MILAN – In pregnancy, while breastfeeding and during the menopause, water becomes women’s closest ally. Dr. Paola Sacco, from the Sacco Hospital in Milan explained its advantages during the international conference on hydration, organised by FEMEC and San Pellegrino within Expo and during which top international experts submitted their request for a National Day of Hydration to the Minister of Health.
The main haemodynamic changes induced by pregnancy include increased cardiac output, retention of sodium and water, leading to an expansion in blood volume and to a reduction in the resistance of the vascular system and arterial pressure. These changes begin very early on in pregnancy and remain relatively constant until delivery. Because of an increase in weight, energy supply and haemodynamic changes, an intake of 300 ml of water is deemed adequate in pregnancy.
Water intake while breastfeeding must compensate for water lost through milk production. The EFSA recommends women who are breastfeeding to drink 0.7 litres more than women who do not breastfeed.
Various studies have demonstrated that elderly people – especially women – drink less than younger adults do. This has a negative impact on their mental state, their day to day activities and the functioning of their body organs. Adequate water intake for the elderly must not be based solely on observed consumption, but must take into account the reduced capacity for renal concentration that comes with age and the reduced sensitivity of the thirst reflex. Moreover, post-menopause, women have calcium supplies which are far below the recommended amounts and besides seeking to improve their diet, need calcium supplements. Many studies demonstrate the effects of consuming mineral water (rich in calcium according to biochemical indices) on the remodelling of bone tissue in women with low calcium intake following the menopause, reducing age-related loss of bone mass.