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Ten Hydration Tips for Youth Athletes

Here's a list of hydration tips for youth athletes:
  1. Drink before, during, and after activity.
  2. Drink sports drinks (if calories are a concern, drink a low calorie sport drink) during and after.Young football player drinking sports drink
  3. Let youth choose their favorite flavors to drink, and stock up on them.
  4. Equip your youth with their own hydration bottles (try to avoid them sharing with other teammates).
  5. Have a refill plan for the bottle (a water fountain, a cooler, or another Gatorade bottle), Don’t let them run out and have no way to refill it.
  6. Maximize hydration opportunities during meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner are great times to lightly salt foods, eat foods that are “watery” in nature, and have more than 1 cup of fluids along with the meal.
  7. Chocolate milk is a cheap and great “recovery drink.”
  8. Try to figure out how much the child sweat in an hour during activity to figure out their true fluid needs instead of a standard amount.
  9. Don’t let youth become dehydrated across days of activity, always replace what they lost through sweat before practice.
  10. But don’t push fluids to the point where the youth is over-hydrating and feeling weighed down and sluggish.

Posted August 3, 2011