Drink Water! As a child, how many times have you heard your mother give you this command while you begged for something sweeter, like soda, or a sports drink. As adults, we strive to have our children follow the same rule.
This week, First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged us to drink water as a way help us stay fit and active. Water works to cool the body and prevent heat illnesses. Children should drink water before, during and after exercise. According to youth sports hydration guidelines, children ages 6 – 12 should drink 4 to 8 ounces of water 1 to 2 hours before sports. Ten to 15 minutes before sports, they should drink 4 to 8 ounces of cold water. During exercise, and every 20 minutes, children should drink 5 to 9 ounces of water. Following two hours of playing sports, children should drink at least 24 ounces of water.
Sports drinks and Vitamin Water are popular among youth for hydration, but the best bottle of Vitamin Water on the market today doesn’t compare to the advantages of water. Soda has more calories than certain brands of Vitamin Water, such as Glaceau Vitamin Water. However, when compared with a 12-ounce can of soda, a 20-ounce bottle of Vitamin Water has almost as many calories.
Vitamin Water contains ingredients such as as crystalline fructose (a processed sweetener). Crystalline fructose contributes to insulin resistance and obesity, elevated blood pressure, and depletes vitamins and minerals.
Drinking Vitamin Water may make you feel like you’re making up for lost nutrients, but you’re better off drinking water sweetened with fresh lemon, or lime juice. Lemons and limes are high in potassium. Potassium is a mineral that works with sodium and aids in the smooth electrical transmission in the brain and nervous system. If your child suffers from depression, anxiety, fogginess, and forgetfulness, the problem might be linked to low potassium blood levels.
A diet high in sugar can lead to obesity or high blood pressure. To maintain balanced blood sugar levels, it’s best to avoid all artificial sweeteners. Instead, use raw sugar, or organic honey in moderation. And forget those sports drinks. Drink plain water. It’s better for you.