How much water should children drink?

Children tend not to drink enough water to make up for the amount of activity they engage in. As a result, they can easily become dehydrated.

Water is a major constituent of the human body, and an even more important one of young bodies! While water represents about 60% of the adult’s bodyweight, it’s 75% of the weight of a newborn. It performs essential roles in the human body, acting as a building material, a carrier for nutrients through the blood and waste products through the urine, in thermoregulation, and as a lubricant and shock absorber.

In order to function properly, children’s bodies need to recover the amount of water lost during the day (via sweat, respiration, and urination) by consuming enough fluids. Daily water requirements vary according to age, gender, weather conditions and physical activity, but the important thing is to remind them to drink regularly all day long.

Don’t wait until your child feels thirsty to give him or her a drink. In fact, the sensation of thirst arises when the body has already lost more water than it has taken in, so by the time your child feels thirsty, he might already be dehydrated!

References:
  • Jéquier E, Constant F. Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration. Eur J Clin Nutr 2010; 64: 115—23.
  • Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for Water. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA). EFSA Journal 2010, 8 (3) ; 1459
  • Dietary Reference Intakes (2006). The Essential Guide to Nutrients Requirements. Institute of Medi-cine of the National Academies: Washington DC, 543 pp.