The importance of drinking water
Drink 8 cups of water a day and see your energy and wellness improve! Today makes the start of World Water Week, and it’s not just about conservation. Water is life, and this week is about remembering that fact.
How will drinking a bit more water every day help you?
Mild dehydration increases the risk of fatigue, headaches, constipation and possibly urinary tract infections. It has also been shown to reduce mental ability, reaction times, and physical performance, by as much as 25%.
The average person needs to drink at least 6- 8 cups of fluid every day – and water is the most accessible and best fluid for your child to keep performing at their physical and mental peak.
Children are at greater risk of dehydration than adults, and research suggests that many children may be suffering from mild dehydration.
Water is the best fluid for your child to drink as it enters the bloodstream and tissues rapidly. It also comes free of sugar and harmful additives, unlike cordials and fizzy drinks, and is readily available. Flavoured drinks are not always that thirst quenching, and drunk as a substitute for water can be a significant contributor to childhood obesity.
Water and sport:
During exercise people should drink additional water to guard against dehydration. For exercise lasting longer than 60 minutes diluted fruit juice (1:1) is recommended to supply extra energy.
Full strength fruit juices and other concentrated drinks should be avoided as they create feelings of fullness and can cause cramping.
Drinks containing caffeine should also be avoided as they have a diuretic effect, which increases overall fluid loss.
Am I dehydrated?
Surprisingly, fatigue not thirst is usually the first sign that the body needs water. By the time people feel thirsty, sometimes confusingly experienced as hunger, they will already be mildly dehydrated and this will be negatively affecting their physical and mental performance. Other warning symptoms of mild dehydration can include:
- Dry mouth
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dry, flushed skin
- Muscle cramps
This is why it is so important to keep drinking water regularly throughout the day.
What you can do:
Tell your yourself how important water is to their health, how much they should drink and how to keep an eye on their hydration status.
- Make water more appealing. Have large jugs of water with added ice, lemon and fresh mint available at every mealtime and in the fridge.
- Filter the tap water you drink to enhance the taste.
- Don’t have fizzy drinks and cordials available as an option in your home.
- Mix sparkling water with pure fruit juice for a treat.
- Provide your child with a water canteen for school. Stainless steel and PET plastic don’t affect the taste of the water. Freeze the night before during hot weather so that the water will stay chilled for most of the following day.
- Check that children are given opportunity and encouragement to drink
Water is nature’s energy enhancer, a glass of water when you wake up will give you that boost you need when you are most dehydrated.