Whether your little ones are old enough to be involved or not, summer fun usually includes lots of family events. From pool parties to theme parks, there’s a ton of fun happening and with all that fun in the sun, it’s easy for everyone to get dehydrated.
Humans can go without food for forty days but only a couple days without water. Water is second only to oxygen in the importance of health. It makes up 65-75% of the body and is required by cells to perform their functions. When the body gets enough water it works at its peak. Not only does water maintain the system equilibrium but it also flushes waste and toxins, lubricates and hydrates the skin, as well as transports nutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins and sugars for absorption. When the body is properly hydrated, fluid and sodium retention decreases and helps control hunger. 6-8 cups of water are needed everyday to keep our internal organs working properly.
Summer break = endless activities for both parents and kids and the need to have the body hydrated to keep those internal organs working properly. But sugary drinks like sodas, teas, sports drinks and flavored water have slowly replaced water. The empty calories in sugar contributes directly to obesity, diabetes, tooth decay and not to mention a suppressed immune system poor health overall.
The actual daily recommended limit of sugar for children is three to four teaspoons during the preschool and early elementary years, and between five and eight teaspoons during the tween and teen years.Get this though – according to the American Heart Association the average 1-to 3-year-old consumes about 12-22 teaspoons of sugar each day, and the average 4- to 8-year-old takes in 21-30 teaspoons.
Bill Misner Ph.D said it best, “Because sugar is devoid of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and has such a deteriorating effect on the endocrine system, major researchers and major health organizations both agree that sugar consumption in America is one of three major causes of degenerative diseases.” As little as two teaspoons of sugar changes the blood chemistry so that the body is no longer in homeostasis.
I know 22 teaspoons of sugar sounds like a lot but most kids consume more than that daily. If they drink a 12-ounce serving of most sodas, that’s about 10 teaspoons of added sugar in just ONE drink. There’s also the cereal for breakfast, the peanut butter jelly sandwich for lunch, yogurt for snack, BBQ chicken for dinner and the list goes on.
The American Heart Association notes that one of the easiest ways to limit your child’s intake of added sugar is to restrict their intake of soda and other sugary drinks. This will cut a significant amount of sugar from his/her diet.
Homemade infused water is a healthy alternative that provides you and your family a better, yummy way to hydrate in good taste with the added benefit of raw vibrant nutrients without empty calories. You and your kids will not miss liquid sugar!
3 Infused Water Recipes to Replace Sugary Drinks
Beets + Pineapple Infused Water
½ small beets
thick slice of pineapple
½ small lemon
fresh mint (small bunch)
Wash and peel beets, slice thinly. Peel pineapple and cut a thick chunk, slice thinly. Slice lemon and wash mint. Put all ingredients in a jar and fill with quality water. Place in refrigerator overnight. For yummy, intense flavor, refrigerate for 48 hours.
Cucumber Mint Water
Antioxidant Infused Water
1 tbs white tea leaf (use green tea for the adults)
thumb of fresh turmeric root
And if you don’t make your own infused water, read your labels! Even if the package says “wholesome” or “natural,” you need to find out how many grams of sugar there are per serving.
I wish you and your family a fun and healthy summer!