Southern Belle Magazine May 2013, Issue 1 - Page 103

by Stacy Haverfield Amos sweet drink is consuming countless calories without the benefit of nutrition. In a Nation where childhood obesity is a chronic epidemic, the last thing we should offer our children is a liquid drink full of empty calories. Soda also contains varying amounts of caffeine. In addition to the health risks already mentioned, caffeine is a diuretic. Ingesting too much could lead to the body eliminating excessive amounts of water, with dehydration a potential result. BEST One of the best options out there for hydration is just plain drinking water. And no wonder: our bodies are, after all, mostly water – somewhere in the range of 55% to 65%. When we sweat, be it through exertion, exercise, or just from being hot, our bodies lose precious water. Under extreme conditions, the human body can lose upwards of three quarts of water through sweating. Those fluids have to be replenished, and preferably before they are gone. To avoid dehydration, a person needs to begin to replenish their fluids before they are thirsty. Thirst is often an indication of the beginning stages of dehydration. With children it is especially important that they stay hydrated. In normal weather, they should drink about 8-12 ounces every 15 minutes or so during the game. If it is hot, as it usually is here in the South, they may need to drink more. Just remember “little and often.” Too much water too quickly can cause an upset stomach. It is better for them to drink small amounts, frequently, to stay hydrated and avoid a potential tummy ache. BETTER Sports drinks are a popular cooler item for both team moms and the kids, too. If your child is involved in a sport that requires a great deal of exertion, such as track or soccer, then a sports drink might be a good choice for hydration. Sports drinks are unique in that they contain electrolytes, and do a great job at replacing those lost during exercise. Their sweet taste also makes them a more popular choice for kids over plain water. But unless you choose a diet or low-calorie sports drink, the sugar that provides needed energy for the active child could instead promote weight gain for more sedentary ones. 17