Ranging hormones might not be the only cause of your teenager’s grumpy attitude. Water, or rather a lack there of, may be impacting children and teen’s moods and other neurological functions, like their ability to learn and retain information. A new study from the Harvard Chan school’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences suggests over half of adolescents in the United States are not consuming enough water. The cross-sectional study of children and teenagers ages 6-19 revealed that 54.5% of the researched population was mildly dehydrated. Mild dehydration does not indicate an immediate medical concern; however, insufficient water consumption can alter a person’s physical energy, short term memory and mood. Almost a quarter of the population studied, on a typically day, NEVER drink water.
The recommended amount of daily water consumption for children varies with age and sex. Older children, especially teenage boys, need more water than younger children. On average, children and teens should drink at least 3 quarts of water each day.
How can you make sure your children aren’t dehydrated? It can be more complex than just telling them to drink more water.
- Serve other fluid filled foods… daily water consumption doesn’t have to come directly from a glass. Foods like fruits, vegetables, and soups along with other healthy drinks like tea can be a great source of hydration.
- Work with your child’s school…some of America’s public schools are not able to provide clean tap water because of older plumbing or lack of filtration. Schools can make sure they are providing clean, filtered water to students in the cafeteria and throughout the school campus while stretching their funding by switching to a Quench Bottleless Water Cooler.
- Steer your child away from sugary drinks…while the consumption of most fluids can improve hydration, sugary sodas and drinks often contain caffeine, a natural diuretic, which drains your body of fluids. Not to mention the added calories can negatively impact other aspects of physical health.
- Purchase your child a reusable bottle…Reusable water bottles are an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to improve hydration.
So next time your teen is giving you attitude or your seven year old is throwing a tantrum, try handing them a glass of H20.