Imagine what a typical school day is like for your children... They never stop! Make sure they start their day well, with a good breakfast and a glass of water. Drinking water regularly can help all of us to maintain attention and concentration*. Just like healthy eating, good hydration habits that are established in early life are generally retained into adulthood. Plain water has no calories or additives, it is tooth-friendly and is widely accessible.
Are your kids drinking enough water throughout the day?
It has been shown in a 14-day study looking at patterns of water consumption in the UK that of the children surveyed aged 11-12 years only 6.1% drank water in the morning or sipped water during the day. Most (24.4%) drank water at lunchtime or in the afternoon (33.5%), indicating that children may not drink enough water in the morning(1).
(1) Derbyshire EJ (2012) An intervention to improve cognition and hydration in UK school children using bottled water. Complete Nutrition 12(2), 18-20.
Children should drink between 4-6 glasses of water (NHC Schooler Hydration Factsheet 2018) a day to be well hydrated. They are particularly vulnerable to dehydration, as their water needs are proportionately higher than those of adults: their surface-to-mass ratio is relatively greater than those of adults and because of this, they lose more water through their skin.
Keep kids well hydrated
It's essential that your child adopts healthy habits from an early age by drinking water at home, at school and at any other moment when you are not with them. It doesn't always occur to kids to drink water, even if they feel thirsty. Compared to adults, kids' water needs are higher. So, they're also more vulnerable to dehydration. And the more you remind and encourage your children to drink water, the more staying hydrated becomes second nature.
Suggested amounts of your child’s daily water intake (from drinks) can be found below and are based on the observation of soft-drink consumption habits in different countries (Europe and USA). Remember that daily water needs (from drinks) depend on the age and gender of your child.
Tips to help your kids drink water
To help children stay well hydrated, use these tips as part of a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet:
- Encourage them to drink a glass of water when they wake up, or even during the night.
- If possible, send them to school with water by putting a bottle in their schoolbag, sports bag, or lunchbox.
- Place bottles of water in accessible places: on the dining table, in the fridge, on their desk, on the bedside table, etc.
- Water contributes to the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive function and normal regulation of body temperature. At least 2L of water, from all sources, should be consumed per day as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
*Water contributes to the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive function and normal regulation of body temperature. At least 2L of water, from all sources, should be consumed per day as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
**Stookey J., Observational study made on children arriving at school by the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, USA, 2010
***For a healthy sedentary child living in temperate climates. 1 glass=15cl
****For a healthy sedentary child living in temperate climates.
*****Jéquier E and Constant F. Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration. EJCN 2010; 64: 115-123.
Encourage them to drink a glass of water when they wake up, or even during the night.
If possible, send them to school with water by putting a bottle in their schoolbag, sports bag, or lunchbox.
Place bottles of water in accessible places: on the dining table, in the fridge, on their desk, on the bedside table, etc.
Get your 2L a day
On average a healthy sedentary adult living in a temperate climate needs to replace 2.5L of lost fluids a day. Although everyone is different. Some factors like age and gender play into how much water you should drink every day so it's worth finding out if you need more. But don't worry – you don't need to replace all your water through drinking alone!
We're made out of Water
Water represents about 60% of an adult's body weight. In fact all of our vital organs contain different levels of water. It even makes up a large part of our blood, our skin and our muscles. No wonder why it's so important!