By Emily Folk
Water is the lifeblood of, well, life itself – at least all the forms we’re currently aware of. Water makes up 71 percent of the surface of Earth and 60 percent of the human body. Not surprisingly, water is one of the keys to children’s development.
It might sound obvious, but water’s importance goes beyond satisfying our daily requirements for bodily functions. Access to clean water in childhood, or a lack of it, has implications and consequences that reach well into adulthood. Let’s take a look at why.
Water Helps Stave Off Obesity
It’s hardly a secret that kids don’t always love eating square meals! And even when they do manage to put away their allotment of grains and vegetables, they still tend to beg for candies and other sweets.
You’ve probably heard this bit of wisdom: if you’re jonesing for a snack, down a glass of water instead. There’s a simple property at work here: drinking water “tricks” the body into thinking it’s full, without actually ingesting a load of calories. In a study of several thousand individuals, scientists discovered that those who remain well-hydrated are up to 60 percent less likely to have trouble maintaining a healthy weight.
Water Promotes Healthier Teeth
The foundations for a healthy smile and long-lasting oral health are found in childhood. Drinking helps keep our teeth strong by washing away some of the acids and bacteria that take up residence there. What that means is that even when we can’t brush our teeth right away after a meal, a good rinsing with a few ounces of water helps keep our teeth protected from harm.
Water Aids in Oxygen Flow and Cell Replenishment
Water is also the vehicle which shuttles oxygen throughout our bodies – including to our tissues, organs and muscles. If anything, this is even more important for growing bodies. Oxygen, in addition to glucose (simple sugars), effectively function like the building blocks for a healthy life. Body structures which receive adequate amounts of each benefit from more efficient blood flow and fewer disruptions to cell repair and replenishment.