Kids Sports Hydration
Do you as coach have a Sports Hydration routine with your athletes?
Water is more important than food for the human body. Everybody's functions rely on water. Our bodies lose water all day. Hence the need to keep fluid intake levels high.
Every time an athlete begins to feel flat or illness approaching increasing the water intake should be the first course of action.
When kids play sports, sweat is produced to cool the body. The sweat needs to be replaced. Failure to replace the body’s fluid levels begins the ever increasing speedy process of the athletes performance level decreasing.
Children involved in swimming suffer from dehydration more than other kids sports. The body is kept cool in the water while training and competing however water loss it still happening. Drink up swimmers!
Sports Hydration tips for coaches
- Be a role model and use a water bottle personally in front of your athletes
- Promote and police the 'no water bottle no training session' policy
- Plan drink breaks in training sessions to encourage fluid intake
- Allow kids to have toilet breaks during training. What goes in must come out!
- 150-250ml of water is required every 20mins during solid training
- At least 1.5 - 2 liters per day
- Allow sweetened drinks to be consumed during long training sessions or competitions. Kids in sport should chose the children’s strength energy drinks rather than the full strength adult varieties.
- Kids in sport dehydrate faster than adults
- What are the weather conditions? Warmer temperatures are going to increase the bodies fluid loss. Increase the intake levels.
- Kids in cold weather conditions and climates still sweat under the layers of clothes
- Recognize the symptoms of dehydration and heat stroke; thirsty, flushed face, sweat stopped appearing on skin, confusion, dizziness, diarrhea and nausea.
Coaches should note that 10 hours of sleep a night is needed for the sports kids to function at their peak.
My personal observations of sports hydration in kids sports is that children are very good at drinking while at training but are terrible when they are between training sessions.
Kids in sport should make a water bottle a permanent fixture in their hand around home and school.