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How Much Water Does Your Child Athlete Really Need?

We all know we need to drink water, but do we know how much our kids should be drinking? And what if you can’t get them to drink anything besides sports drinks?! We’ve got the break down on how much water they need and some fun tips on how to them to consumer water regularly too.

How Much

Our bodies are 50-70% water and water is the main component necessary for almost all of the bodies’ functions. From waste removal to regulating body temperature to cushioning joints, water is the necessary factor for function. Three are several factors that go into how often throughout the day we need to drink. Temperature, exertion, health, and condition (pregnancy, diabetes, etc) all need to be factored into the total amount of water needed.

On average, each age group needs a minimum of the following:

  • 2-8 years old: 44 ounces or 5 1/2 cups daily
  • 9-13: 64 ounces or 7-8 cups daily
  • 13+: 72-104 ounces or 9-13 cups daily

How Often

Despite the common idea that our bodies can retain water – like after a salty meal – the truth is the body can’t story water. It relies on us replenishing it consistently. Consistency is the key; drowning ourselves in water once or twice a day isn’t helpful, instead, we need to drink moderately throughout the day. But there are some parts of the day that are better to hydrate:

  • First thing in the morning
  • Before a workout
  • After a workout
  • No less than 30 minutes before or after a meal (so not to interrupt digestion)
  • An hour before bed

Make It Fun

If you have kids that are less interested in drinking water, there are some fun ways to mix it up and encourage better drinking habits.

Add Ins:

have your kids make their own flavored water with their favorite fruits, veggies, and even herbs. Try a combination of strawberries and mint, pineapple and orange, or lime and cucumber. Sometime a little flavor can go a long way.

Grab a Fun Bottle:

Sometimes a great water bottle can make all the difference! DIY or purchase a bottle that has suggested drinking times on the side. Or decorate with stickers and paint pens.

Make a Goal:

Knowing the size of the water bottle being measured, make a goal of drinking X number of full bottles each day.

Water it Down:

If getting away from sports drinks or juices is challenging, start by watering down their favorites.


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