The consumption of beverages is highly popular among youngsters and these are important sources of fluid needed to maintain body hydration. The fluid requirement of youngsters vary depending on their age, body size, level of perspiration which is affected by temperature and intensity of physical exercise. Moreover, food habits such as increased consumption of salts can influence fluid needs. (Lieberman 2007; Manz, 2007 cited Bellisle et al. 2010, p.1).
The fluid requirement of an individual is the amount needed to:
- Balance the insensible losses which vary from individual to individual.
- Maintain the tolerable solute load on the kidney which is dependent on the dietary composition and other factors. (Ministry of Health New Zealand 1998, p.38)
Dehydration occurs when the fluid intake is less than the requirements and resulting in a number of symptoms depending on the degree of dehydration. Mild dehydration affects the mental and physical performance of the individual whereas more severe dehydration can induce importance of survival capacity and if not treated, can result to death. (Lieberman 2007 cited Bellisle et al. 2010, p.1)
Although the best source of fluid is water, adolescents more often opt for high calorie beverages which may have detrimental effects on their health.