All athletes need to drink extra fluids to replace body water lost during exercise (e.g. sweat). Youth athletes need to be even more careful to drink extra fluids while exercising and training for their sports. Compared with adults, kids sweat less, do not handle temperature extremes well, get hotter during exercise, and have a lower output of blood from the heart. All of these factors increase the risk of dehydration.
Dehydration can negatively affect sports performance, and worse, is dangerous when it leads to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Some of the negative effects on sports performance include:
- muscles cramps
- reduced mental function & concentration
- reduced balance
Let's keep our kids healthy and performing well by ensuring they have plenty of cold water available before, during, and after their practices and games. Be a proactive parent and talk to your child's coach about water breaks during practices, especially on hot days.
Drink well and play hard!