There Is One Important Item That Every Child Should Have On Their Back-To-School List
The past few years have seen unprecedented challenges for parents, students and teachers. With children returning to school this fall, it is important that kids are equipped with everything you can give them to ensure they start the new school year off right. While most parents focus on school supplies, teachers focus on curriculum and kids focus on the latest fashions from their favorite influencer, one often overlooked key thing that has a major impact on their learning is hydration. Yes, hydration. After breathing, hydrating is a child’s most frequent physiological need and a foundational element in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Studies increasingly show that raising hydration benefits many crucial factors important to learning.
Hydration Is the Foundation of Wellness
Hydration supports the elements that go into wellness and a healthy lifestyle, including:
- Diet & Nutrition
Dehydration Is Widespread And Often Overlooked
In a large CDC study of 6-19-year old children and adolescents over half were measurably dehydrated. “These findings are significant because they highlight a potential health issue that has not been given a whole lot of attention in the past,” said lead author Erica Kenney, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard Chan School. “Even though for most of these kids this is not an immediate, dramatic health threat, this is an issue that could really be reducing quality of life and well-being for many, many children and youth.”
Hydration improves several common symptoms of dehydration that impair learning in children and adolescents, including:
- Dry Eyes (digital screen use)
- Reduced Cognitive Function
- Low Energy
- Lack of Focus & Creativity
- Lower Work Capacity
- Poor Sleep
Why Dehydration Is A Problem
Children and adolescents drink reactively to their thirst and think water alone is enough to hydrate effectively. When hydration is mentioned, parents, teachers, school officials, and even medical professionals routinely suggest to just “drink more water.” It’s rare for an elder to explain how water flows to wherever there is a higher concentration of electrolytes in the body, except maybe as an example of osmosis during 8th grade biology. Suffice it to say, electrolyte balance is equally as important as water balance for effective hydration, but it is under-appreciated by almost everyone. It’s also rare that students are taught to consume a sufficient quantity of electrolytes regularly in their diet. The result is young people “play catch up” on their hydration needs. They experience a dehydration gap throughout the day that is wider than optimal, causing symptoms that impede learning.
Medical conditions and use of medications commonly contribute to dehydration, especially for the 40% of young people who have at least one chronic medical condition. In many cases, unless dehydration is treated specifically and successfully, it may go undetected as the source of symptoms. For example, dry eyes are a growing medical condition largely a result of increasing use of medications and expanding hours per day on screens, e.g., games, phones, laptop computers, tablets and TVs. Few people, including eye doctors, are aware that up to 90% of dry eye sufferers treated effectively for dehydration show improvement. How many other medical conditions may benefit from effective hydration?
Athletics add dehydration and health considerations. Coaches and athletes may appreciate hydration and they may even go beyond water to utilize sports drinks or pediatric hydration drinks that contain sugar to assist electrolyte absorption. But, sports drinks and pediatric illness hydration drinks are NOT designed for daily use. Sports drinks contain too much sugar for daily use. Pediatric illness hydration drinks contain sugar and too many electrolytes for healthy daily use. Sugar-free electrolyte drinks are typically designed for daily use, but they do NOT contain science to assist electrolyte absorption for fast and effective hydration.
Solution: Practice Well-being Hydration
Adults can help with these issues by teaching students to practice Well-being Hydration. It’s a proactive approach to drink before feeling thirst, eat a balanced diet and seek out Well-being Hydration beverages whenever water and diet are not enough to hydrate effectively.
Well-being Hydration is about being a step ahead of hydration needs and providing young people with the most up-to-date consumer beverage choices to hydrate throughout the day.
Well-being Hydration beverages are a new category of hydration drinks designed with science to assist water and electrolyte absorption for fast and effective hydration and sugar-free for healthy daily use. Learn about how Well-being Hydration beverages compare with conventional hydration drink alternatives.
Well-being Hydration helps children and adolescents learn to:
- Establish a mental roadmap for self-care;
- Rehydrate first thing after waking up;
- Hydrate proactively during the school day; and
- Continue to hydrate proactively after school to maintain visual, mental and physical acuity throughout the day.
- Seek purpose-built healthy daily use beverage choices for hydrating effectively whenever water and diet are not enough.
You Can Build Hydration
Parents are primary mediators in shaping dietary habits in their children. When you help your children learn how to practice Well-being Hydration you are improving their health habits and building a virtuous new cycle for hydration and learning.
Hydrus Is The First Well-being Hydration Beverage
Well-being Hydration beverages are a new drink category designed specifically with healthy new science to assist water and electrolyte absorption and without the sugar for daily use.
Compared to like-for-like hydration drinks, studies show that the science in Hydrus delivers 40-46% greater water and electrolyte absorption than traditional sugar-electrolyte drinks. Hydrus is sugar-free for healthy daily use. For more information about hydration drink categories, please see Hydration Beverages – What You Should Know For Health And Well-being.