In a world full of juices, energy drinks, and soda it seems there is no room left for the humble cup of water. Unfortunately, these sugar-filled drinks have taken precedence to water, especially for children.
(Illustrated by The Washington Post)
Excess sugar found in sports-drinks makes their permanent home in the liver, leading to fat accumulation, while it also negatively impacts blood sugar, energy levels, and behavior. I can hear you all asking, “but what about the electrolytes?” This is where fresh fruit comes into the equation! See how a clementine and a banana compare to a Gatorade below. % based on 2000 calorie diet. Data from Self Nutrition Data and Gatorade
Next time you reach for a sports-drink to hydrate your child after a long day of play, consider a cup of water and a piece of fruit instead, that way you’re getting even more nutritional benefits without as much sugar or artificial colors!
Dehydration is always a serious threat to the body that can happen at any time, not only when playing sports. According to Baxter International Inc. via News Medical (2010), “Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it is taking in and may not have enough fluids to carry out its normal functions.
- Fatigue, restlessness and irritability (making it difficult to rehydrate by drinking fluids)
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Less urination
- Weight loss
- Slightly sunken eyes and/or depressed fontanel (soft spot on babies’ heads)
- Lack of tears when crying
One of the most common causes of dehydration in children in the United States is acute gastroenteritis (“stomach flu”). Dehydration as a cause of the stomach flu is definitely a threat during this time of year when children are returning to school and immunity is lowered in the colder temperatures.
So how much water are you supposed to give your child?
Kids Total Daily Beverage and Drinking Water Requirements
Data are from Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) Tables. Recommended Daily Allowance and Adequate Intake Values: Total Water and Macronutrients.
If you feel you’re at a dead end of trying to get your child to drink more water, consider changing what you’re putting the water in. To help boost your child’s water intake Baby Gear Lab has thoroughly reviewed 11 of the most popular water bottles for children over the age of 3. The bottles were tested for their ease of use, tendency to leak, eco-health attributes, and more. Their review can be found here: http://www.babygearlab.com/Kids-Water-Bottle-Reviews?specs=n&n=0&sort_field=#compare
So to answer the question posed in the title, as a fundamental building block of life, water has everything to do with it!