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10/22/13blog post

drink up!

Michelle Obama is now rallying to drink more water – and folks are not too happy with it. “Why are people not agreeing with this healthy push?” The First Lady’s new program, Drink Up, is asking for us all to drink one more glass of water each day. She is not pushing us to adopt a crazy lifestyle change – but, to remind us that water truly has its benefits.

Why reach for water? Water makes up 60 percent of our body! Some other benefits:

  • Dental health: Drink often from the tap if you have fluoridated water. Bottled waters will not provide us with Fluoride which we need for preventing dental caries and helping our teeth stay strong.
  • Prevent dehydration: Kids, too, can become dehydrated! Read on for Signs of Dehydration . Don’t forget to encourage drinking water during sport activities, too!
  • Decreasing energy intakes: By reaching for water, we then reach less for sugary beverages – overall less calorie intake! Plus, drinking more water helps us feel more full – again, maybe helping with less energy intake. Did you know that at least one-half of the population 2 years and older consumes sugar sweetened drinks on a daily basis? A child who consumes one can of regular soda needs to walk 45 minutes to burn it off! When dehydrated, we also tend to reach for foods rich in sugar!

How do I increase water in our family’s diet?

  • Make water the beverage of choice between meals (serve milk at meals). Freshen water with a lemon or orange wedge. Keep a water jug/cooler available for the kids to serve themselves.
  • Denote a water bottle for each child to use during the day and in the car. Wash the bottles regularly! Drink before you get thirsty!
  • When it is hot, consider salty snacks to accompany the water breaks to encourage more drinking!

To meet water goals, drink six to eight cups of water a day and eat foods that are rich in water content (i.e.: fruits and vegetables)!

Kids Daily Water Goals

Age Range   Gender   Total Water (Cups/day)
4-8 years   Girls and boys   5.4
9-13 years   Girls   8.75
    Boys   10
14-18 years   Girls   9.6
    Boys   13.75

Data are from Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) Tables. Recommended Daily Allowance and Adequate Intake Values: Total Water and Macronutrients.

Bottom line: We may be seeing some Drink Up logo’s on packs of bottled water and reusable bottles. Plus, more water fountains with the logo will be popping up over the next couple years. Keep an eye out for “Drink Up” and remember to encourage your family to do the same.