Should I worry about how much my child drinks during training or a game?

Should I worry about how much my child drinks during training or a game?

Yes, and most importantly make sure they are hydrated before the start of the activity. Adolescents tolerate heat less efficiently than adults because they have less surface area and their sweat glands are not mature. Additionally they usually don’t consume enough fluids pre & during exercise because their thirst mechanisms are underdeveloped. Parents must take the time to ensure the athlete drinks enough fluid before and after events. Two hours before games and practices, give your child a container with 16 to 24 ounces of fluid. Check to make sure they drank the entire container. This is especially important when it’s hot or humid outside to prevent heat-illness. Your child's coaches should make it their policy that water be available during practices and, within reason, allow kids to drink at will. Otherwise take regular water breaks. If feasible, for the very young athlete, assign coaches to make sure every kid is getting water during water breaks. Athletes, especially younger ones, should be able to drink water every time they request. Coach and staff members should adhere to this policy.

 

General Fluid Requirements

• Fluids should be cold, palatable and selected based on the type and duration of the activity

• Sports drinks should contain four to eight percent carbohydrate. Drinks greater than 10 percent carbohydrate may slow stomach emptying, cause abdominal cramping and impair performance

Pre-exercise Guidelines

• Drink approximately 16 to 24 ounces of fluid two hours before activity

• On warm or humid days, drink an additional eight to 16oz 30 to 60 minutes before activity

• Water is adequate for activities less than an hour as long as meals are consumed regularly

• For endurance events, training sessions longer than 60 minutes, or multiple practices a day, choose a sport drink containing four to eight percent carbohydrate (e.g. Gatorade).

During Exercise

• Depending on your sport, consume three to six fluid ounces of water or sports drink every 15 minutes.  This equates to approximately 32 ounces per hour.

• For prolonged exercise greater than 60 minutes, choose a sports drink with small amounts of electrolytes

Post-exercise Guidelines

• Immediately following activity, drink at least 16 to 20 ounces of fluid for every pound of weight lost to ensure proper rehydration. Supervise your youth athletes to ensure they drink the entire amount of fluid you provide

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