The Importance of Proper Hydration for Young Athletes

December 23, 2022
Posted in Featured

The Importance of Proper Hydration for Young Athletes

Consume more water! We’ve all heard of it, but we only sometimes follow through. We can’t survive without it for more than a week because it makes up about 75% of our body weight.

Consume more water! We’ve all heard of it, but we only sometimes follow through. We can’t survive without it for more than a week because it makes up about 75% of our body weight. Ensure you include enough water in young athletes’ diets because temperatures are rising and kids are participating in hot weather.

Serious health problems include seizures, irregular pulse, coma, and even death can result from dehydration. Therefore, before sending your child to a week of sports camp, ensure they understand the importance of drinking enough water. Michigan State University Extension advises parents to give kids 1.5 to 2 cups of water for exercising every 15 to 20 minutes. Children should always drink water before, during, and after physical activity.

Dehydration in Winter

Ensure your young athlete drinks enough water while playing sports, even when it gets colder outside. Dehydration occurs when your child’s body loses more water than in-take, and it may be more of a concern in the winter than most people think.

According to a University of New Hampshire study, the colder months raise your risk of dehydration. During cold weather, people don’t feel as thirsty. Therefore many people, especially young athletes, need to remember to drink water. Sweat evaporates fast in lower temperatures’ cold, dry air, making bodies work harder.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Thirst, dark urine, and reduced urine production are some initial signs of dehydration. Urine color is one of the finest hydration symptoms; clear urine indicates adequate hydration, whereas darker urine indicates dehydration. Here are some common symptoms of dehydration in youth athletes:

  • Lethargy
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lack of sweating

Health Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Here are some health benefits of hydrating for young athletes:

Improved Muscle Function

When young athletes stay hydrated throughout the day, their body muscles grow stronger.

Regulated Blood Pressure

If your child doesn’t take enough water, their body won’t maintain the blood pressure to normal. Therefore, it is important to keep reminding your child to drink water, especially during a workout session.

Improved Circulation

Keeping hydrated also enhances circulation and blood flow, which increases the supply of nutrients and oxygen to working muscles in young athletes. In addition to replenishing the water lost through sweat, proper hydration aids in the removal of metabolic waste and waste products from muscles.

Parents and Youth Sports Coach Should Know This

Young athletes must consume enough water to stay hydrated and perform at their best. The body needs to be properly hydrated and maintain temperature to function at its best. Encourage young athletes to drink water before they express thirst. Thirst is induced when one is between 3 and 5 percent dehydrated. However, even mild dehydration of 1 percent or more can cause:

  • Muscular injury
  • Muscle cramps and articular cartilage injury
  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Stroke or heat exhaustion

Keep your child hydration in sports endeavors. Young players should stay hydrated all day to maintain their bodies in top shape for the best performance.


Dehydration increases muscle exhaustion, which raises the possibility of injury. The risk of injury can be decreased, and muscular weariness can be decreased in young athletes by maintaining appropriate hydration.

The internal body temperature rises during exercise, and the body responds by sweating to release extra heat and prevent overheating. Maintaining hydration helps to prevent cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke by replacing the water lost through sweat and promoting thermoregulation.

As a parent or a youth sports coach, you should keep track of your young athletes’ nutrients and hydration needs. 

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