I cannot believe that it is May already! This year is just flying by. With the weather heating up and summer right around the corner I have decided to dedicate this month’s blog to proper hydration. In i9 Sports, we do everything that we can to make sure the children are properly prepared to play in the hot summer months. Our leagues play in the cooler morning hours and we allow for water breaks whenever necessary; however, it is ultimately up to the individual player to stay properly hydrated. As you have probably heard before, if you wait until you are “thirsty,” then it may be too late. Please read below. I have provided a “checklist” for avoiding dehydration on game day.
Drinking fluids prior to exercise appears to reduce or delay the detrimental effects of dehydration.
- 1 to 2 hours before sports: 4 to 8 ounces of cold water
- 10 to 15 minutes before sports: 4 to 8 ounces of cold water
- A good meal with containing water (e.g. fruits)
Every 20 minutes: 5 to 9 ounces of a sports drink, depending on weight (5 for a child weighing 88 pounds, 9 ounces for a child weighing 132 pounds)
- Drink even if not thirsty
- Any time a child feels thirsty is a must to hydrate
- Encourage drinking fluids during timeouts and breaks
- Encourage drinking from their own fluid container and avoid sharing with others
- Encourage the ability to drink whenever they want and not to wait until they are told to take a break
- Adjust fluid needs during practice according to the weather, amount of equipment worn, and practice duration and intensity.
Post-exercise hydration should aim to correct any fluid lost during the practice and help the body recover from sports:
- Within the first 30 minutes after exercise, drink chocolate milk or a specially formulated sports drink containing protein and carbohydrates such as Gatorade G3 Recover. Not only do they hydrate, but the protein helps the body recover from exercise by enhancing muscle repair, and the carbohydrate replenish glycogen stores in muscles, which are a source of fuel during prolonged exercise of an hour or more.
- Within two hours: 20-24 ounces of a sports drink for every pound (16 ounces) of weight lost
- Replace all fluids lost during exercise plus any lost after exercise through urination
- Eat a good meal with foods containing water
By Bob Fournier
About Bob Fournier
Bob, who has been around youth athletics his entire life as a player and coach, is the Program Director for i9 Sports in the Weston, Florida area. i9 Sports was founded on the simple idea that kids play sports to have fun. It doesn’t accept that winning and the final score should be more important than the joy of the game. Its mission is to help kids succeed in life through sports. In i9 Sports programs, the key measure of success is whether each child walks away with a smile. When a child joins a team, i9 Sports wants them to find: FUN: Every child deserves to have a great time. INCLUSIVITY: No try-outs. Every child plays. SAFETY: Trained officials at every game. Safe play. GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP: Good character lasts a lifetime. HEALTHY COMPETITION: i9 Sports believes that every child is a winner and should have a chance to shine. i9 Sports understands that parents have busy schedules and require a program that is well-organized and convenient.