When it’s bakin’ hot out there, marathon runner Ryan Hall (in 2014 he helped rival runner Meb Keflezighi become the first American to win the Boston Marathon in 31 years) starts his day with 20 ounces of water and drinks at least eight ounces before and after meals. But many famous performers aren’t so smart: Since 2010 Gene Simmons, Lady Gaga (twice), Katy Perry and Nick Cannon have canceled gigs because of dehydration.
It’s a desert out there for lots of North Americans, and no group is left higher or drier than kids 6-19. One study from Harvard found that more than 25 percent of young folks don’t drink any water during the day, and only around HALF get enough hydration. (They may drink lots of sugar-packed soda and juicy drinks, but a load of caffeine and excess sugar can trigger fluid loss.)
Adequate water intake is important for kids’ healthy circulation, metabolism, temperature regulation, digestion and urination. Even mild dehydration can trigger headaches, irritability, decreased physical performance and fuzzy thinking.
This summer, on active out-in-the-heat days AND rainy, stay-inside days, too, make sure your kids get plenty of water: 5-8 year olds need 34 ounces daily; 9-12, around 50 ounces; and 13 and older require around 64 ounces.
Start their day with an 8 ounce glass of water; put a frozen bottle into their lunchbox; keep a pitcher of cool water in the fridge; and have them drink at least 8 ounces before heading out to play. Dilute all sports drinks and juices by half with water.
© 2015 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.