Water is not just 97% of the planet but is also the most abundant substance that constitutes a human body. While we all know that blood transports oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body; what most of us do not know is that it is plasma, the liquid part of the blood, that is the element that carries the oxygen carrying red blood cells, the immunity giving white blood cells, electrolytes, proteins etc. to the various tiny cells. And plasma is 95% water. So not only do we need water to keep the body temperature in check, help the kidneys flush out the toxins and to lubricate eyes, mouth and nose; but essentially, we need water to be alive.
Individual water requirement for individuals depends on many factors that include age, weight, activity level, weather conditions, state of fitness and even gender. Also it is important to note that the water source for the body are all direct and indirect fluid intakes starting from drinking water, milk, juices, other fluids to fruits and vegetables. It is key to note though that caffeinated beverages while may seem like increasing water intake, they actually dehydrate the body and thus increase the need for water.
A balanced diet, that includes the daily recommended fruits and vegetables, necessitates children to consume an average of 6 – 8 cups of water a day. For physically active children like my son the thirst levels are bound to be higher as the body loses water through the sweat on the field. So while he empties his water bottle (containing about 2 cups of water) while in the park for an hour and a half, my daughter drinks a cup of water only every hour and half.
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has a Recommended Daily Allowance and Adequate Water Intake Values that is given in the table below. These are only guidelines and parents should monitor the water intake based on other factors mentioned above. In case of much lower or much higher water intake a child dietitian should be consulted.
Kids Total Daily Fluid and Drinking Water Requirements
|Gender||Age Range||Total Water (Lt/Day)|
|Girls & Boys||4 to 8 years||1.5 Ltrs|
|Girls||9 to 13 years||1.8 Ltrs|
|Boys||9 to 13 years||2 Ltrs|
|Girls||14 to 18 years||2 Ltrs|
|Boys||14 to 18 years||2.8 Ltrs|