Drinking water to stay cool

Hot summer days are upon us and it is important to remember the best way to hydrate and stay cool this summer: water!

Playing outside, swimming or just going for a walk in the summer months can leave youth and adults thirsty. The best way to replenish any sweat or body fluid that might have been lost during these activities is to turn to water. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reminds us water is good to keep our body temperature normal, help lubricate our joints and protect our spinal cord.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) intake guide, your age and gender will determine what your daily recommended serving of water is.  For youth age 4 to 8 years old, they recommend 1.7 liters of water a day which equates to a little more than 7 cups of water. As youth get older, males start to require more water than females. Males 9 to 13 years of age need 2.4 liters or 10 cups per day, whereas females of that age need 2.1 liters or nearly 9 cups per day. In their adolescent years, males ages 14 to 18 years need 3.3 liters per day, or nearly 14 cups, and females need 2.3 liters or 9.75 cups. The American Pediatric Association recommends children who are going to play outside be hydrated before they start exercising or playing hard. They also recommend having water available for breaks so youth can stop and quench their thirst every 20 minutes.

Once they reach adulthood, the USDA recommends males intake 3.7 liters or 15.5 cups a day and females should intake 2.7 liters or 11.5 cups a day. In cases where adults or children have a fever, are more physically active, reside in hot climates, are vomiting or have diarrhea, the CDC recommends increasing your water intake above average levels.

To add a little zest to your daily water, try adding lemons, cucumbers or fruit to your cup to create a great refreshing drink. Water can be found in foods like melons, tomatoes and celery. To learn more about staying healthy in the summer months, check out other Michigan State University Extension activities, articles and opportunities for families to get outdoors.

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