The Truth About Hydration
You have probably heard the adage of 8 glasses of water per day for optimal hydration, but this is a general recommendation. “I use a rule of thumb of 2 to 3 ounces per day per pound of body weight, to a maximum of 8 to 10 cups per day,” said Dr. Karl W. Holtzer, a pediatrician with the Pediatric Alliance Fox Chapel Division in Pittsburgh.* A person’s water intake needs will vary, so listen to your body.
For children who may not be able to communicate their thirst, monitoring water intake and boosting good drinking habits is vital for healthy summer fun. As a rule of thumb, children should drink at least six cups of water a day.
For more specific suggested beverage intake, below is the recommended intake:
- 1-3 years: about 4 cups
- 4 – 8 years: about 5 cups
- 9-13 years: about 8 cups for boys, about 7 cups for girls
- 14-18 years: about 11 cups for boys, about 8 cups for girls
Hydration doesn’t need to come entirely from drinking water. Many fruits and vegetables have high water content, and taste good! Try adding more watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, and celery to your diet.
Popsicles are another way to increase your water intake while keeping it fun—for adults and children alike. You can make popsicles at home with pureed fruit or no-sugar added juice to keep this perfect summer cooler healthy.
Regardless of your water intake needs, consuming the right amount of water has many health benefits.
Dehydration can really drag you down. Simply stated, you need water to live. Its importance cannot be ignored. It’s likely that you are getting the water intake you need for sustenance, however, increasing your water intake can take your body’s performance to the next level. Who wouldn’t want a little more energy in their day?
Promotes Weight Loss
Sometimes the body craves water and we feed it with other nutrients. The next time you have a craving, try a glass of water first. This is especially true during the time in between meals.
Flushes Out Toxins
It’s not surprising that most dietary cleanse instructions include an increase in the amount of water consumed. The kidneys act as the body’s filter to remove waste and toxins. Without enough water, the kidneys cannot function properly to flush metabolic waste. Regularly drinking water keeps your insides moving! It flushes toxins from foods and other environmental sources, keeping the body working to its maximum potential.
Improves Skins Complexion
A side benefit to toxin removal from drinking water is that your skin, your body’s largest organ, functions more efficiently. Complexion issues from toxins or other build-up are reduced. Drink more water and experience the healthy glow from your skin.
When waste collects in our body it can cause a myriad of problems. Water flushes waste and bacteria, and improves the function of the digestive system. Water keeps digestive organs like the colon lubricated and working more efficiently. Add fiber with water and your digestive system will thank you.
Boosts Immune System
Water naturally cleans the body. Various research studies say staying hydrated can reduce risk of some cancers, like colon cancer, bladder cancer and breast cancer.
Natural Headache Remedy
Did you know that one of the primary causes of headaches is dehydration? Oftentimes fatigue follows dehydration, which can turn into a tension headache. Drinking water at the onset is a first step to treat your fatigue and get rehydrated. In fact, staying hydrated with water improves all types of headaches.
Prevents Cramps and Sprains
Staying hydrated is important when it comes to exercise. Muscles and soft tissue are more susceptible to cramping, strains and sprains when the body is dehydrated. Drink water every 20 minutes or so when you exercise. If your exercise routine regularly has you perspiring, adding more water to your daily intake will prevent dehydration.
Puts You In A Good Mood
Research shows that dehydration can negatively affect your mood. Fill up with water to get rid of that crankiness. You’ll think more clearly and be happier with the ideal water intake.
You can take water anywhere. Once you have identified a reliable source for clean, great tasting water you’re all set. You can take your own bottle of water just about anywhere. Even airports are catching on to “free” water by installing filtrated, chilled hydration stations.