Oct 14, 2019 / Sports Medicine
Hydration Tips for Young Athletes Training in Cool Environments
It is easy to just think about hydration as a method of cooling the body in hot training environments. However, water does much more than cool you down. For example, staying properly hydrated helps your heart and blood vessels pump oxygen to your muscles and when you’re training. Therefore, we want athletes of all ages to remember to hydrate, even when you’re not hot.
Here are some key messages for young athletes training and competing in the cold:
- In cooler weather, you may not feel thirsty. This does not mean your body does not need water. Look for creative ways to hydrate on heavy training days. Fruits and broth soups are great ways to add fluids to the menu.
- Make the temperature of the water comfortable, no need for it to be cold. Many prefer cooler drinks to warm drinks, but room temperature may be easier to drink when it’s cold outside.
- Drink water before, during and after training and events. The key here is not to try to “catch up” after the event. Spreading out the volume of fluid at various stages helps the heart, brain, and muscles stay oxygenated throughout the competition.
- Sports drinks are recommended for long events lasting more than one hour. The added calories from sweeteners and the additional electrolytes meant to replenish those lost through excessive sweating are generally not recommended for young athletes, unless they are competing at intense levels, in very humid conditions or in events lasting over an hour. Choose water and look for more natural ways to add flavor with fruit.
Learn more about pediatric sports medicine.