Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Kavouras, Stavros

Committee Member/Reader

Howie, Erin

Committee Member/Second Reader

Ganio, Matthew


INTRODUCTION: Recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that more than 50% of children in the U.S. are hypohydrated. However, this assessment was based on a random single urine void which has several limitations in assessing hydration. Studies have shown that greater water consumption is associated with improved mood, cognition, increased physical activity and better overall nutrition. OBJECTIVE: To assess water intake and hydration status in 3-13 year-old girls. METHODS: 39 girls age 3-13 years-old (6.9 ± 2.9 y) collected their own urine samples for 24-hours on a Sunday. Subjects also recorded a food and fluid diary to track fluid and total water intake on Saturday and Sunday. The urine samples were analyzed for urine osmolality, urine specific gravity, color and volume. The food diaries were analyzed using NDSR software to calculate water intake. This study used the total water intake (TWI) values of children and girls age 3-13y from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to separate subjects that met adequate intake values and those who failed. Dehydration was defined based on urine osmolality ≥ 800 mOsm/kg. RESULTS: Thirty-eight percent of the girls were hypohydrated based on the urine biomarkers. Sixty percent of all girls did not meet the IOM recommendations for daily water intake. The ones that met the guidelines had lower 24-hr urine osmolality (774±232 vs. 619±223 mOsm/kg, P<0.05), consumed more plain water (1,145±744 vs. 366±171 mL/d, P<0.05), and had a higher TWI (2,558±605.4 vs. 1,150±250 mL/d, P<0.05) when compared to the ones who did not meet the guidelines. Higher water intake was also significantly associated with lower urine osmolality (R2 =0.125, P<0.01). CONCLUSION: The majority of girls 3-13y do not meet the dietary guideline for daily water intake and approximately 40% are hypohydrated. Lower water intake was associated with greater hypohydration in 3-13y old girls.