Youth Athlete Summer Nutrition Series, Part II: HydrationBy: Emily Parsons, Pn1
HYDRATION to keep you going strong.
Have you ever gotten to practice and realized you haven’t had any water all day? But you’ve heard it’s important to be hydrated, so you quickly chug down a bottle 10 minutes before you’re about to start your warm-up, only to realize that doesn’t feel so awesome sloshing around in your stomach? Probably not the best hydration plan…
Trust me when I say that staying hydrated is crucial to performing at your best (and that quick sip before practice isn’t going to cut it!) In fact, it’s been proven that as little as a 1% decrease in body weight due to dehydration can cause your performance to suffer.
So how can you make sure you’re hydrated and ready to crush it during training or competition? Very simple- keep your water bottle by your side throughout the entire day. Take it with you when you leave the house, keep it next to you when you’re relaxing on the couch and always opt for your water bottle over other drinks (i.e. soda, sweet tea, lemonade) when it comes to meal times. It may take getting some used to at first if you don’t regularly carry one now, but pretty soon you’ll notice how natural it is to always have it by your side. (Bonus tip: get one you actually like and care about keeping so you don’t leave it everywhere!)
As an athlete, drinking consistently drinking water should be your top priority for staying hydrated. In fact, you should aim for a minimum of ½ your body weight in ounces (and more on training days). However, when you’re training longer than 60 mins., excessively sweating, or playing in a hot & humid conditions, you need to have a sports drink or electrolyte supplement to make sure your replacing everything your losing when you sweat (that’s right, your sweating out more than just water!)
Read below for some suggestions on electrolyte supplements and a few recipes to make your own sports drinks!
• Camelback Elixir
• nuun Tablets
Watermelon Sports Drink
• 1 cup fresh watermelon
• 1 cup coconut water
• ½ lime (juiced)
• pinch of sea salt
Blend it all up and enjoy!