Hydration Needs for Young Athletes
Every summer I work with young athletes to help them understand their hydration needs, and to establish a hydration protocol for parents to help their athlete implement.
It’s a “hot” topic every summer (pun intended!), because it’s such a critical component of their health and performance, and the consequences of dehydration are so serious. Just a 1% body weight loss from dehydration is enough for a young athlete to feel the effects, and any other medical condition they might have can increase their fluid loss even more.
You might be surprised to learn that young athletes don’t cool down the same as adults do. Rather than by sweating and evaporation, they cool down more by radiation (transferring their heat to something else such as a cool towel). Tip – take a cooler with cold towels and cloths!
Radiation aside, drinking enough fluids to cool down and stay hydrated in the summer heat breaks down as follows:
👉 9 to 12-year-olds need 3 to 8 ounces every 20 minutes,
👉 13 – 18-year-olds need 33 to 50 ounces every hour!
That means a young tennis player out in the extreme heat for 3 hours on the court would need 150 ounces (over a gallon).
Watch this video for tips and the protocol that you can implement immediately. Plus – learn some of the considerations that you would need to consult a sports dietitian for, such as what your young athlete’s sweat rate is, and how much sodium and electrolytes they need.
Contact me any time to schedule a free 15-minute consultation, so we can discuss the particular situation and goals of your young athlete.
And also check out the Sustainable Sports Nutrition Academy….