Alkaline Water and Children
The answer is “yes.” Children can safely drink alkaline water and enjoy the benefits, just like adults. There are a few industry-wide recommendations when it comes to giving your child alkaline ionized water.
Here are the recommended guidelines based on your child’s age.
First we’ll go over a few basics. There are some times that you should avoid giving your child alkaline ionized water and some uses that are not recommended.
Baby Formula and Foods – You should never use alkaline ionized water for mixing formula or baby foods. You always want to use water at the neutral/purified or H2O setting on your water ionizer for this.
Unless you skimped and bought a non-electric water ionizer, your water ionizer will have a setting for “neutral” water – which means the water is being filtered for chlorine and other contaminants, but no ionization is taking place.
Medications – Alkaline water should not be given to children 30 minutes before or after they receive a dose of medication. Prescription or over the counter medications – it doesn’t matter. If you’ve just given your child alkaline water, wait 30 minutes before giving him or her the next dose of medication. Once you give the dose of medication, make sure you wait at least 30 minutes before allowing them to drink alkaline water again.
If you usually give your child water to wash away the taste of medicines, use the neutral setting on your water ionizer – this way they get clean, filtered water but no ionization has taken place so it is safe to drink with or immediately after a dose of medicine.
Meals – The same “rules” apply to children as they do with adults. If mealtime is coming up within the next 30 to 45 minutes, don’t give your child alkaline water. Don’t give them alkaline water with their meals and allow 30 to 45 minutes after meals before allowing them to drink alkaline water.
Water produced at the neutral setting is fine at or near mealtimes but alkaline water consumed with meals or immediately before or after meals can interfere with the body’s ability to properly break down foods and absorb nutrients.
Aside from baby formulas and foods, medication time and mealtime, it is safe to give your child alkaline water throughout the day. Let’s take a look at the recommended alkaline levels for children based on their age.
Newborn to 1 Year
With newborns eating every few hours, allowing for 30 minutes before and after a feeding can make it difficult to give ionized water. If you do decide to give your newborn to 6-monthh-old baby alkaline water you only want to use water at the lowest alkaline setting with a pH between 8.0 and 8.5.
If you are in an area where your source water is already alkaline, you can mix half and half alkaline water and filtered/neutral water.
Eight to 16 ounces a day is all they should need but it is important that you give you start giving your baby some water – at least filtered water – as early as possible. Babies aren’t particularly picky and this is a good time to help your baby acquire a taste for water.
Babies from 6 months to a year are eating less frequently but larger quantities. Between feedings – allowing for 30 minutes before and after feeding – eight to 16 ounces a day of alkaline water with a pH of 8.0 to 8.5 is suggested. Again, you should a least be giving your baby filtered water so that they can begin acquiring a taste for it – and also because our bodies need water – at any age.
1 to 5 Years of Age
As children grow they become more active and come in contact with more environmental toxins. Giving your toddler to 5-year old water with a pH of 8.5 to 9pH will help them stay hydrated and help their little bodies eliminate toxins.
Children in this age range can drink up to two liters per day of alkaline ionized water in this range. Again, make sure there is a 30 minute window both before and after meals. And remember, juices are mostly sugar! They do little to hydrate the body but go a long way towards contributing to their daily sugar intake. Try to give alkaline water or at least filtered water whenever possible.
5 to 12 Years of Age
Unless your child is obese, has other health issues or is very active – involved in physically demanding sports activities, sticking with alkaline water at the 8.5 to 9.0 pH level is recommended. Their water intake should grow as they do and they can drink up to 5 liters of alkaline water a day.
If you have an extremely active child who is involved in sports, adding in a few glasses of alkaline water at the 9.5 pH level can help them rehydrate faster and reduce post-exertion recovery times.
12 to 18 Years of Age
Children in this age range can drink alkaline ionized water at the 9.5 to 9.7 pH level. Between four and six liters per day is often suggested but they may drink more.
This is the age range when children begin to experience the first real “stresses” of life. Alkaline ionized water not only helps them stay hydrated and helps their immune system. It also helps them with mental and emotional stamina.
If you’ve brought your children up drinking water – good for you – they will probably go for alkaline water frequently throughout the day because it has become an acquired taste and they can “feel” that it quenches their thirst. If you’ve brought your children up on soft drinks and juices, it may take some time to get them used to going for water instead of a sugary drink. Stick with it – in the long run, conditioning them to drink more water and fewer diet and soft drinks or juices will pay off in better health as full-grown adults.
19 and Older
Let’s face it – these aren’t really children anymore. They’ll always be our children, some of us will always think of them as our babies – but at this point it’s mostly up to them.
You should encourage them to drink at least six to eight liters of alkaline water a day. They can drink at the 9.5 to 9.7 pH levels or they can choose to drink a few glasses at lower alkaline levels. It doesn’t matter – encourage them to drink more water – preferably alkaline water.
The earlier you start conditioning your child to choose water over other beverages, the lower the likelihood they will develop weight or health problems. Giving your children alkaline ionized water can help boost their immune system, help them perform better in school and sports. Childhood is when we learn habits that we carry with us most of our lives – for better or for worse. Helping your child develop healthy habits early in life will help them live healthier more fulfilling lives.