- Due to bowel and bladder dysfunction, water is essential for individuals with spina bifida. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends consuming approximately eight to 10 cups of water per day and always having a bottle of water present.
- Fluid consistency may need to be altered in individuals with Down syndrome that have low oral motor tone and/or sensory dysfunction. For example, thickeners may need to be added to water and other beverages to decrease risk of aspiration.
- For individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome, they may find it difficult to achieve a sense of fullness or satiety after a meal. Water and other fluids may need to be monitored and restricted to prevent hyponatremia (low sodium level in the body).
- Individuals that are experiencing constipation due to limited mobility, medication and/or supplementation should increase their fluid intake as well as their dietary fiber intake to relieve symptoms.
- Inadequate fluid intake can contribute to the formation of uric acid stones which are present in individuals with gout. Fluid needs should be met each day through the consumption of water and other non-alcoholic beverages.
Water is an ideal source of hydration because it is usually free, easy to carry, and contains no calories. You may find that drinking a glass of water with every snack and meal will help to fill you up and reduce the amount of calories you consume. Your body may need more water than usual if you live in a hot climate, sweat, are physically active, or sick. Be sure to pay attention to signs of dehydration that include thirst, dark yellow urine, dizziness, fatigue, and confusion.
Follow the tips below to increase the amount of water you and/or your children drink each day:
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day for easy access.
- Freeze some freezer-safe water bottles. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
- Offer your child water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and fruit juice for snacks and mealtimes.
- Choose water when eating out. Generally, you will save money and reduce calories.
- Improve the taste of water by adding fruit slices (lemon, lime, orange, etc.) or no-calorie flavorings (Mio, Crystal Light, etc.).
- Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. This can also help with weight management. Substituting water for one 20-ounce sugar-sweetened soda will save you about 240 calories.