydrated (though drinking sweet drinks frequently is best avoided).
  • Feeling hot - When it’s hot or you’ve been exercising you’ll naturally lose more fluid and need to drink more to replace it.
  • Don’t restrict your drinking - Sometimes people worry about drinking late in the day, because it might mean having to get up in the night. If it’s an issue, drink a bit more earlier on.

Download Hydrate, feel great to give to someone you know.

Hydrate, feel great

For more information, see our guide staying safe during a heatwave.

Please exercise your common sense when considering this guide and whether to take any of the steps that may be suggested in it. Whilst we have taken reasonable care to ensure that any factual information is accurate and complete, most of the information in this guide is based on our views and opinions (and sometimes the views and opinions of the people or organisations we work with). As a result, we cannot make any promises about the accuracy or the completeness of the information and we don’t accept any responsibility for the results of your reliance on it.