Drinking fluids prior to exercise appears to reduce or delay the detrimental effects of dehydration.
- 1 to 2 hours before sports: 4 to 8 ounces of cold water
- 10 to 15 minutes before sports: 4 to 8 ounces of cold water
- A good meal with containing water (e.g. fruits)
- Every 20 minutes: 5 to 9 ounces of a sports drink, depending on weight (5 for a child weighing 88 pounds, 9 ounces for a child weighing 132 pounds)
- Any time a child feels thirsty
- Encourage drinking fluids during timeouts and breaks
- Encourage drinking from their own fluid container and avoid sharing with others
- Encourage the ability to drink whenever they want and not to wait until they are told to take a break
- Adjust fluid needs during practice according to the weather, amount of equipment worn, and practice duration and intensity.
Post-exercise hydration should aim to correct any fluid lost during the practice and help the body recover from sports:
- Within the first 30 minutes after exercise, drink chocolate milk or a specially formulated sports drink containing protein and carbohydrates such as Gatorade G3 Recover. Not only do they hydrate, but the protein helps the body recover from exercise by enhancing muscle repair, and the carbohydrate replenish glycogen stores in muscles, which are a source of fuel during prolonged exercise of an hour or more.
- Within two hours: 20-24 ounces of a sports drink for every pound (16 ounces) of weight lost
- Replace all fluids lost during exercise plus any lost after exercise through urination
- Eat a good meal with foods containing water
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