Healthy Drinking

Water is important - It helps keep our bodies healthy

watericeChildren should drink plenty of fluid throughout the entire day. Water should be the number one choice, but other beverages such low fat milk or 100% all natural, unsweetened juice are also wise choices. These drinks help to keep the body hydrated while providing nutrients for good health and growth. It is very important to choose the correct beverage selection for your child! Some drinks are healthy choices, but others are just 'liquid candy' to the children.

There is a childhood obesity crisis confronting the youth of the world, and many reports from reputable news organizations are stating liquid candy is a major contributor to this problem. An article from MSNBC suggests that 1 in 5 calories consumed by Americans are from liquids (click here). Other news sources like CNN are reporting that 10% of the American diet comes from liquid sweets (click here). Consumer Reports is taking a more neutral approach by estimating between 10% - 20% of the American diet comes from sweetened drinks (click here). Even though various reports appear to have conflicting numbers, it justifies a reason to be concerned, as the numbers appear to be rising. The Washington Post has stated that soft drink consumption has increased 300% in the last 20 years (click here). The underlying message is to control what your child drinks! Water is a natural choice.

How Much Water Should We Drink?

Is there a definitive answer? - Some approaches

You can research through various books, articles, studies, or read through the internet, but you will probably not find one definitive answer to the amount of water that needs to be consumed daily. Each parent needs to formulate their own amount needed to satisfy their child's health needs. Make sure they replenish lost water throughout the day, check the color of their urine (more about this below) if possible, and watch what they drink. Below are some common approaches to the amount of water that should be consumed daily. Make your own choice as to which one may apply best to you, or even better, talk to your child's pediatrician for assistance.

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The Body Weight Approach: One formula is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces of water per day that you need to drink. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should drink at least 50 ounces of water per day. To many, this formula seems to be too high with regards to how much a child should drink. Setting a goal of one-third your body weight may more realistic.

The 8/8 Approach: There are many sources that state it is acceptable to drink 8 - eight ounces glasses of water daily. Science Daily reports that drinking 8 - eight ounce glasses a day varies from individual to individual depending on someone's level of physical activity, type of climate, altitude, and overall health (click here).

The Input / Output Approach: The average urine output for humans is about 6 -8 cups a day. We may lose another 2-3 cups of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food (especially fruits and vegetables) usually accounts for 20% of your total fluid intake, so if you consume about 64% of water or other beverages a day along with your normal diet, you will typically replace the lost fluids. Of course, these numbers will vary according to age, gender, activity level, total health, and environment.

Drink Throughout The Day Approach: Many health professionals just claim that a child should drink plenty of water throughout the day and check the color of their urine. After the first urination of the morning, it should remain colorless the remainder of the day. If it is yellow in color, and you have normal kidneys, that could be a sign that you need to drink more water!

Summary: Basically, there is no magical formula to how much water you should drink. Keep you body hydrated and choose the right beverages.

FACT.....Children should learn the importance of drinking water. The Mayo Clinic reports that 60% of your body weight is water (click here), so it is always very important to replenish your body with the substance. Water energized the body, prevents infections, helps carry oxygen through your bloodstream, regulates your body temperature, and helps you metabolize fat as energy. Many reports state that 80% of your brain is made up of water, so hydrating your body will also keep your brain active and alert. Click here to see an image from the Mayo Clinic which shows the benefits of water on the human body.

It is very important that your children hydrate throughout the day with water. There is nothing wrong with your child drinking some sugary drinks, but it should be done in moderation. Water is one of the most essential nutrients a living being needs to survive. Nothing can substitute it to help us live productive lives. The majority of the human body is water. It is in your blood, digestive system, and helps keep body parts lubricated. Water also helps to maintain the temperature of the human body. To learn more about why water is essential to human growth and development, please visit the 'Benefits' page.

FACT.....Sugary drinks promote more eating. These simple sugars which get consumed in large quantities contain many calories that can not only cause children to become overweight by storing fat, but also digest quicker causing a child to become hungry at a faster pace. It also raises the level of blood sugar in the body, which may energize the body, but also drops at a rapid rate causing a child to become tired and sedentary. In this day and age where many children now have Type 2 Diabetes, reducing the sugary drinks may be a wise choice.

Our bodies like to be at about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit - or 37 degrees Celsius. If a child is exercising in warm weather, they may feel pretty hot. This is where water comes in, by cooling you down with sweat. When your body generates a lot of heat, water comes up through your skin as sweat, and it evaporates into the air. As the sweat evaporates, it cools down your skin, which cools down a humans blood. When your blood is cooler, your insides become cooler, and your whole body cools down. On a regular day, your body loses 2 to 3 quarts of water - enough to fill a 2-liter soda bottle. This is why it is important for your child to keep on hydrating.

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