Drink up

By: Lauren Harper

A new study found that youth in America are not getting enough water, and experts reccommend kids and teens follow the "8x8" rule to ensure that they are getting enough water. Photo courtesy of Google images

Water is the most abundant compound in the human body and can be found covering over 70 percent of the planet, but that does not mean that humans, especially youth, are getting enough of the stuff. In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that the youth of America is not consuming a sufficient amount of water in its daily diet.

            The study looked into the amount of water taken in by children ages two to nineteen, and discovered that the numbers were much lower than they should be. Water intake from water itself, water in moist foods, and water in other beverages was found to only come to 5.9 cups a day in two to nine year olds, 6.8 cups in six to eleven year olds, and 10.1 cups in twelve to nineteen year olds. It was also found that girls, on average, drink less water than boys. Older kids and teens drink more water than younger children, but their consumption of other healthy beverages, like milk, is lower than the average child’s.

            A connection between the amount of water they drink and their choice of food was also found in the study. According to Ashima K. Kant from Queens College of the City University of New York and Barry I. Graubard of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, “quality of food selections reported in association with plain water intake was better than that reported with increasing beverage moisture, and the strength of these associations varied with age.” After their study, Kant and Graubard also urged children and teens to not only drink more water, but to lessen their intake of sweetened beverages, which is what most of them drink during meals.

            So why exactly is it so important to ensure that American youth are drinking enough water? Among its many purposes in the body, water keeps organs functioning correctly, regulates temperature, and cushions the spinal cord and joints. Without adequate hydration, students can also suffer from impaired cognitive and mental performance, fatigue, muscle weakness, and headaches. Though many believe you only need to worry about staying hydrated when playing sports, water is lost in many different ways. The lungs expel between two and four cups of water each day just from breathing, and the body sweats unnoticeable throughout the day, especially in the feet, which can account for up to a cup of water lost. 

The most recommended method of ensuring that enough water is being consumed is the “8×8” rule, where eight eight-ounce cups of water, or other healthier beverages like milk or juice, are drunk. If the body is trying to fight an illness of some sort, even more than this should be taken in each day to keep the body regulated.  So next time a decision can be made between that can of Dr. Pepper and a glass of water, make the better choice and shoot for the H2O.


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