We’ve all head the “eight glasses a day” to help you stay hydrated. We all lead different lifestyles and can often forget to stay hydrated if we are busy. Being aware of your hydration status, and how to keep on top of it, is easier than you think and essential to maximising performance.
Benefits of Staying Hydrated
Desbrow et al. (2014) explored hydration in young athletes. Compared with adults, children and adolescents do not seem to regulate their body temperature well, particularly in the heat. Children gain more heat and appear to have a lower exercise tolerance when hot. They also lose more heat on a cold day, whilst having reduced sweating capabilities as noted by Meyer, O'Connor, & Shirreffs (2007). For general activities, sports drinks are likely unnecessary. However, if taking part in long, tough training sessions or competitions, carbohydrate and electrolyte drinks may provide some recovery benefits.
Dehydration could negatively affect performance and health (Sawka, Cheuvront, & Kenefic, 2015). The goal of post-exercise fluid recovery is to restore fluid balance before the next session.
Overall, drinking cool fluids like water and milk in sufficient quantities before, during and after participation in sport is beneficial for young athletes. Focus on hydration by monitoring your urine, aim for see-through wee and you’re a winner! Happy hydrating!
Liam Oliver, Nutrition Student.
Desbrow, B., Mccormack, J., Burke, L., Cox, G., Fallon, K., Hislop, M., ... Leveritt, M. (2014). Sports Dietitians Australia position statement: Sports nutrition for the adolescent athlete. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 24(5), 570-84.
Meyer, Flavia, O'Connor, Helen, & Shirreffs, Susan M. (2007). Nutrition for the young athlete. Journal of Sports Sciences, 25, S73.
Sawka, M., Cheuvront, N., & Kenefick, S. (2015). Hypohydration and Human Performance: Impact of Environment and Physiological Mechanisms. Sports Medicine, 45(Supplement 1), 51-60.
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