Hydration for Athletes
Proper hydration is required before children exercise, and monitoring and replacing lost fluids are crucial to their athletic performance.
Knowing how to approximate their fluid needs during workout, recognizing the signs and symptoms of dehydration are vital to performing at their optimal best.
Signs of Dehydration
This is a potentially fatal condition of low sodium levels. During long periods of exercise sodium levels are depleted and if not replenished can cause serious illness. Replenishing with electrolyte sports drinks or even a salty snack could abate the situation. Hypernatremia can also happen if you drink too much water. Water dilutes sodium content of the blood. Athletes should be cognascent of this increased risk and know the signs and symptoms.
Signs of Hypernatremia
Loss of consciousness
Sports drinks are a convenient way to replace water, carbohydrates, and sodium losses that occur during and after exercising. If you're worried about the sugar content, here are a few ways you can make your own electrolyte drink.
1. 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of lime juice, 1 tsp. of salt, 1 whole orange squeezed, 1 liter of water, and ice.
2. 2 cups of coconut water, 1 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. of honey or stevia (natural sweetener), and 1 liter of water.
3. 3 cups of unsweetened cranberry juice (100% juice), 5 cups water, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 tbsp. of maple syrup.
The options are endless so be creative. Include your kids during the preparations! Below is another recipe for a recovery smoothie created by Sue of H2T.
Recovery Smoothie Recipe
2 1/2 cups of fresh spinach
2 kiwis peeled
1 lime squeezed
1 cup of frozen mango
3 cups of water or coconut water
1 cup of lemonade
1 cup of ice
1 scoop of protein powder (optional)
Blend until the spinach and all other ingredients are blended. Yes it will be a lovely shade of H2T green. But it’s yummy and refreshing.
Stay fit, stay healthy!
About the Author: Sue Forberg is the Director at H2T Elite Dryland Training Inc. H2T is a multi-faceted state of the art dryland facility specializing in children the ages 5-16. A gym for kids you say... absolutely. Their primary goal is to enhance the quality of life for young people through exercise and proper nutrition. H2T has created a fun age appropriate dryland program that gives every child what he/she needs from a developmental standpoint. Find out more at www.H2Tdryland.com.