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Family Matters Newsletter – June 2019   arrow

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What’s up with Water?

By: Laura Krause, Family & Consumer Science Agent, Pueblo County
stick figure sweating in the sun
Your body cannot work properly without water. In fact, 50-70% of the weight of your body comes from water. You have more water in your body than any other substance.

What does all that water do for your body?

  • Water helps you regulate body temperature. Your body uses sweat as a way to prevent overheating. The evaporation of sweat helps to cool your internal body temperature to a safe level.
  • Water also delivers nutrients and oxygen to cells within your body and removes waste products when you pee.
  • Water provides cushion and support to your joints, as well as protection to your spinal cord and other delicate tissues.

All water, from beverages and foods contributes to the water your body needs. Drinking water and other beverages is one way to make sure you stay hydrated, but you can also get water from some of the foods you eat. Many fruits and vegetables have a high water content, like watermelon and spinach. So eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is also important.

The total amount of daily fluids recommended is different for children and adults, and for males and females.

  • 7 cups for girls and boys, 4-8 years old
  • 9 cups for girls and 10 cups for boys, 9-13 years old
  • 10 cups for girls and 14 cups for boys, 14-18 years old
  • 11.5 cups for women
  • 15.5 cups for men

glasses of water
This might seem like a lot, but remember, these recommendations cover fluids from drinking water, as well as other beverages and foods.

How Much Daily Fluid Should Come From Water?

  • Children should drink at least 6 to 8 cups of water a day
  • Adults should drink about 8 cups of water a day

glasses of beverages
Not all beverages are created equal. While it may seem like drinks such as sodas, tea and coffee help to keep you hydrated, they may actually have the opposite ef-fect. Additionally, many of these drinks are full of added sugars, which are strongly linked to weight gain, type 2 diabetes and dental decay. In some individuals, too much sugar can increase your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Sweeteners add empty calories to many different types of beverages including soda, juice, sports drinks, lemonade and fruit punch.

Below are a few tips for helping your family stay hydrated and make healthy beverage choices:

  • Choose water whenever possible
  • Dilute 100% fruit juices using a 1:1 ratio of juice and water
  • Add flavor to water by infusing with slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or watermelon
  • Select low fat milk as a low cost and healthy alternative to sugary drinks
  • When consuming sugary beverages, choose the smallest size

drop of water

Let’s Talk

This is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about the importance of water, staying hy-drated and making good beverage choices. Explain to them that water keeps their bodies running smoothly. Explain how drinking enough water will help your kids to stay healthy, have more energy and think more clearly.

Recipe for Health

If your kids find drinking water boring, there are lots of ways to make it more fun. Fruit infused water is a healthy alternative to soda or juice, while providing some flavor to otherwise plain water. Here are a couple of ideas for fun water flavors. Each recipe makes 1 gallon and is best if chilled in the refrigerator.
citrus infused water

Citrus Infused Water

  • Slice your choice of oranges, lemons and grapefruit.
  • Use one of each fruit for every gallon of water.
  • Add to water.
  • Chill overnight in the refrigerator.

berry infused water

Berry Mint Infused Water

  • Tear about 40 mint leaves in half and smash about 40 raspberries or blackberries.
  • Add to water.
  • Chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Adapted From: