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Summer Hydration for Female Athletes

Heat-induced illness is one of the most preventable sports injuries, here are some ways we can help our female athletes stay hydrated this summer.

1. Bottle of water
2. Salty snack
3. Breathable clothing

PRE-PLAN &
Pre-pack & plan-ahead and make our daughters take responsible for themselves. Be sure that each child uses their own beverage container that they can keep cool during the practice. An individual container allows monitoring fluid consumption more accurately, can be filled with beverage of personal preference, will help avoid the spread of germs and viruses, and the cool fluid will be replenished at a better rate than a container that sits out in the sun.

According to nutritionists at the Children Nutrition Research Centre at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, sports drinks offer little advantage over cool water. Sports drinks are designed to benefit athletes engaged in continuous, high-intensity aerobic workouts which last for 90 minutes or more.

Be creative with your water by making ice cubes with fruit in it by putting raspberries, mint, lemons in the tray with water and freeze. Add these cubes to your water. Try coconut water or water with “Ultima” or “Nuun” which will help with performance and electrolyte replenishment.

Immediately before and during activity, children should avoid fruit juices, carbonated beverages, caffeinated beverages and energy drinks. Fruit juices have a high sugar content that can slow fluid absorption, cause an upset stomach, and may also lack sodium. Carbonated beverages, such as soft drinks, can reduce voluntary drinking due to stomach fullness, throat burn when gulping and lack sodium. Energy drinks should be avoided because many contain caffeine and have high carbohydrate concentrations which slows the emptying of fluids from the stomach.

DRINKING TIPS

BEFORE: To ensure that the child is not dehydrated before the start of the practice session or game, the child should drink 12-16 ounces of fluid approximately 30 minutes before getting to the field.

DURING: During the activity, periodic drinking should be enforced even if the child does not feel thirsty. Each 15-20 minutes the child or adolescent should consume: 5 ounces of fluid for a player weighing 90 lbs or less 9 ounces of fluid for a player weighing more than 90 lbs.

AFTER: Once the activity is over, players should drink water or a sports drink every 15-20 minutes for the first hour after activity.

SALTY SNACKS

Bring a snack bag of pretzels, trail mix or nuts to replace sodium. Nothing too extreme, but a snack that’s mildly salty can do wonders for your health. Remember, moderation is important here. An overload of salty snacks can be quite dangerous, but as this study shows, a small amount before a workout can help your body progress and even prevent the dangers of dehydration.

SYNTHETIC CLOTHING VS COTTON

We are asking our female athletes to wear clothing that is light-colored and lightweight that facilitates evaporation of sweat. The super light fabric wicks moisture to keep you cool and dry; and many tanks provide a built-in bra provides support.

Here are some simple facts about cotton and synthetics:
▪ Cotton will absorb up to 8% of its weight in water. Most synthetics will absorb less than 1%.
▪ A good synthetic t-shirt will allow air to pass through (breathability) at five times the rate of cotton.
▪ Synthetics move moisture away from your skin. Cotton traps it next to your skin.
▪ Synthetics wash easier, dry much quicker, and last much longer than cotton.

Ask your kids to keep an eye on their urine color.  Ask your kids to keep an eye on their urine color.
Urine color charts have been developed to help young athletes know when they are dehydrated. Ideally, they want their urine color to be a pale yellow (like fresh-squeezed lemonade or lemon juice), indicating adequate hydration. A strong yellow, orangey-yellow, or brownish green color (like Mountain Dew) means the athlete is dehydrated and drinking needs to begin pronto!

Angie Sellers