Hydration

Feel Great! Simple Tips for Better Hydration

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We all need to drink more water, and a study published online last Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health (check it out—I’m a co-author!) has found a simple way to get young people to drink more. 1

Provide a cup, and post a sign! Yes, that’s it. It’s cheap, effective, and relatively easy to do.

Why do we need water?

From regulating your body temperature, to providing cushion for your joints, to getting rid of toxins—water has so many benefits.

In fact, a study done on sixth grade students showed that dehydration impacts performance on cognitive tests. 2

How much water do we need?

The Institute of Medicine’s recommendation for adult males is about 12 cups per day, and about 9 cups per day for adult females. 3

For children, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 6-8 cups of water, depending on the child’s age, weight, gender, and activity level. Unfortunately, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that most children are not drinking enough water. 4

How to drink more water.

Especially during these hot summer days, drinking enough water is extremely important. Like this new study suggests, reminding yourself, and making it easy to drink water is key. Here are three lessons learned:

1. Make water cups available to you regularly. Or, carry around a Water Bottle with you. I love idea of the Puj water cup because it helps make cups reachable for all statures.

2. Put up reminders around the house. A simple post-it might prompt you to remember to drink more water.

3. Advocate at your local school. Free signs that promote healthy living are available to schools that are a part of the National School Lunch program.

What strategies do you use to drink more water?

© 2017 Caitlin W Howe, LLC
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Notes:

  1. Kenney EL, Gortmaker SL, Carter JE, Howe MCW, Reiner JF, Cradock AL. Grab a Cup, Fill It Up! An Intervention to Promote the Convenience of Drinking Water and Increase Student Water Consumption During School Lunch. American Journal of Public Health. 2015. e-View Ahead of Print.
  2. Bar-David Y, Urkin J, Kozminsky E. The effect of voluntary dehydration on cognitive functions of ele- mentary school children. Acta Paediatr. 2005;94 (11):1667-1673.
  3. Accessed online at:
    http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2004/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-Water-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx *Please note, this measure includes ALL fluids you drink in a day. Calculation derived from the assumption that 80% of fluid intake will come from beverages. Males: 3.7 liters total x 80% from beverages x 4.22675 cups per liter = 12.5112 cups Females: 2.7 liters total x 80% from beverages x 4.22675 = 9.1298 cups
  4. Prevalence of Inadequate Hydration among US Children and Disparities by Gender and Race/Ethnicity: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2012,” Erica L. Kenney, Michael W. Long, Angie L. Cradock, Steven L. Gortmaker, American Journal of Public Health, online June 11, 2015