Importance of Hydration
Fluid Replacement is a key part of a winning sports nutrition plan. Dehydration can cause lots of problems in young athletes. It effects muscle strength, endurance, coordination and causes fatigue. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke.
Athletes should consume 20 oz of water 20-30 minutes prior to exercise. During exercise 8-11 oz of water should be consumed every 15-20 minutes. Remember water should be the #1 choice for young athletes. Post activity - athletes should drink plenty of fluid to replace water lost from sweating.
Sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade are not needed for many minor sports activities. These drinks are made for athletes who have been exercising and sweating intensely for 90 minutes or more. They are high in sugar and acid and can harm teeth. An alternate to a sports drink would be a carbohydrate-rich snack with water. Here are a few examples crackers, chocolate milk, dry cereal, pretzels,
Remember young athletes do not instinctively drink enough fluids to replace lost stores and thirst does not always indicate when the body is in need of more fluids. By the time thirst is felt, an athlete is already becoming dehydrated.
Avoid drinks that contain caffeine such as coffee, tea, energy drinks and soda (cola). Caffeine increases the chance of dehydration.
By Chad Smith CSCS Dynamic Athlete Performance www.d-a-p-t.com 734-961-3271