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Water, the source of life, is the leading actor of all physical and chemical transformations in the world, and also the most important substance after oxygen.

There is an average of 50-70% water in the human body, although it varies according to different age groups.

This rate is generally 60% for adult males, 50% for females, and 65-75% for children, depending on age, sex, weight, height,  health condition  and the degree of physical activity of an individual. As age progresses, the body fat rate increases and the water rate decreases.














2/3 of the water in our bodies is in the cells; while the rest is found in veins, tissues, digestive system and body cavities. Blood, stomach secretions, saliva, amniotic fluid (pregnancy) and a great deal of urine are body fluids.























Water is directly taken into the body with consumed food or drink. After a series of functions in blood and cells, the water level in the body is transmitted to the brain with hormones. Sensory and stimulating brain cells give the necessary commands according to the water level in the body. Don’t wait till you are thirsty to drink water.

We can say that an average adult requires approximately 2500 ml of water daily. One way of understanding your body's need of water is by consuming 1 ml of water for every 1 kcal, making the calories of the foods we eat. We will be regulating the amount of water we need correctly, despite the vital changes such as age, weight, sport activity, health status.

How much water should my child drink?

When children are compared with adults, their bodies lose more water by proportionally evaporating because they have a larger surface area than the surface mass ratio. Sweating abilities and renal function are less developed. During warm-up games or exercises, they are less likely to warm up than adults, they have lower temperatures than adults, produce more metabolic heat than their weight, lower susceptibility to thirst, and may not understand that they need more water. Although studies in this area show that children develop dehydration at a similar rate to adults, it is more important for adults to have adequate fluid intake as children's body temperatures rise faster than adults.

The fluid needs of children vary with age. Beginning from the new nature, as the intake of milk diminishes; we can say that the water taken with beverages is still more important. While at 0-1 year breast milk is the best source of fluid, at 6th month water and complementary foods (food, fruit, and vegetable juice) form the liquid source by supporting the mother. The best source of fluid after 1 year is water.

The fluid need may vary depending on the child's age, size, activity level and medical history. The simplest method to determine the need for liquid is "Holiday-Segar Calculus".This method is based on the child's weight. Accordingly, the amount of water to be consumed for the first 10kg of body weight is 100ml per kilo.  For the next 10kg of body weight, it is 50ml per kg and for children above 20kg it is an extra 20ml per kg. For example, a child weighing 10kg needs 1000ml and whereas a child weighing 15 kg needs 1250ml,and a child weighing   25kg needs1600ml of water.

When children have vomiting, diarrhea or similiar illnesses , and when  they have prolonged sun exposure or excessive sweating and before and after physical activities, they need to consume more water. 

You can track your child's liquid consumption by following  the color of urine and the frequency of  urination
Babies should  fill their diapers at least  4-8 times  whereas children should urinate 4-8 times per day.However, you can calculate how much fluid your child should intake and  you can ensure an adequate water supply by monitoring the amount of fluids  taken during the day.

Water; with carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, is an   important food item .

70%-80% of the total fluid requirement is derived from drinking water or  the other beverages and the rest is from the  food.The fluids taken from beverages apart from water , help us to meet the body’s requirement.  

The main fluid source for children is water just as it is for adults. Fruit and vegetable juices ; drinks such as milk, ayran, kefir; home-made lemonade, fruit and herbal teas; soup, vegetables and fruit are other important sources of fluid intake.

Children’s consumption of drinks with calcium and protein such as milk, ayran, kefir supports their growth. The juice obtained from  fresh vegetables and fruit are also good sources of liquids. However, what is important to note is that due to the high sugar content found in fruit juices, its consumption should be kept to a minimum.  It, helps us to feel satisfied due to its fiber content. Damage to the teeth due to sugar and acidic content is minimized.

Acid drinks, which are popular because of their taste, seem more attractive to children, but they can not replace water in any way. Those drinks with high caffeine and sugar content are also harmful to the teeth because of their high acid content. Because of the high glycemic index, they provide the basis for childhood obesity.

The water used must be colorless and odourless.  As a good solvent, the natural chemical content of water should contain some basic elements (such as calcium, magnesium, sodium) which our body needs. On the other hand, nitrite and nitrate derivatives, organic and chemical substances, heavy metals and microorganisms which may be present in water are harmful to human health. The quality of drinking water is very important in terms of the benefits that can be derived for the body.



  • It helps the food we eat dissolve, digest and be absorbed.
  • It aids in the proper functioning of cells by breaking down solid substances.
  • It regulates blood circulation. Blood carries nutrients and oxygen to cells and fulfills the duty of carrying hormones to the places where they are needed.
  • It extracts waste substances from cells and transmits them to relevant organs.
  • It gives power and electrical energy for all brain functions, especially thinking. It is indispensable for the hormones produced by the brain.
  • It integrates mind and body functions. It increases the ability to make decisions and set goals.
  • Drinking enough water allows the metabolism to work in a proper way.
  • It reduces the risk of getting colds, urinary tract infections, kidney stones and bladder cancer.
  • It helps to reduce hunger. When we drink water, we can control the feelings of thirst and hunger.
  • It helps keep the skin healthy and well hydrated.
  • When enough water is consumed, most of the trace elements the body needs are supplied, the skin becomes better and the immune system becomes stronger.



Just as with low water consumption, excess water consumption can also cause health problems. To maintain a normal volume of fluid in the body, the daily fluid intake should equal the daily loss of fluid. When this balance is disturbed it causes discomfort. The WHO has proved that drinking more than 5 litres of water per day causes health problems. Even if water is generally good for you, drinking too much of it can be harmful; it can lead to excess water depletion resulting in mineral loss and an electrolyte imbalance. When we drink too much water, blood volume increases and places an extra load on the circulatory system, veins and especially the heart. The kidneys are overworked because they have to filter more fluid.

Additionally, excessive thirst can be an indicator of adverse health conditions. It is the first symptom of diabetes and absorption problems in the large intestine. In such cases, a doctor should definitely be consulted.

People with a heart condition, high blood pressure and edema problems should limit the amount of fluid they intake to a maximum of 3 litres per day. Excessive intake of fluid can pose a life-threatening hazard because the concentration of minerals both inside and outside the cells changes. In order to maintain the correct balance of sodium, the increase in blood flow causes blood cells to swell which in turn causes edema (swelling). If this swelling occurs in the brain, the increase in pressure leads to headaches, hypertension, cerebral haemorrhage, and a number of conditions that can lead to death.

When children play outside and exercise in hot weather, it is not enough to encourage them to drink water – they can rapidly lose water and become dehydrated in these conditions. This is vital.

Symptoms such as frequent thirst and yellow urine, indicate mild levels of thirst, while further dehydration causes additional symptoms such as dryness in the skin and mouth, depression of the eyes, reddening skin color, deep redness, temperature and listlessness, lack of tears and decreased urination.

Inadequate water intake affects in a negative way, children's mental performance and learning ability. It causes dizziness, headache and fatigue as well as a 10% reduction in attention and concentration ability.

In pilot school studies on water drinking, teachers reported that providing their water needs contributed to a productive learning environment and helped to foster good habits.
Thirst in children can also cause health problems such as urinary tract infection, bed wetting, constipation. 1% of boys and 3% of girls have urinary tract infections during the first 10 years of their lives.

If 10% of the water in the body disappears, circulation and kidney failure may occur. Death occurs when the body loses 20% water.
Water poisoning can occur when daily water intake is greater than daily water output. Some substances and minerals such as salt, protein, urea, sugar are present in a certain density in the water of our body. Reducing this density with excess water consumption, causes a salt imbalance in the blood and the decrease in the amount of sodium can negatively affect our vital organs such as heart, kidney and brain.


Health Benefits of Water Consumption

  • Start the day with at least 1 glass of water every day.  Putting a jug of water somewhere you can see may remind you to drink water during the day.  Have a bottle of water in your car with you at all times.

  • Water taken 30 or 15 minutes before meals accelerates metabolism and builds up a volume in the stomach, preventing serious nutrient uptake in the day.

  • Make sure that the water you consume during the day is at room temperature.

  • Do not hesitate to drink water when you wake up at night. Putting one glass of water on your bedside can be the key to the problem of irregular sleep.

  • Drink water from reliable sources. Extremely filtered water may not be beneficial to the body, and may cause mineral loss during filtration.

  • As age increases, the body's ability to feel "thirst" decreases. In later years, more attention should be paid to water intake.

  • In order to have benefits from water, good drinking habits should be learned at an early age.

Water is life! We wish you healthy days and we long for the day when children all around the world have access to clean drinking water.

Gıda Mühendisi Didem M. ÖZGÜL


Özlem Kılıç Ekici, Su (Hayat, Enerji ve Sağlık), Tübitak Bilim ve Teknik, Ankara 2014

Dr.F. Batmanghelidj, Su - Hasta Değil Susuzsunuz, Klan Yayınları, USA 2007


Aziz Ekşi vd., Su ve Yaşam, Algı Tanıtım Yay., Ankara 2012