The pitch is heating up! So let’s be very aware that we’re needing to keep our young athletes hydrated and cool. Remember that dehydration can occur in both warm and cool weather.
A rule of thumb, the athlete should drink water
30 minutes before activity and every 20 minutes during activity.
If we’re thirsty, we’re already dehydrated. Other signs of dehydration may be headache, muscle cramping, weakness/fatigue, and decreased performance. Worsening dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion with symptoms of nausea, feeling faint and dark-colored urine.
Should dehydration or heat exhaustion be suspected? Remove the athlete from play and move to a cool place, provide water or a sports drink, sponge the athlete with cool wet cloths.
If the athlete is very lethargic, is vomiting, lack of sweating despite the heat, red/hot/dry skin, the athlete may be advancing to heat stroke, which is a medical emergency and warrants a 911 call.
A well hydrated person will have pale yellow or clear/non-colored urine. Performance is dependent upon keeping well hydrated. So in order to play well, we must keep our water intake up.
Sodas should be avoided. “Energy” drinks should absolutely be avoided, as they will worsen dehydration (plus they are not good for our kids to be taking in anyway). Sports drinks are ok, however, they should be restricted to times of activity as the do contain high levels of sugar.
So stay hydrated to play your best, and as always, play hard, play safe.