Maintaining proper hydration is not only important for your health, but it has a major impact on performance. Simply stated – a well-hydrated athlete will perform better in the final minutes of a game or over the course of an entire practice.

Knowledge about hydration and electrolyte balance has come a long way since the days of halftime orange slices. Through science and measurement we know exactly how much fluid needs to be replenished during strenuous exercise, but keeping kids hydrated can still be a challenge.

Here are five tips to make sure your team is hydrated and stays hydrated during the season.

  1. Hydrate before you recreate
    We all know the importance of taking water breaks during practices and games, but there’s no way of knowing how hydrated a kid is when he/she arrives. By starting each practice or a game with a water break you’re making sure that each child has a base level of fluids in their system.
  2. Rule of ten
    Physicians recommend six ounces of water during every 20 minutes of exercise, but that amount can increase depending upon factors like heat and strenuousness of activities. Setting a timer on your watch to go off every ten minutes is a great way to remind kids that it’s time for a break.
  3. Taste isn’t bad
    Studies show that kids tend to drink more fluids if they like the taste. Some kids love water and some kids love flavored sports drinks. Even carbonated water – which does not cause dehydration – is better than nothing. Stay away from caffeinated drinks, which increase dehydration.
  4. Don’t say no
    Water breaks shouldn’t be a reward and withholding water shouldn’t be a
    punishment. Ever.
  5. Know the signs
    It’s important to recognize when an athlete may be suffering from extreme
    dehydration. Nausea, dizziness, confusion and lack of sweat can all be symptoms
    that a child needs medical attention.

Hydration Tips & Tricks powered by Coaches Tribune.