Youth Sports

Keep Your Young Athlete Hydrated

Maintaining an appropriate level of hydration during participation in sports is essential, especially in youth athletes. Proper hydration reduces the risk of heat illness, improves athletic performance, and has been shown to improve cognitive performance in children. The following point discuss the importance of maintaining proper hydration:

•    Proper hydration reduces the risk of heat illness by lowering exercise core temperature. Every 1% loss in body mass will increase core temperature by about .5°F.  A youth athlete could lose 3-4% of body mass in one hour of intense exercise in the heat with out hydrating.  
•    A level of dehydration as little as 2% of body mass loss has been shown to have detrimental effects on athletic performance (sprinting, power, strength, endurance exercise, etc.) and cognitive function.

•    An easy way to determine hydration status is by urine color. Light colored urine indicates a proper
level of hydration whereas urine that is dark colored indicates an athlete who is dehydrated.

•    To prevent adverse effects of dehydration, it is essential to hydrate before, during, and after athletic participation. A good way to help minimize body water losses during activity is to drink to thirst

Make sure to keep your athlete hydrated as they hit the field, court, pool or track this fall.

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