Hydration strategies for spring competition

close

As warm weather approaches, football players and coaches are starting to pull out the helmets, shoulder pads, blocking shields and lesson plans for spring workouts.

One key to a good football practice is proper hydration.

Throughout training – including before, during and after – players and coaches both must focus on maintaining adequate hydration levels. Drinking plenty of fluids and staying well-hydrated benefits onfield performance while reducing the risk of heat stress or illness.

Hot and humid environments present greater chances for players to have fluid, energy and electrolyte deficits, but staying hydrated remains crucial even during mild early spring weather.

Ewing (N.J.) High School athletic trainer and USA Football Football and Wellness Committee member Dave Csillan provides some hydration tips and rules all football players and coaches should consider before lining up.

The chair of the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey Secondary School Committee, Csillian received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Trenton State College and a master’s degree in athletic training from Old Dominion University. He is a member of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Liaison to USA Football.

    How much should you drink before and after activity? Drink 12 fluid ounces 30 minutes before activity begins. After activity, drink every 20 minutes during the first hour to make up for fluid loss.

    What should you drink?Cold water is the best fluid to drink during activity and allows for fast absorption.  It’s a myth that cold water gives stomach cramps. Sports drinks work well after activity to help replenish lost electrolytes.

    How much should you drink during exercise?Children under 90 pounds should drink 5 ounces every 20 minutes, and children more than 90 pounds should drink 9 ounces every 20 minutes.

    Easy tip: A child’s gulp equals half an ounce of fluid. Therefore, a child 90 pounds or less should drink at least 10 gulps every 20 minutes.

    What is the thirst response? Don’t allow thirst to be your guide to drinking. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. 

    What color should your urine be? Your urine should look like lemonade and not apple juice. Urine color can be a non-scientific indicator that the body is becoming, or already is, dehydrated.

Drinking liquids is a necessity. Players and coaches should keep water and sports beverages available during drills and training sequences.

Dehydration signs and symptoms include: feeling fatigued, lack of energy, muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness and thirst.

Coaches should be mindful of keeping their players’ hydration in balance.  

The best preparation for workouts is coming into practice well-hydrated. Football players need to monitor sweat loss and increase fluid intake as their exercise level increases. Many teams mandate players weighing themselves before and after practice to see how much water weight was lost.

“Heat illness and dehydration are not a 100 degrees Fahrenheit issue. Heat illness has been known to occur in temperatures of 82 degrees Fahrenheit,” Csillan said. “When the right combination of air temperature, relative humidity and exercise intensity are present, so is the risk of dehydration and heat illness.

“Altering practices to the training environment, allowing for a gradual increase in exercise intensity and providing proper fluid intake makes dehydration and heat illness 100 percent preventable.”
- See more at: HERE

Encourage Youth Football Players with Positive Feedback

close

By Marty Gitlin
Special to PlaySportsTV

 
Every player on a youth football team should feel he is an important part of the team’s success, even though they might not share the same abilities and talents.
 
Longtime and highly successful coach Russ Jacques of the Strongsville High School football team, in Strongsville, Ohio, fully believes this coaching strategy.
 
Jacques understands that for younger kids to have the desire to continue competing in football, they must feel good about themselves. And they can’t feel good about themselves with a football inferiority complex.
 
“A coach has to feel his way around that situation,” Jacques says. “But every kid has to get some positive feedback. If he’s not the best player physically, maybe he can be the kid who leads calisthenics or the kid who gets a little head start on a relay race and wins that. You want him to go home at the end of the day and tell his Dad, ‘Hey, Dad, I was the guy that led calisthenics today!’  You have to be positive.” Make football drills stimulating and fun Jacques believes the primary function of the youth football coach is to teach football fundamentals in an enjoyable way. (A great way to coach the football fundamentals necessary to play quarterback is through PlaySportsTV's football training plan How to Play Quarterback. Here's one of over 40 drills: the Pitch technique.) 
 
It’s all about blocking, tackling, catching and throwing. But players won’t learn these football fundamentals if they’re not having fun on the field.  Most players' minds are prone to wandering through boring and repetitive drills.
 
“What you want to do is make it a competitive situation,” Jacques says. “Instead of running gassers, do a relay race.  Bring it down to the level that will allow you to get your work done with the kids not even knowing it.
 
“Most people are competitive by nature and kids are no different. Don’t tell them they’ll be running gassers after practice. Tell them they’ll be running a relay race and they won’t even know they’re getting in shape.
 
“Kids who are 7 or 8 or 9 years old, all they want to do is play. But they have to know that to play the right way, and they have to learn the basic things. They want to do something for a short time and then do something else. You have to break your practices down into segments.” Football coaching tip: Keep encouraging players Jacques also stresses that even if all your players learn the basics, they are not all going to enjoy performing those specific tasks equally. He believes that coaches must be sensitive to the feelings of all his players.
 
In other words, everybody will learn how to tackle and how to be tackled safely, but while some younger kids will love the contact that is a necessity in football, others will shy away from it. That doesn’t mean they are doomed to play only non-contact sports. It just means they must be given time and encouragement.
 
“Some kids are going to love tackling and getting tackled and some kids are not,” Jacques says. “Some kids have to work up to wanting to hit somebody and wanting to get hit. But those are life lessons. In life, when you get knocked down, you have to get up. And that’s what they have to learn.”
 
The bottom line is that every youth football player must believe he is contributing to the team effort.
 
“You want every player to understand his role and look forward to every day,” he says.  “As long as he feels like he’s contributing, that’s the most important thing.”
 
Story courtesy of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Coach Engram a Kid Favorite at Ravens’ Football Clinic

close

 The Baltimore Ravens hosted their annual Ravens Football Clinic, presented by Under Armour, at the Fallston Recreation Complex for over 300 Harford County youth athletes on Saturday.  Members of the Ravens’ coaching staff were on hand to guide participants through a series of age-appropriate drills to develop their offensive and defensive skill.

The Ravens coaches in attendance included: Bobby Engram (wide receivers), Jay Harbaugh (Offensive Quality Control), Chris Hewitt (Assistant Defensive Backs), Don Martindale (Inside Linebackers) and Clarence Brooks (Defensive Line). The young athletes got to take part in drills that were similar to the ones that the coaches have Ravens players do. The
Ravens head team physician Dr. Andrew Tucker wrapped up the clinic by speaking to the athletes and their parents about concussion awareness.

Coach Engram was one of the favorite coaches at the clinic. The kids took to his hands on style of coaching and it showed by the progress that they made as he helped them learn how to become a better receiver . He talked about why he came out to coach at the clinic.

    
   camp.jpg It means a lot, it’s a blessing because I remember when people came and helped me as a young football player. It’s a part of the reason why I’ve been able to do some of the things that I did in my career. You’re never too young to learn fundamentals. It’s great when they see coaches and players that care about them as people. 
To me coaching is a way to continue to serve.”
Each camper received a t-shirt provided by Under Armour. Ravens youth football specialist, Coach Tom gave the kids a very upbeat pep talk and encouraged them to “Play Like A Raven.”   There are two more Ravens clinics coming up this month. Parents should register their children for them as soon as possible by clicking the following link:  Ravens Clinics

Victor Santiago from Aberdeen Maryland told Pro Player Insiders that he had a great time at the camp. “My favorite thing was coming here and having fun. I learned to keep a good base in the offensive line drills. It was great to learn about values like hard work.” The camp was a success as many of the young athletes left with a smile on their face.

- See more - HERE -

The Baltimore Ravens hosted their annual Ravens Football Clinic, presented by Under Armour, at the Fallston Recreation Complex for over 300 Harford County youth athletes on Saturday. Members of the Ravens’ coaching staff were on hand to guide participants through a series of age-appropriate drills to develop their offensive and defensive skill.The Ravens coaches in attendance included: Bobby Engram (wide receivers), Jay Harbaugh (Offensive Quality Control), Chris Hewitt (Assistant Defensive Backs), Don Martindale (Inside Linebackers) and Clarence Brooks (Defensive Line). The young athletes got to take part in drills that were similar to the ones that the coaches have Ravens players do. The Ravens head team physician Dr. Andrew Tucker wrapped up the clinic by speaking to the athletes and their parents about concussion awareness.Coach Engram was one of the favorite coaches at the clinic. The kids took to his hands on style of coaching and it showed by the progress that they made as he helped them learn how to become a better receiver . He talked about why he came out to coach at the clinic.
IMG_20140614_082435644“It means a lot, it’s a blessing because I remember when people came and helped me as a young football player. It’s a part of the reason why I’ve been able to do some of the things that I did in my career. You’re never too young to learn fundamentals. It’s great when they see coaches and players that care about them as people. To me coaching is a way to continue to serve.”
Each camper received a t-shirt provided by Under Armour. Ravens youth football specialist, Coach Tom gave the kids a very upbeat pep talk and encouraged them to “Play Like A Raven.” There are two more Ravens clinics coming up this month. Parents should register their children for them as soon as possible by clicking the following link:  Ravens ClinicsVictor Santiago from Aberdeen Maryland told Pro Player Insiders that he had a great time at the camp. “My favorite thing was coming here and having fun. I learned to keep a good base in the offensive line drills. It was great to learn about values like hard work.” The camp was a success as many of the young athletes left with a smile on their face. - See more at:
Coach Engram a Kid Favorite at Ravens’ Football Clinic - See more at:
Coach Engram a Kid Favorite at Ravens’ Football Clinic Posted on Sunday, June 15th, 2014 at 9:16 am.Written by
The Baltimore Ravens hosted their annual Ravens Football Clinic, presented by Under Armour, at the Fallston Recreation Complex for over 300 Harford County youth athletes on Saturday. Members of the Ravens’ coaching staff were on hand to guide participants through a series of age-appropriate drills to develop their offensive and defensive skill.The Ravens coaches in attendance included: Bobby Engram (wide receivers), Jay Harbaugh (Offensive Quality Control), Chris Hewitt (Assistant Defensive Backs), Don Martindale (Inside Linebackers) and Clarence Brooks (Defensive Line). The young athletes got to take part in drills that were similar to the ones that the coaches have Ravens players do. The Ravens head team physician Dr. Andrew Tucker wrapped up the clinic by speaking to the athletes and their parents about concussion awareness.Coach Engram was one of the favorite coaches at the clinic. The kids took to his hands on style of coaching and it showed by the progress that they made as he helped them learn how to become a better receiver . He talked about why he came out to coach at the clinic.
IMG_20140614_082435644“It means a lot, it’s a blessing because I remember when people came and helped me as a young football player. It’s a part of the reason why I’ve been able to do some of the things that I did in my career. You’re never too young to learn fundamentals. It’s great when they see coaches and players that care about them as people. To me coaching is a way to continue to serve.”
Each camper received a t-shirt provided by Under Armour. Ravens youth football specialist, Coach Tom gave the kids a very upbeat pep talk and encouraged them to “Play Like A Raven.” There are two more Ravens clinics coming up this month. Parents should register their children for them as soon as possible by clicking the following link:  Ravens ClinicsVictor Santiago from Aberdeen Maryland told Pro Player Insiders that he had a great time at the camp. “My favorite thing was coming here and having fun. I learned to keep a good base in the offensive line drills. It was great to learn about values like hard work.” The camp was a success as many of the young athletes left with a smile on their face.
- See more at:

5 Life Lessons You Learn From Football

close

5 Life Lessons You Learn From Football
By 
Taken from About.com Football

Someday, your son will move out of the house (we hope) and pursue a career.   The statistics show that his career most likely won’t be in football.  But are there some life lessons that the game of football can help you transfer to your son?  Are there any lasting benefits to this 100-year-old game?  Definitely.  Here are a few to ponder.

Teamwork
Football requires a pretty unique brand of teamwork.  When you’re a part of a football team (sometimes with up to 90 other players), understanding your role and that of your teammates is critical.  Trusting them to do their job is also of utmost importance.  Even guys on the 2nd and 3rd string play a  definitive role that helps the overall group.  The emotional ups and downs that a team will experience help to build trust over time. 

Discipline
Football requires the player to discipline himself and to work hard.   There is also a beautiful life lesson in the scrutiny and evaluation process.  From high school on up, every move in practice and games is evaluated by coaches and fellow players through film.  This is a wonderful thing, because it allows for growth and accountability.  As his parent, you’ve been evaluating him since birth.  It helps him to have other mentors and friends evaluating his performance.  This is like life, where if we hope to improve and grow, we have to take responsibility for that growth, and surround ourselves with people who can help.

Perseverance
Football provides a variety of challenges that will test (and help to build) your son’s perseverance. He loses a big game. He doesn’t make 1st team. He misses a play that results in a touchdown for the other team.  He struggles as other players develop strength and quickness before he does. These are all things that will challenge your son emotionally, and might tempt him to quit. But if he sticks with it, there will be a payoff in the end.  You’re the parent.  You see what he doesn’t, so help him through those things.

Goal Setting
There are a lot of things that a football player does that can be measured.  Where there’s measurement, there’s a chance to set goals for improvement.  He might set a goal to get his 40 yard dash down to a certain time.  Maybe he could try to increase his weight training maximums, or catch a certain number of passes in a season.  He will also be exposed to lots of team oriented goals, which will help him be accountable for his part to the overall team.  We all should grow and improve ourselves, and football can help him get started on the right foot with good goal setting habits.  This is great stuff! 

A High You Can’t Buy
My head coach in high school always said, “It’s a high you can’t buy,” when talking to us about our success in football.  This game can create a huge adrenaline rush.  Fighting and scrapping with all you have alongside your teammates, and being successful, even in one play, is a moving experience.  It can teach your son that there are healthy, productive ways to pursue adventure and “highs” in this life.  How many stories have we heard about boys being kept grounded and out of trouble by the camaraderie and mentorship they’ve received in football? This list is not all inclusive, but the bottom line comes back to you, the parent.  It’s important that you take the initiative to help him process what’s going on. If you do, it will be far more than just a game; it will be a vehicle to help your son achieve greater things later in life.

5 Tips For Youth Football Coaches

close

 
 5 Life Lessons You Learn From Football
By 
Taken from About.com Football
 
Whether you're a veteran in the coa
ching world, or just starting to coach your son's city league football team, here are some tips to help make the experience enjoyable for you and your future stars.
 
 
1. Keep it Fun
Football is a game, it's not life.  While there are wonderful life lessons to be learned from the game, we as coaches cannot be so caught up in pummeling our opponent that we forget this important principle.  In youth football, you've been successful as a coach if you've made the game so fun that kids want to play it again next year. This may mean playing "Johnny Slow Shoes", while offering up a prayer that they don't run his way. Like you, I've always maintained that winning is more fun than losing, but winning is not the thing.  Fun is the thing. 
 
 
2. Teach the Fundamentals
The best football players of today learned the fundamentals of the game many years ago.  This is in our job description as a youth football coach.  We cannot give our kids a 100 page playbook and expect them to memorize it in a 6 week season.  Simplify.  Teach.  This game gets more complicated the older they get.  Take the time now to focus on fundamentals, and teach them how to make a good blockhow to catch the football, and how to make a solid tackle.  Set them up for success in their future football career by laying a solid foundation now. 
 
 
3. Teach Good Sportsmanship
We are privileged to have a role in the shaping of some young people, and we need to take that responsibility seriously.  Our kids should be the ones breaking up the fights in school, not starting them.  Our kids should be the ones leading by example with their grades, effort, and enthusiasm.  And if we expect them to lead by example, it starts with us.   This does not mean they have to gather up after every play and sing Kumbaya .  We can encourage good sportsmanship and physical intensity at the same. I love to see players going as hard as they can between whistles, and after the play, helping each other up and going back to do it again. 
 
 
4. Keep It Safe
Football has always been a physical game, with many injuries, and injuries are a normal part of most sports. However, the reputation for football has gotten worse recently with the research and media buzz about concussions in football. Can't we, as a general body of good coaches, do our part now before we have mandates on training and safety audits on our practices? Do we really need to do "bull in the ring" drills with our 10 year olds? Again, our goals are to make sure they come back to play the game, have fun, and grow into good people. Some injuries are avoidable.
 
 
5. Build Lasting Relationships
Many of us reference our youth or high school football coach when we talk about who has made a big impact on our life. See beyond the scoreboard. You've got parents, neighbors, aunts and uncles involved (for better or worse). You've got Johnny's little brother, who actually is fast and physical, and might play for your team someday, if Johnny has fun with it. To me, it's not just about the game of football, it's about relationships. The 6 team city league that you're a part of may not seem like much, but it's an opportunity. I ask my fellow coaches the same thing I've asked my players; What are you going to do with what you've been given?

Celebrating the Good Things Sports Parents Do

close

Celebrating the Good Things Sports Parents Do
by Jodi Murphy

Like most of the news, stories about youth sports often focus on the dark-side of things—stories of parents getting into fight at games, coaches verbally, physically or sexually abusing their players, league administrators caught robbing their organizations, and more. While we realize we don’t live in a perfect world and we shouldn’t look the other way when we hear about these stories (especially when it comes to abuse), we at SportsSignup feel it’s even more important to celebrate all the good that comes out of youth sports programs! And that doesn’t just mean celebrating the achievement of the players as they grow as athletes, it also means celebrating the good things that sports parents do for their teams.

Here are three things that we feel most sports parents should get a pat on the back for:

1. Sports parents are the reasons we have youth athletes.
Let’s be honest, most 6-year-olds can’t sign themselves up for Little League; it’s often sports parents that get their kids interested and involved in youth sports in the first place. Most turf_closeup.jpgsports parents AREN’T in it for the future college scholarships, or the chance to relive their own glory days. They want their children to play because youth sports teaches dedication, teamwork, leadership skills, how to win/lose with dignity, and more. Don’t let “those” sports parents ruin the reputation of sports moms and dads as a whole!

2. Sports parents learn as they go.
Most coaches are actually sports moms and dads who volunteered, not professional coaches or athletic trainers looking for a side job. Some of them probably played sports in high school, and some maybe even in college. But most sports parent-coaches have little to no training when it comes to being a coach, so they are learning on the job! Not everyone can be a great sports coach right out of the gate, and while we’ve all had to deal with a terrible coach at some point, let’s not forget about those sports moms and dads who were willing to volunteer when no one else would to coach our kids! It takes a lot of courage to take responsibility for a dozen or so young athletes (and learn to cope with “those” sports parents along the way).

3. Sports parents juggle a lot. Multiple kids means multiple teams and multiple games and practice schedules. Plus there are after-school activities to coordinate, doctor’s appointments to get to, family vacations to plan, sleep-overs to schedule, and so much more! Most sports parents are easily trying to cram three or four people’s schedules into one calendar and for the most part they make it happen. No one is perfect and sometimes they run late to practice, but most sports parents understand the important of getting kids to the game on time and try their hardest to make it work.

What do the sports parents do on your team or for your youth sports league that deserves recognition?
There are plenty of stories of when sports parents screw up but we think it’s time to start celebrating all the good and positive things they do for our communities.

Kids Need To Drink Fluids Before, During and After Sports

close

Here are the key points to keep in mind in making sure your child drinks enough fluids while playing sports to perform at her best and avoid dehydration: 
  • Kids should drink before, during and after sports. To prevent dehydration, or, worse yet, heat illness, you should encourage your child to drink cool fluids before, during, and after physical activity. Young athlete drinking from a water bottle
  • Kids should drink on a schedule, not when thirsty. Your child need to regulate his fluid intake by drinking according to a schedule, rather than in response to thirst, because thirst is not an accurate measure of a child's need for fluid. By the time your child says he is thirsty, he is already dehydrated. Consuming cool fluids at regular intervals during exercise protects your child's health and optimizes athletic performance.*
  • Kids should drink from their own water bottles. Children should have their own personalized water bottles and need to be reminded to drink 5 to 9 ounces (10 to 18 1/2 ounce "gulps") every 20 minutes during activity, depending on weight (Teenagers should drink more). Younger children should be given water bottles with marks on the sides showing how much they should drink each time or told how many "gulps" to drink.
  • Kids' fluid intake needs to be supervised. Children do not instinctively drink enough fluids to replace water losses, so it is essential that you watch to see how much water they actually drink. Parents should remind their kids to drink to stay hydrated, and make sure that their coaches see that they drink enough fluids during practices and games.
  • Kids need to be watched for signs of heat illness. During prolonged exercise, children and adolescents may not recognize the symptoms of heat stress and may push themselves to the point of heat-related illness. It's your job, and the coach's, to recognize the warning signs and act immediately.
Choosing the right fluids
 
  • Sports Drinks Are Best. The best source of fluid to hydrate the body - especially during intense exercise in the heat - is a sports drink. Your child will be more likely to drink the fluids she needs if you give her a flavored sports drink that tastes good and stimulates thirst. While sports drinks are absorbed just as quickly, and promote optimal cardiovascular function and temperature regulation as well as plain water, they offer the following advantages: 
    • Sports drinks contain glucose and sodium, which increase the rate of fluid absorption by the small intestine;
    • By providing carbohydrates for working muscles, sports drinks improve performance during both prolonged exercise (lasting an hour or more) and when exercising for an hour several times a day; and
    • They encourage drinking by "turning on" the thirst mechanism (research has shown that children stay better hydrated when drinking sports drinks compared to plain water). 
  • For optimal absorption and performance, look for sports drinks that contain: 
    • 4 to 8% carbohydrate (10 to 18 grams per 8 ounces)
    • About 36 to 77 calories per 8 ounces. 
  • Because most sports drinks contain 5 to 8% carbohydrates, it's a matter of personal preference: have your child try several sports drinks to find the one that works best for her. Note, however, that research has shown that children and those in early adolescence prefer grape-flavored sports drinks to apple or orange.
  • Avoid sugary or carbonated beverages.  Beverages that contain more than 10% carbohydrate (about 96 or more calories per 8 ounces), such as fruit juices, or energy drinks, or are high in fructose, like carbonated soft drinks, should be avoided. They are absorbed more slowly and can causes stomach cramps, nausea, bloating and diarrhea.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages. Children should avoid drinking ice tea or soft drinks containing caffeine because they are diuretics (promote urination), and because the potential side effects - agitation, nausea, muscle tremors, palpitations and headaches - work against peak athletic performance.  Energy drinks should NOT be used for hydration.
* Note to parents of water and winter sport athletes. Don't be lulled into thinking your child doesn't have as great a need to replace fluids as other athletes. A swimmer still loses body water through sweat in the pool, and can become dehydrated by sitting on the pool deck (a hot, humid environment) between exercise sessions or during a long meet (they always are!). Winter sports athletes (figure skaters, hockey players, skiers) also may not realize the importance of fluid replacementbecause they practice and play in a cool or cold environment, and because their clothing and equipment reduces the ability of the body to cool itself.

Sports Drinks Versus Water: Which Hydrates Kids Best?

close

Sports Drinks Versus Water: Which Hydrates Kids Best?
By Brooke de Lench Reviewed by Susan Yeargin, Ph.D, ATC

Sports drinks hydrate better than water
A number of studies in recent years have shown that sports drinks re-hydrate kids who are active in the heat better than water. Given a choice, kids will drink a lot more of a sports drink than of a glass of water.

An oft-cited 1999 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology reported that drinking a properly formulated sports drink with carbohydrates and electrolytes(sodium and potassium) increased fluid intake by nearly one-third (32%) compared to water. Because they taste better than water, sports drinks encouraged kids to keep drinking until their fluid needs were met. Another study, from 2003, reported that when drinking water, kids will drink only about 50 percent of what they need.  A Canadian study in the 1990's found that a flavored drink containing 6 percent carbohydrates and electrolytes (the amount found in most sports drinks) encouraged kids to drink 91 percent more than water alone.

Sports Drinks Versus Water
 
Sports DrinksWater
Maintain thirst, so kids keep drinking until fully hydratedEliminates thirst, so kids stop drinking before they are fully re-hydrated
Contain carbohydrates which provide energy for peak sports performanceContains no carbohydrates, so it does not provide the energy a child needs for running and playing all day
Contain electrolytes (sodium and potassium) which speed rehydration, create thirst, makes them taste better, and prevent heat crampsContains no electrolytes and lack the taste appeal of a sports drink
 
 Sports drinks replace electrolytes
Electrolytesare chemicals in the body fluids that result from the breakdown of salts, including sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride, which the body needs to maintain proper amounts of water inside cells, nerve conductivity, and allow for proper response by the cells to outside stimuli.Electrolyte deficits, particularly sodium, can cause lethargy, muscle cramping, and mental confusion, and even seizures. A properly formulated sports drink containing salts, particularly sodium, replaces electrolytes that active children lose through sweat and, because of their taste, promote re-hydration by maintaining thirst and encourage fluid intake.


Read more: http://www.momsteam.com/nutrition/sports-hydration/fluid-guidelines/sports-drinks-best-at-keeping-sports-active-kids-hydrated#ixzz2ZJP4XnUX

Replace Electrolytes Lost During Sports

close

Replace Electrolytes Lost During Sports
Balanced Diet, Sports Drinks Help

Here's what you need to know about electrolytes:
Important for bodily functions

Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride are necessary for:
  • Maintaining fluid levels in the body
  • Muscle contractions;
  • Nerve impulse transmission; and
  • Conservation of fluids.
Lost during sports
  • Sweating results in the loss of both electrolytes (particularly sodium) and water
  • Water losses are proportionately greater than electrolyte losses, so the body's cells end up with a greater electrolyte concentration (this is the imbalance that is believed to lead to heat cramps)
  • As the body becomes acclimated to the heat, the sodium content of sweat decreases
  • As children matures they also conserve more salt but sweat more.
Replaced by foods in balanced diet
  • Salt: Your child's regular diet should provide an abundance of salt. For instance, a 2-pound loss of sweat results in a loss of only 1 gram of sodium -- an amount easily replaced by moderate salting of food (one half teaspoon of salt). Recommendation: Do not give your child salt tablets
  • Potassium: Replacing the small amount of potassium lost during exercise is easy. Orange juice, bananas and potatoes are all excellent sources of potassium. For instance, a large glass of orange juice will replace the potassium lost in about 4 pounds of sweat. Recommendation: Do not give your child potassium supplements: not only are they unnecessary, they can cause excessively high potassium levels in the blood, resulting in an abnormal heart rhythm.
When deficits occurElectrolyte deficits, particularly sodium, can occur under the following conditions:
  • In an individual who is a "salty sweater."
Young girl with sports drinks
Sports drinks containing sodium:
  • Reduce the risk of hyponatremia
  • Promote re-hydration following exercise by maintaining thirst (which keeps your child drinking) while delaying the production of urine. By contrast, drinking plain water eliminates thirst so your child stops drinking, and stimulates urine production.
  • Encourage fluid intake because the sodium makes them taste better.