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Hydration Tips to Maximize Summer Training

By Minnesota Hockey, 06/09/17, 2:00PM CDT


Summer is an exciting time to be a kid in Minnesota. The warmer temperatures usher in a nearly unlimited array of fun outdoor activities ranging from organized team sports to water sports to riding bike and much more. For many young hockey players, it’s also a time for practicing stick handling skills, shooting pucks and other dry land activities.

Regardless of what kids are doing, one thing is for sure in the summer. They’re going to be busy.

The increase in outdoor activity for kids (and adults) raises the importance of staying hydrated. The influence of hydration on performance is well documented for mature athletes, but research has also shown that children begin to show negative effects with as little as one percent decrease in body weight due to fluid loss. That means a child weighing 100 pounds may be impacted after losing just one pound.

Here are a few tips to help monitor hydration this summer in order to maximize your training and fun during outdoor activities:

  1. A common recommendation is to drink about 50% of your body weight, in ounces, of water daily. The 100 lb. child mentioned above should consume at least 50 ounces of water each day.
  2. Carry a water bottle throughout the day in order to keep fluids easily accessible.
  3. If children are hydrated before beginning their activities, 100 to 250 mL (3 to 8 oz) every 20 minutes for 9- to 12-year-olds and up to 1 to 1.5 L (34 to 50 oz) per hour for adolescents is enough to counter act sweat-induced fluid loss during exercise.
  4. Educate kids on how to monitor fluid loss. Elite athletes often weigh themselves before and after activity to evaluate recovery needs. For every pound lost during exercise, it is recommended to drink about 16 ounces of water.  A more effective way when dealing kids may be to educate them on how hydration affects their urine color.
  5. Encourage kids to eat foods with sodium after outdoor activities. Good examples include fruit and nut mixes or a peanut butter and banana sandwich.
  6. Limit sports drinks to when kids need to replenish calories and electrolytes, such as when they’re active for over 60 minutes, play multiple games in a day, participate in extreme temperatures, etc.
  7. Show, don’t tell. Telling kids to drink water isn’t usually enough to generate the desired behavior. Parents and coaches should work together to build water breaks into activities and demonstrate a commitment to good hydration themselves. 

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