Are you and your children drinking enough water?

We’ve all heard it a thousand times in our lives. That age old talk about the importance of water. We know we can’t live without it. We know it helps our bodies function properly. But do we really know why?

I know I didn’t know the science behind the importance of water, other than staying hydrated, until I read this article that I came across on a post by RunSickboyRun.com. While Ronnie did a fantastic job of highlighting this article, I felt the need to share its message with you as well.

Here are some interesting facts from the artcle that I didn’t realize:

  • approximately 99% of Americans do not drink enough water daily
  • many of the ailments that we resolve by taking drugs can be alleviated by drinking water
  • water is a lubricant for our joints, and drinking enough water can help prevent arthritis or back pain
  • water increases the efficiency of your immune system
  • water decreases clogging of the arteries and therefore reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
  • water prevents memory loss. some scientists believe that Alzheimer’s is contributed by long-term dehydration
  • because water is needed to efficiently manufacture neurotransmitters in the brain, it improves our attention span, and can prevent attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • water reduces the effects of aging, helping our skin have a youthful glow
  • by the time your mouth feels dry or feel thirsty, you are mildly dehydrated, as that is one of the last symptoms of dehydration
  • drinking more than 6-8oz of water with a meal slows the digestion process, because it washes down stomach enzymes and hydrochloric acid of the saliva, both neccessary for proper digestion of nutrients (this is extremely helpful to know with a child who has cystic fibrosis, but also important for us all!)

In the article, they also provide an easy formula that will tell you exactly how many ounces of water you need per day, determined simply by your weight. Do the math and see if you and your children are drinking enough water. If you have a hard time getting your children to drink enough water, first ask yourself: Do I drink enough water? Our children want to be just like us, and if they see you drinking soda, coffee, tea, or juice, they will want to drink that too. But if they see you counting and measuring and drinking your water daily, and you talk about how important it is for your body, they will follow your lead. Monkey-see, monkey-do is one of the many values of a trusting parent-child relationship!

One issue that we are facing is my son getting enough water at school. I notice that he is almost always thirsty when I pick him up from school, and even though we live just a few blocks from the school, I have started bringing a glass of water with me for him. I’ve asked him whether or not he gets to drink from a water fountain during the day, and he said not very often. In fact, it is apparently one of the rules that they can not ask to go get a drink during P.E. class. I understand that they have only a short amount of time allotted for P.E. class, and it’s very important that the children are engaged the entire time. After all, they spend a lot of the day sitting, and getting exercise through recess and P.E. is vital to a child’s well-being as well. However, when I asked my son if they get a drink of water before going back to class, and he also said no to that. My sister-in-law made the suggestion of bringing a water bottle to school with him, and I think that is a great idea, as long as it’s allowed. I have e-mailed his school teacher and the school nurse to start investigating this issue, and I hope to come to a resolution soon. They are wonderful teachers and staff at his school, and I suspect that this issue will be easily resolved. 🙂

Here are the changes we are making at home:

  1. The game plan for my son: I can easily measure out the amount that he will need for the day, divide it into two water bottles-one for home, one for school. It’s a no-thinking-required way of getting enough water in his little system daily. As long as the two water bottles are empty at the end of each day, the mission is accomplished. If they are not empty before dinner, then he should finish the water that is left before drinking milk or juice.
  2. The game plan for myself: I love the large water jug that I received in the hospital when my youngest son was born. It has lines for measurement up to 32oz, and I have calculated that I need to drink approximately two full mugs per day in order to get an adequate amount of water for my weight. It can’t get much easier than that!

How do you make sure that you and your children are getting enough water? Will you join me in my challenge to make this a lifestyle change?

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6 Comments on “Are you and your children drinking enough water?”

  1. muddledmom says:

    I discovered long ago that drinking a lot of water keeps me from getting headaches. If I don’t drink enough during the day, I can get a migraine. I always have a reusable water bottle with me and one for each of my kids. It’s also good for hydration when you have a cold. And teachers should encourage it!

    • You’re absolutely right. It’s one of the first things that I ask now, when I hear anyone say “I have a headache” or “I don’t feel well” or “My knees/back/shoulders/etc hurt”… I ask, “Have you been drinking enough water?” Studies are showing that it is the single best change that you can make for your overall health! I love being encouraged by people like you who agree! 🙂
      I talked to my son’s teacher yesterday, and she is on board with bringing water bottles to school, and she is actually planning to put a note in their weekly newsletter asking parents to send a water bottle to school for each child! It’s so helpful to have parents and teachers on the same page as far as the best interests of the children. 🙂

  2. Char says:

    You are SO right. Thank you for sharing this with us!
    Cheers,
    Char

  3. I guess you can tell from my name that I do indeed love my water, it is the most common drink in our home too. 🙂 I also send my family members in the direction of the water jug if they have a headache or ailment of some description. Great info and ideas here…Keep drinking living water too 😉


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