Pregnancy / Childbirth

Drink water, you'll be great!

It's no secret that the water content in the human body oscillates around 60%. Its specific value depends on the age and body fat content. The highest percentage is recorded in newborns in whom water constitutes about 75-80% of body weight. The percentage of water is higher in lean people (around 70% body weight) than in obese people (around 55% body weight).

Why do you need to drink water?

It's easy. Because under normal conditions it is not stored in the body. It is necessary to provide it constantly, without being guided by the feeling of thirst. We should drink even when we do not feel dry throat, which is already a signal of slight dehydration.

The right amount of water in the body is necessary to maintain an optimal level of metabolism, allows you to excrete unnecessary toxins, protects against poisoning and life-threatening metabolic disorders.
Thirst is often confused with hunger. An organism that does not get enough fluid communicates its needs in many different ways. The main symptoms of 10% water loss are fatigue, thirst, headaches and dizziness. When water is scarce at 20% -22%, this condition is life threatening and can result in death. That is why the signs of dehydration are so dangerous, especially for small children who lose water very quickly and who often do not signal the need to replenish fluids (e.g. during infections with high fever).

Water and minerals

The transformation of water is associated with the transformation - of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and mineral salts. Mineral salts, like water, do not provide energy to the body, but they are necessary for the normal course of life processes. Mineral salts build bone, determine its hardness, are an inseparable component of cells, as soluble components of body fluids play a large role in muscle and nerve stimulation processes, contribute to maintaining the acid-base balance of the body and maintaining constant osmotic pressure of body fluids.

In the general balance of minerals that we should provide the body regardless of age, an important positive role can be played by mineral water.

What does mineral water contain?

Mineral water is, as the name implies, water with minerals. Containing, among others, magnesium, calcium, sodium and iodine: elements of life necessary for the proper course of pregnancy and positively affecting the development of the fetus and child.
It is worth knowing that the amount of minerals in the body does not remain constant. We lose them, for example, when we sweat. Loss of minerals, especially sodium and chloride ions, can lead to disturbances in the body's water and electrolyte balance.
Sodium in our body has the ability to bind water, so its proper concentration prevents its excessive loss. Other reasons include systemic disorders associated with abnormal water and electrolyte metabolism, as well as diseases leading to excessive excretion. What water should young children drink?

Editorial staff of the Water for Health Portal: Infant mothers meet the child's demand for water through female food that meets all his nutritional needs. It is important that in the case of a little older child remember to give him water. The child does not always feel thirsty and should not lead to dehydration, which can be detrimental to his health. Water not only for children, but also for adults is an extremely valuable liquid, because it perfectly quenches thirst, and drinking regularly with small sips replenishes fluids in the body. The best water for children will undoubtedly be water with fewer minerals. It is worth paying attention to looking for water for children whose degree of mineralization is less than 500 mg of dissolved ingredients per liter.

The issue of preparing meals for babies and older children is similar. Low-mineralized natural mineral waters and spring waters, due to the low content of minerals, they are very useful for preparing meals for infants who do not yet have properly shaped internal organs including the digestive system and kidneys, so that they can take minerals that they should receive at this age only with breast milk.
Standards determining sufficient consumption of water contained in both beverages and food. were published by the Institute of Food and Nutrition in Human Nutrition Standards from 2008 edited by prof. Mirosław Jarosz. According to this publication:

  • children aged 1-3 years: should drink 1.3 liters of fluid a day,
  • children 4-6 years: 1.7 liters
  • children 7-9 years: 1.9 liters
  • girls 10-18 years old: 2.1-2.3 liters,
  • boys 10-18 years old: 2.4-3.3 liters,
  • women> 19 years old: 2.7 liters,
  • men> 19 years old: 3 liters.
/ Source: Human nutrition norms, edited by the sciences. M. Jarosz, B. Bułhak-Jachymczyk, PZWL, Warsaw 2008./

Whereas dr Witold Klemarczyk, a pediatrician from the Nutrition Institute of the Mother and Child Institute, states that smaller children weighing up to 10 kg need about 1 liter of fluid a day; with a larger body weight, approximately 20-50 ml should be provided for each additional kg of body weight. A breast-fed baby will drink as much fluid as it needs at the moment.

When can you start giving children mineral water?
Editorial staff of the Water for Health Portal: Actually, we can teach children to drink water from about 6 months. life. Children under 4 years of age should drink water with a lower content of minerals. For older children, there are no contraindications to consume water with a higher content of minerals, i.e. medium and highly mineralized water. We should remember, however, that highly mineralized waters should be drunk for adults who are healthy due to their high sodium content

Should bottled water be boiled before serving?
Editorial staff of the Water for Health Portal: Bottled water does not have to be boiled before serving, it is often even said that when cooking mineral water at high temperatures, salts that are not available for the body precipitate. Bottled waters are generally suitable for direct consumption.

Should pregnant women and nursing mothers drink spring water?
Editorial staff of the Water for Health Portal: In the general balance of minerals that pregnant women and nursing mothers should receive, a non-spring mineral water can play a positive role.
In each cell of the body there are dissolved mineral salts forming electrolytes, the level and concentration of which determines its proper functioning and ensures the continuity of metabolic processes.

So what is so important in this water that it can well serve future mothers, pregnant women and during the feeding of their children. Of course, apart from the original purity, it is important to have an adequate content of minerals that can help meet the increased demand for them during this particular period of a woman's life.

Mineral waters can contain a lot of minerals, but the most valuable are those that are most needed for the body, and are found in water in large quantities. These include magnesium, calcium, sodium and iodine. These are the four main ingredients that can be found in mineral water, and are necessary for the proper course of pregnancy and condition the proper development of the fetus and child. Needed, of course, and others, such as: zinc, iron, fluorine, copper, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, but unfortunately they do not appear in the right amount in mineral waters and therefore in this case we have nothing to count on.

What is needed magnesium? Magnesium participates in more than half of the biochemical processes out of 600 that occur in our body at any time, and if you miss it, then any function that is programmed with its participation is impaired. These can be, for example, muscle spasms, and when it affects the uterine muscles, miscarriages and earlier births occur. Even excessive drinking of coffee, which leaches magnesium out of the body, may also be the reason. Magnesium participates very actively in the construction of the cerebral cortex during the development of the fetus and its deficiency translates into the defect of the future baby's mind. According to prof. dr hab. Alfredy Graczyk from the Polish Magnesium Society prof. J. Aleksandrowicz, thanks to the appropriate magnesium supplementation of both parents, the child after birth does not suffer from lack of appetite, sleeps well, is not crying, and magnesium deficiency in the newborn can be the cause of the so-called syndrome. sudden cot death.

On average, we need about daily 300 mg magnesium, but in women during pregnancy this demand increases by at least 50%, up to 450 mg, therefore, you should reach for mineral water that contains magnesium, an element called the 'king of life'. All because the demand for magnesium in pregnancy increases! You need to look for water that has as much magnesium as possible because it cannot be overdosed with water. It is important at the same time that, according to the book, Magnesium in clinical practice, the French magnesium researcher prof. Jean Durlach magnesium contained in water is absorbed by man faster and more widely than the rest of magnesium found in food.

The second very important mineral is calcium, which is especially needed to build a new organism in the womb. It is not only the basic building block of the skeletal system, the growth of which in this period is impressive, but also participates in the transmission of bioelectrical impulses in the process of building the entire child's body. Its deficiency causes osteoporosis, which manifests itself at a later age and rickets, which can be seen much earlier in children. Often, also during pregnancy, with a low supply of calcium, the effects of this are seen in the form of caries and decaying teeth, because the body draws calcium from their resources to meet increased needs not only in connection with the formation of a new organism, but also for the proper course metabolic processes in the mother's body. Calcium is also necessary in the blood clotting process, has anti-edema, antiallergic and anti-inflammatory effects.

The average body's need for calcium is from 600 to 1200 mg per day, but during pregnancy, the supply of this element reaches 2000 mg. The average diet, unfortunately, does not fully meet these needs, resulting in numerous diseases and conditions due to a lack of calcium. These deficiencies increase in women during pregnancy and that is why it is so important to drink water with a high content of calcium in it. This is pointed out by prof. dr hab. Zofia Zachwieja from the Human Nutrition Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences, emphasizing that the absorption of calcium from water is very large and therefore it is especially important for women who do not like or cannot drink milk. In this way, they can supplement the supply of this nutrient to their body, which will also benefit a growing child. To meet the body's needs for calcium, drink water with a high content taking into account the daily requirement for this element.

Another mineral needed for the body is sodium, which is often portrayed in a false light as very harmful to health. There is a threat of an increase in blood pressure with excessive consumption, and this is an argument to convince consumers that you should drink the so-called low-sodium waters containing less than 20 mg sodium per liter. This is an irrational argument because excessive consumption of sodium is not to blame for mineral water, only salted dishes, preserved products and even bread. Two slices of sausage or a slice of bread contain more sodium than a liter of many good mineral water.

And the truth is also that sodium is an extremely important and necessary component of electrolytes in our cells, without which our body could not function properly. It regulates the water and electrolyte balance and together with potassium forms the so-called a potassium-sodium pump that delivers nutrients to individual cells. Lack of adequate sodium levels causes weakness and failure of the body. And here lies the heart of the matter - you can neither eat too much nor too little sodium. On average, we consume about 14 grams of salt, in which there are 8 grams, or 8000 mg of sodium, and a maximum of 4 grams, or 4000 mg, would be enough. Sometimes it happens that pregnant women taking care of their health, excessively limit salt intake and in some situations feel weak. It is most noticeable in hot weather, when together with sweat they get rid of a significant amount of sodium, then they should reach for mineral water containing more sodium, and then certainly they would get strength from water. As stated in one of the articles by prof. dr hab. med. Kalina Kawecka-Jaszcz Head of the 1st Cardiology Clinic CM UJ in Krakow, even in the case of hypertension in pregnant women should not significantly reduce the supply of salt, because its deficiency may intensify hypovolemia and secondary deterioration of uterine blood supply. Most good highly mineralized waters containing significant amounts of beneficial minerals such as magnesium and calcium contain up to 200 mg of sodium per liter, so very little and even people who are very careful about this element can ignore it in balancing nutrients. On the other hand, for people who perform harder work, athletes staying in an environment with a questioned temperature, even on the beach should be served by waters containing much higher amounts of sodium up to 1000 mg per liter. These waters are relatively few, but they can also be useful for women in a different state in certain situations.

A very important bioelement is needed for the proper functioning of the body and especially the development of the fetus iodine. It participates in the production of thyroid hormones, which in turn regulate metabolism, the work of the nervous and muscular systems, blood circulation, and above all the growth and maturation of the young generation. Unfortunately, it is commonly lacking in our food and its supplementation was carried out by iodizing salt. Thanks to that she was under control thyroid disease epidemic manifested, inter alia, the formation of goiter in the throat area, especially in women. However, due to the recommendations of the World Health Organization to reduce the consumption of table salt by 50 percent. we also face the problem of restricting iodine intake.
The need for iodine for an adult is about 150 micrograms per day, but in pregnant women this need increases to 180 micrograms, and in nursing mothers up to 200 micrograms. Too low iodine intake has very serious consequences such as hypothyroidism and endemic will, reproductive disorders, delayed psychophysical development, cretinism and increased child mortality. Therefore, although the body's need for iodine is so small, this problem should not be underestimated, which future mothers and those already raising their children should be particularly allergic to.
According to prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Szybiński from the Department and Clinic of Endocrinology of the Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum, chairman of the Commission for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, about 40 percent pregnant women in Poland do not accept the recommended amount of iodine, as a result of which their children have a lower level of intelligence. In Polish conditions, the fight against iodine deficiency "is a fight for brain quality", therefore mineral waters with iodine content should also be recommended as a source of this element. Unfortunately, we have only a few mineral waters with a natural content of iodine in sufficient amounts to supplement its deficiencies in a diet low in this element, but the technology of enriching this element with table water is also mastered, which promises hope for universal access in this form of this valuable element.

Is it true that water should be drunk in small sips. If so why?
Water for Health Portal: Water should be drunk in small portions, because then it is better absorbed into the tissues and is not quickly excreted. Drinking a large volume of water once will result in its rapid excretion, and with it we will get rid of electrolytes important for the body, and if we do not replenish them, the result may be dehydration. You also need to pay attention to the amount of water supplied to the body not only in adults, but also in children. Water loss in an infant and toddler can quickly cause dehydration and lead to serious illness.

How should water be stored?
Water for Health Portal: After opening the bottle, it is best to store it in the refrigerator for no more than two days.

Can I use boiled tap water to prepare soups and other baby dishes?
In our opinion, tap water should be boiled if we want to prepare a meal for babies.

Since when can children drink sparkling water?
Water for Health Portal: In general, there is no contraindication for a child not to drink carbonated water. It is also impossible to determine the exact age at which a child can start drinking carbonated water. It is worth remembering when giving your child sparkling water, make sure that he does not drink greedily carbonated water, but in small sips, so that the carbon dioxide contained in carbonated water does not cause stomach ache.
Carbon dioxide contained in carbonated waters is primarily of flavoring importance. There is no contraindication to drinking water with carbon dioxide for healthy people, and only with diseases of the stomach and vocal cords should you avoid drinking carbonated water. Carbon dioxide irritating the taste buds, gives the impression of refreshment and thus the water is tastier. In addition, it is a bacteriostatic factor and therefore carbonated water is bacteriologically more reliable and thus healthier.
If you are afraid to give the child sparkling water, we can open the bottle earlier and degas it a little.

Thank you for substantive support of the Water for Health portal, in particular: Mr. Jarosław Wojtaszek, MA Anna Miły, Dr. Małgorzata Pieniak