As parents, you play a very important role in ensuring that your kids are getting enough water intake they need daily. Teaching your children and adolescents why drinking plenty of water is so important can motivate them to consume more. Here’s a little help with this Ted-Ed animated video by Mia Nacamulli, detailing the health benefits of hydration.
Water is essentially everywhere in our world and it’s essential to our well being. Our bodies are composed of approximately 75% water at birth and after we reach the age of one, about 55 to 60%. So what role does water play in our bodies, and how much do we actually need to drink to stay healthy?
Organs are primarily composed of water, our brain and heart are 73% water, the equivalent of a banana, while our lungs are about 83% water, about the same as a mango. Water serves many purposes throughout our body, not only does it lubricate the joints granting us more flexibility and strength, it moisturizes our skin, nose, eyes, and mouth, it helps regulate our body’s temperature and even carries nutrients and oxygen through our bodies via our bloodstreams.
As we live, we naturally secrete liquids through our sweat, urine, bowel movements and even breathing. It is why it is essential to regularly intake an appropriate amount of clean water daily. How much water our bodies truly require daily depends on the climate in which we live, our bodily mass and our physical activity. The daily recommended dose of water is on average between 2.5 – 3.7 liters for men and between 2 – 2.7 liters for women. Water can range in pH values, a pH of 7 is ideal, while under 7 is acidic and over 7 is alkaline, or basic. We are recommended to drink water with a pH between 6.5 and 8.5, but the closer to 7 the better. Water with a Basic pH, on the other hand, bears very little dangers apart from making your skin dry and itchy.
Your child may ask, “what would happen if I didn’t drink water?” When our body loses water, even as little as 5 percent of it, it already poses minor risks that affect our health. At the first signs of dehydration, you would notice a decrease in energy, increasing aggravation, dryer skin, headaches and fluctuations in your blood pressure levels. You would also notice a negative impact on your productivity as your brain is working harder to achieve the same results as a hydrated brain. Studies have shown that 8 out of 10 kids are found to have mild dehydration. In addition, children ages 6 to 19 are drinking less water than they should normally be drinking.
Bear this in mind and make sure the whole family drinks an appropriate quantity of water everyday and stays healthy! Remember that it all starts with you: when you model healthy habits, your child is more likely to follow suit.