With summer quickly approaching and the temperatures steadily rising, it is important that we touch on the subject of proper hydration, especially for kids! Dehydration can begin when a person loses as little as 1 percent of body weight. In a 70-pound child, that is less than 1 pound of weight lost through sweat. It is incredibly important for a young athlete to remain properly hydrated before, during, and after exercise.
Here are some quick tips for kids to stay hydrated during the summer heat:
- Drink water at regular intervals at least 2 hours before activity, around 8-16 oz.
- Drink 4-6 oz. per 20 minutes of exercise
- After activity, make sure that kids are getting around 16 oz. of water per pound of weight lost
- Eat food with high water content, such as watermelon, citrus, and berries
- Have a water bottle on-hand at all times!
It is important to note that salt and potassium are lost when sweating as well. If kids are doing prolonged activity in the summer heat, make sure they are getting proper electrolyte replacement. A diluted fruit juice or a small amount of sports drink will do the trick, but try not to overload on the sugar!