Tips to Keep Your Young Athlete Hydrated

I received product from BODYARMOR in exchange for sharing my thoughts. I was not otherwise compensated, and all opinions remain my own. #BlogginMamas 

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When my son got out of our car yesterday after soccer training, he said “EW” as he looked at the pool of sweat on the leather seat. I looked at the jug of water he was carrying and asked how much of it he had consumed. “All of it” he said. “I ran out halfway through practice.”  I gave him THE LOOK and warned him about letting himself get dehydrated. He cracked open a StrawberryBanana BODYARMOR and chugged it down.

It was hot outside.

It was also 8pm and only May.

Here in Texas, we have the benefit of warmer weather for a good part of the year (and fry and egg on the sidewalk for a good few months) so maintaining good hydration should be a focus for everyone, but for athletes it’s especially important – no matter where you live.

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Athletes stay at their peak performance when they are replacing what they are sweating out.  Did you know you can calculate your sweat rate to better monitor hydration? By weighing your athlete before AND after exercise (for the after, change in to dry clothes and dry off any sweat) and calculating the change in weight, you can determine sweat rate. As a rule 1 pound weight lost = 16 ounces of sweat. And for every pound lost, replace with 16-24 ounces of fluid within 24 hours.

Did you know that kids generally get dehydrated faster than adults? (It’s because of the way their bodies distribute water.)  I’ve got a few tips on staying well hydrated:

Hydrate Before

One thing I’m constantly reminding my kiddo is that he needs to be properly hydrated BEFORE going to practice or a match. If he isn’t, it’s difficult to “catch up.”  For hydration before exercise, our coaches generally recommend drinking water. In general, it is recommended that kids drink 1/2 cup per every 40 pounds of weight at least 3-4 hours before exercise in order to allow their bodies to absorb the fluid (and so, yes, they can go to the bathroom before the sports start).

Foods that benefit good hydration are fresh fruits that are high in water content such as watermelon and honeydew melon. Vegetables such as cucumbers and celery also can contribute to hydration.

Adding a sports drink before prolonged activity (an hour or more) will help prevent dehydration and the carbohydrates could help delay fatigue!

Hydrate During

Electrolytes are lost along with fluid during exercise.  Fluids should be consumed at every break, particularly in hot weather.  Cold water is an excellent choice during exercise because it is absorbed more quickly and leaves the stomach faster than room temp water.

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On hot days, make sure the water is in an insulated drink bottle OR stored in a cooler, because it will warm up quickly, and warm water when your overheated is pretty unpalatable.

Call a time out? Drink. Player change? Drink. Half-time? Drink. Send more than they think they will need, too.

 

Hydrate After

Drink, drink, drink! Your athlete needs to replace the fluids lost during activity, and as a rule, kids are pretty bad with getting adequate hydration on a regular day.  Those high-in-fluid fruits are a great after-activity snack. This is the perfect time to replace those electrolytes lost during exercise, too, and sports drinks serve well in this regard.  Sodium, potassium and carbohydrates found in sports drinks serve a real purpose: potassium will prevent cramping and carbs will provide energy.   Sodium helps the body retain fluids (and will increase your thirst so you will be encouraged to drink even more – the hardest thing to get a kid to do right?)

I’m a big fan of coconut water  but my kiddos aren’t a fan of the taste, and while it rocks in the potassium department, alone it doesn’t have the sodium that my son needs after soccer training. And while he likes sports drinks, I’m not necessarily a fan of the artificial colors or sweeteners (and I don’t get the flavors of some of them. )

 

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We’ve recently discovered BODYARMOR sports drink, and it’s a win/win for us both. It contains potassium-packed electrolytes, coconut water, vitamins, AND it contains natural flavors and sweeteners. What has cinched the deal for all of us though is the taste – this sports drink has a lot of flavor that tastes real: the aforementioned strawberry banana, orange mango (the kid’s other fave), tropical punch (my fave), mixed berry, blackout berry (YUM), grape, tropical punch and lemon lime – 8 flavors in all.

And there is just the right amount of natural sweetener in it, so it’s not too sweet and the fruit flavors really carry through.  My 10-year-old – who I have a hard time getting ANY fluid into before or after exercise (she’s a camel) LOVES the berry-flavored drinks. Can you say winning?

It’s a great option for younger athletes, too,  as the sodium content in BODYARMOR isn’t quite as high as other sports drinks – about 15mg – because while sodium has its place kids don’t need all that is found in other brands on the market.

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I found my BODYARMOR flavors at Kroger, Target, Tom Thumb and Brookshires here in Texas – you can find a store near you by clicking HERE.   Even better, there’s a coupon for you to try BODYARMOR  at www.drinkbodyarmor.com/coupon.

BODYARMOR is a great way for your young athlete – and you – to stay hydrated and enjoy doing it.

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Do you struggle to keep your young athlete hydrated?

Connect with BODYARMOR to learn more:

Web:            www.drinkbodyarmor.com

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