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The Importance of Hydration for Young Athletes

Hydration is one of the most important things to be kept in mind for young athletes as it can result in better performance and overall health. Many young athletes don’t understand its importance, but as the parent of the child, it’s important that you discuss the benefits of hydration with your kids and help them become self – responsible. PastedGraphic-6

Various factors that can result in dehydration are:

1) Medications

2) Not well rested

3) Overweight or obese

4) Clothing or gear that contributes to heat retention

5) Sick or ill (especially vomiting or fever)

Prevention is the best measure to avoid dehydration in your child. Encourage your athletes to look for the warning signs of dehydration, such as: dry mouth, thirst, headache, dizziness, cramps or fatigue. As soon as they recognize these symptoms, teach them to report it to the coach immediately and not feel embarrassed about it  (as keeping it with themselves can have bigger consequences). Remind them if they are feeling dehydrated and is reported immediately, it can be solved with fluid intake and rest. Also make sure that your child is drinking fluids regularly before, during and after the game and practice sessions.

During the game, make sure the kids are taking fluids with electrolytes. As they play the game, their bodies lose important electrolytes and their blood sugar drops. Athletes should be informed to drink fluids, even if they aren’t feeling thirsty. Make sure, after your game, your kid continues to hydrate with fluids that can help balance the sodium and potassium level. Continue to hydrate and replace electrolytes after the game with sports drinks and water.

Help them understand the importance of hydration and how it will help them in the recovery process, improve their game performance and have better endurance. Also make sure to talk to the coaches in advance and discuss how to help keep the kids hydrated during the game. Coaches can play an important role in educating/influencing the kids to develop the healthy habit of hydration.

Always remember, a healthy kid is a happy kid☺.