When thirst strikes this summer, teach your kids to stop and think before they drink! Instead of reaching for heavily processed (and expensive!!) sports beverages, offer them what is REALLY needed… WATER! That’s right, when it’s hot outside and kids need liquid refreshment, water is always best. Served straight from the tap or poured from a chilled pitcher in the fridge, nothing beats this most basic of beverages when it comes to quenching thirst.
”The American Academy of Pediatrics consistently states that water is the better choice for rehydration purposes and that children and adolescents generally do not need supplemental electrolyte replacement”. The exception might be when kids are participating in vigorous physical activity for an extended period of time.
There is absolutely NO need for kids and teens to drink sports beverages in the absence of physical activity (for example as a beverage with meals). Sports beverages can be quite sugary and as with other sugary drinks (soda, juice, flavored juice drinks, sweet tea, etc.) contribute to unhealthy weight gain. Dentists are especially concerned about the use of sports beverages because of the erosion of enamel when teeth are bathed in acidic liquids such as sports beverages.
Tips for “Jazzing Up” Water and Making it Fun!
Serve water in frosty glasses that have been in the freezer for a few hours.
Add one or two flavored green tea bags to a pitcher of water in the fridge….NO sugar though!
Float several slices of frozen strawberries or kiwi fruit in the water (for dental health, this one is better to do with meals instead of between meals).
Consider posting a chart on the fridge and have the kids track each 8 ounce serving of water they drink throughout the day. The more they play and sweat, the more they will need!