Hydration tips for kids

Despite the dipping temperatures, it is still super-important to make sure that your children are properly hydrated throughout their day.  Athletic endeavors are not only important times to monitor hydration, illness and daily activities are also important times to monitor your kids.  When bodies are warm, they perspire to cool down, but in colder temps, the body still loses hydration but perspiration may be halted due to lower temperatures. Don’t rely on thirst alone to start drinking! Hydrated muscles work the best

When and how much should my kid be drinking?

Kids should be drinking about 2 cups of liquid before an extended amount of activity.  They should also have between 4 and 6 oz. of water during each 30-45 minutes of activity as well.

What is the best liquid to drink?

Water is always best, except if working out in extreme conditions and for extended lengths of time.  Sports drinks may be a good choice if perspiring extensively to replace electrolytes and sodium, but for the most part, if you plan to hydrate over a long period of time, good old H20 is just fine.

Try to upgrade water by adding in some sliced strawberries, lemons or cucumbers for a change of taste.

You can also cut some of the calories and reduce sugar from sports drinks by icing them, rather than serving in the gigantic containers that you buy them in at the store.  Unless your child is running a marathon or doing a 4 hour gymnastics class, there is no need for an entire 32 ounce sport drink in its full glory. 

What is in a sport drink also makes a big difference.  Look for ingredients like glucose, sucrose, and/or fructose.  These are forms of carbohydrates that are easily absorbed by the body.  Try to avoid carbonation as well- bubbles can lead to stomach cramps, especially in kids that are not used to carbonated beverages.

Don’t forget about hydrating foods too! Any fruit or veggie that is water- heavy, like melons, cucumbers, grapes, and oranges are great ways to get water into the body without chugging cups of liquids.  Hydration in solid form can also help to hold off hunger during physical activities.  Foods like granola bars that will absorb water and keep your kiddo full without upset tummies. 

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