softball player drinking water

Mar 09, 2022 / Sports Medicine

Hydration Basics for Young Athletes

Do you ever feel sluggish or unable to focus during a practice or game? Are you frustrated because you know you have gotten ample sleep, have eaten well and have had great practices up until now? When you feel this way, do you question why?

The answer may be in what you are drinking… or not drinking.

During and after events, the body needs water to:

  • Sweat to keep the body cool
  • Keep energy levels up
  • Be alert and stay focused
  • Recover optimally

A dehydrated athlete may also feel early fatigue, headache and decreased focus and attention, all of which may hinder performance during the event.

If you are feeling any of these things, it may be time to take a look at your hydration plan. How much, when and what are you drinking?

A few simple rules to follow for optimal hydration are:

  • Drink water throughout the day.
    • Start your event hydrated!
  • Drink plenty of water during and after the event as well.
    • This will help the athlete maintain a safe body temperature and enable quick recovery.
  • Know other ways to hydrate when water is not enough.
    • Try drinking milk or fresh fruit smoothies.
    • Try eating yogurt, fresh fruits like grapes, apples and oranges, and fresh vegetables like bell peppers, spinach, cucumbers and broccoli. 

To learn more about the best ways to hydrate, talk with your doctor, athletic trainer or sports dietitian to help build a hydration plan that is right for you.

For more information, download our Hydration PDF (English I Spanish). 

Learn more about sports nutrition for your young athlete. 


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