Life happens fast and sometimes it’s easy to overlook the little things that make a big difference. Such is often the case with plain simple pure drinking water. With the abundance of soda pop and juice drinks available today it’s easy to lose track of our children’s water consumption, yet it matters a great deal.
According to an article on the world famous Mayo Clinic web site, a whole host of symptoms may indicate a dehydrated or semi-dehydrated condition. The list includes headaches, cramping, irritability, fatigue, dry mouth, lightheadedness, muscle weakness, low blood pressure, and fever to name only a few. It should be fairly easy to see how important proper water intake is to regular health, after all the human body is 75% water!
Here are a couple of quick and easy ways to check your hydration status on the fly before the symptoms set in. Use your index finger and thumb to pinch approximately one inch of skin on the back of your hand, hold it in the pinch for 3 seconds then release it and time how quickly it returns to normal form. If it holds the wrinkled pinched shape for more than 2 seconds this is an indication of dehydration. When properly hydrated the skin should instantly return to it’s unwrinkled original form. The longer it takes to go back to normal, the more severe the dehydration. Another method is to check the color of your urine. We know it’s a little gross to think about, but it’s a simple obvious indicator of your level of hydration. When fully hydrated your urine should be almost clear with little or no color. The darker the color the more dehydrated you are. In his recent book “Open”, world famous professional tennis player Andre Agassi tells how his personal trainer would force him to drink water after each match until his urine was as clear as a mountain stream, thus indicating he was fully hydrated and ready to go for the next match.
So, is your child drinking enough water? If not, there are many simple things you can do to change that. First, start by eliminating the expense of bottled water which may be holding you back from providing the good tasting water your kids want and need, and properly equip yourself with a simple drinking water system. Nobody likes drinking water that tastes like a swimming pool full of chlorine. Second, slowly integrate more water into their diet by replacing a soft drink or juice drink periodically with water. Third, teach by example and drink more water yourself. If your children see you drinking soda pop, they will want soda pop too. It will take some getting used to, but the benefits will be evident almost immediately