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Water: Tips for Proper Hydration

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

My two kids, ages 6 and 9, drink lots of milk, but very little water. My sister is a water drinker, and thinks that I should force my kids to drink water. Is drinking water important for children?



Dear Wondering,

Drinking plenty of water is important for everyone. It would be a good idea to get your children into the habit of drinking water. According to Water UK (, besides maintaining a healthy level of hydration, drinking water also helps weight control, mental performance, and increases energy.

In addition, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that, "a high fluid intake is associated with a decreased risk of bladder cancer in men" (Michaud, et. al., 1999).

Here are some tips for proper hydration:

1. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day, more if you're exercising.

2. Drink water throughout the day. Don't wait until you feel thirsty.

3. Have water handy, carry a water bottle in the car or at the office.

4. Beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas, or alcohol are not a substitute for water.

5. If you have a hard time remembering to drink water, then establish a routine, i.e.: drink a glass when you get up. Drink a glass before a meal and after each meal. If you do not have nocturia (getting up frequently at night to urinate), then drink a glass before bed.