I don’t go to many blogging events. Apart from conferences, I’ve been to just three blogging events until now in five whole years of blogging. Being the mum of big kids, I don’t get invited to that many and, those that I do get invited to, I have to turn down. Because they’re inevitably at 11am on a Tuesday in London. I’m based in Gloucestershire and the main carer for three busy kids, who also has to work for a living. 11am on Tuesday in London is not good for me!
But then I got an invitation I couldn’t turn down. For starters, it was in half-term. And my eldest was away, which made the whole logistics of being out with the kids much easier. But, most importantly of all, it was about a subject very close to my heart.
Water. And drinking enough of it.
Because I really struggle to get my daughter to drink enough and it’s starting to affect her health. I actually wrote this post before I got the invitation to the event, so I knew we had to go.
I know we’re supposed to drink a lot of water – around 8-10 glasses a day. (I’m a weirdo, I actually drink a lot more than this.) I know my daughter gets a headache if she doesn’t drink enough. I know I do too. But I wasn’t really sure exactly WHY we needed so much water.
But, thanks to Robinsons, now I do!
We went to a place surrounded by water, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in London, to find out just what we need to drink and why.
A lot of people are confused about drinking water. Do they have to drink the eight glasses of water in addition to tea and coffee?
Helen Bond, a state registered dietician, put our minds at rest. We don’t have to drink water in addition to all of our other drinks. Water is, of course, the main ingredient in tea, coffee, milk, juices, smoothies, fizzy drinks and squash. And although we have to drink some of these in moderation, the liquid in all of them contributes to our water intake.
A human baby is 70% water, this reduces to about 55% in older people. We can live for weeks without food, but only about three days without water. Water is in every cell, tissue and organ in our bodies and does a huge number of important jobs – tears to lubricate the eyes, sweat to control body temperature, saliva to help us swallow and protection of our joints and nervous system to name but a few.
If we drink enough water:
- We tend to be happier, more focused and more alert
- We can avoid constipation, kidney stones and urinary tract infections
- We tend to put on less weight
- Children perform better at school
Dehydration as little as 1 or 2% of bodyweight can affect cognitive performance. As a runner, I know this to be true. On a very long run, I will lose around 2lb in liquid and will have difficulty thinking straight until I’ve rehydrated.
Dehydration will also cause those headaches my daughter is so familiar with, along with tiredness and irritability. It also makes constipation and urinary tract infections more likely.
Yet more than 50% of children in the UK and 30% of adults don’t drink enough. This is made more difficult because 42% of children think water is ‘boring’. Children don’t feel thirsty as obviously as adults and need reminding to drink little and often, especially at school!
So how much do we need to drink?
- Boys age 9-13 – 2.1l
- Girls age 9-13 – 1.9l (I doubt my daughter is getting even half of this!)
- Men and teenage boys – 2.5l
- Women and teenage girls – 2l
During the teenage years, milk consumption tails off and consumption of sweetened fizzy drinks increases.
So how can we keep our kids and ourselves hydrated and healthy? After milk and water, low calorie squash is the best way to keep hydrated, as it is low in sugar. Robinsons no longer add any sugar to their squashes and the average glass of squash contains just five calories.
So, if you or your kids find the taste of water ‘boring’, squash really is the next best thing!
My son, daughter and I enjoyed learning about hydration with Robinsons and exploring the Wetlands Centre, even if the weather wasn’t the best!
We attended an event at the Wetlands Centre with Robinsons. We received travel expenses for our trip. All opinions are our own.