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Hydration Is Important for Athletes

How important in hydration for athletes?

I wouldn’t let an athlete participate in sports if they weren’t adequately hydrated. It’s just too dangerous.

Why invest time, money, and emotions into a sport for your athlete and then let them get injured for something as simple as hydration?

A dehydrated athlete loses eye control, mental control and physical control! We want you to protect your athlete, and it’s not as hard as you think.

Get your athlete a bottle they like to carry around, and make carrying the bottle around a habit.

So here’s an easy plan to help them get the hydration they need. For adults and older kids, we want them to have 4-5 gulps every hour their not in practice. Each gulp equals approximately 1 ounce. For skeletal immature athletes that are smaller, we’ll do 3-4 gulps every hour outside of practice.

During practice, for adults and older kids, it’s critical that they have 16 fluid ounces every hour of activity. The equals one regular water bottle. For our younger athletes, well do 12 fluid ounces every hour.

These are estimates and there are some exact calculations you can do, but we wanted to make this practical for you and your athletes.

Along with this increase in fluid intake, we want to make sure there are plenty of solids in their body. This is one of the reasons we suggest having 3 meals and 3 snacks every day. It gives the body what it needs to properly utilize the water you put into your body.

If you want to give your family amazing nutrition and give your athlete everything they need to be successful in school and sports, you need to get started with Stay Fueled today! Click here to find out exactly what’s included in Stay Fueled..

Why Is Nutrition Important

Nutrition is incredibly important because it is the catalyst that allows your young athlete to stay safe while practicing her sport. When nutrition is lacking, we see a decrease in strength, recovery takes longer than it should, attitudes aren’t where they should be, and their chance for injury always increases.

But, the good news is that the opposite is true. Whenever we see an increase in nutrition, we always see strength increase, recovery times decrease, mental focus increases and the chance for injury decreases.

This is the whole reason we put Stay Fueled together. We love working with young athletes on a daily basis, but we’re tired of seeing them get injured. Every major injury I’ve seen in the gym has a nutrition component to it. Either the athlete was skipping meals, they were dehydrated, or their mid-practice snack was junk food and they lost mental focus.

We want to see your young athlete succeed through nutrition and become everything they were meant to be. Nutrition is a vital part of this and Stay Fueled gives you a done for you experience including meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists.

If you’re ready to  protect your athlete through nutrition, just click here to get started. It’s only $4.99 per month and it will exceed anything you thought possible through nutrition..

Nutrition Trouble Shooting Guide for Young Athletes, Part 1

We’ve taken our most commonly asked questions and given you easy to find answers!  Here’s what we cover in this post:

  • What Should I Drink at Practice?
  • How Much Should I drink at Practice?
  • How Much Water Should I Drink During the day?
  • What should I eat if I want to become more flexible?
  • What should I eat when I have injury, ache, or pain?

What Should I Drink at Practice?

Simple!: Mostly water during the day and Powerade at Practice.

Any time practice is over 2 hours in length, a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage such as Powerade or Gatorade (or home-made alternative) is a must. These beverages are more efficiently absorbed during a workout than plain water. This way the fluid can get to the muscles where it is needed.

Having a 0 calorie drink is no different than drinking plain water.

How Much Should I drink at Practice?

Must studies on drinking fluid at practice state that bodily mature athletes need 16 fl oz of liquid every hour during practice.  This is a guideline.

It’s also been shown for athletes that do intermittent work (think football, gymnastics, baseball, basketball), switching from plain water to a carbohydrate drink (gatorade or an all natural half water/half apple juice mixture) can increase the ability to do work by 33%.  That’s HUGE!

If your athlete has not yet reached body maturity, you can scale the 16 fl oz to fit their needs.

It may take an athlete’s body a couple of weeks to adjust to the increase in fluid, so it is best to start slow and work up to your optimal hydration goal.

When an athlete is properly hydrated, you will see a huge difference on and off the field!

How Much Water Should I Drink During the day?

Again, it is not a perfect science, but a 5’ tall 120 lbs athlete should drink at least one whole gallon of fluid per day in addition to practice drinks.

A 4’6” tall 80 lbs athlete should drink at least 2/3 of a gallon per day.

Fluid should come mostly from plain water during non-practice hours, but juice, milk, and soups count too. Help your athlete to track his or her intake every few days to make sure he or she is on the right track.

What should I eat if I want to become more flexible?

Hydration is the most important aspect of nutrition for flexibility in young (or old) athletes.

Dry muscles are like a dry sponge. They are brittle and resist stretching. Hydrated muscles stretch like taffy!

Make sure to drink water when you first wake up, all day at school, between classes, before gym, with every meal, and right before you go to bed.

Your muscles will thank you and your flexibility will show it!

What should I eat when I have injury, ache, or pain?

Stay well hydrated and concentrate on foods containing Omega 3’s, vitamin E, and Vitamin C. Nuts, oils, and fish contain large amounts of Omega 3’s and Vitamin E. Fresh fruits and veggies like strawberries, oranges, Kiwi, cantaloupe, and green peppers contain Vitamin C.

These foods, in conjunction, will decrease inflammation and promote healing.

Be sure to notify your coach or trainer of any possible injury.

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Nutrition Trouble Shooting Guide for Young Athletes, Part 2

Here is our second installment of our troubleshooting guide.  Here’s what’s inside:

  • What if I feel hungry in the middle of the night?
  • What if I get a headache?
  • Is it ok to drink juice on this plan?
  • What should I eat when I feel sore?

What if I feel hungry in the middle of the night?

Interrupted sleep prevents the muscles from repairing. Athletes should not wake up during the night feeling hungry. This is a red flag that they are not getting enough nutrients during the day. To prevent the midnight munchies, the athlete will need to eat more at dinner time or add a late-night snack right before bed. This should help curb the appetite of your athlete at night.

What if I get a headache?

The most common reason for head ache in athletes is being under hydrated. If you feel a headache coming on, drink a full glass of water and have a couple crackers or light carbohydrate snack. The carbohydrates help the water “stick” in your muscles where is can be used. Make sure to increase your water intake consistently over the next 24 hours to keep it at bay. Frequent headaches are a signal you probably need to concentrate on your hydration more regularly and if they continue despite your increase of liquids, seek help from your primary care physician immediately.

Is it ok to drink juice on this plan?

100% natural juice is a fine addition to an athlete’s diet for several reasons:

•Great source of antioxidants
•High in Vitamin C, which aids in tendon/muscle recovery
•Encourages athletes to drink more fluids because it tastes great!

Deeply colored juices tend to be higher in antioxidants so try choosing berry, grape, or cranberry juices most often.  Apple and Orange juices are great juice choices as well.

A reasonable serving of Juice for an athlete is ½-1 cup with a meal or snack.

Athletes should concentrate on their water intake as well. Too much juice when an athlete should be drinking water can also be of concern. Try to get most of your liquid from water, but supplement it daily with a great juice selection to get the above benefits.

What should I eat when I feel sore?

If you are sore, it probably means you had a great workout recently! The best way to help the muscles get back to normal is to drink up to stay hydrated and remember to eat your protein. Peanut butter, eggs, nuts, fish, and steak are great sources of protein. When the muscles have the water and building blocks they need, they are able to repair very quickly.

Along with that, compression can help eliminate soreness, or even keep it from happening in the first place. Try this solution we link to. We’ve used these and have found them an incredible resource for athletes that like to push it to the max! Click here to find out more:  Compression clothing for athletes

So, once again, thank you for checking out our troubleshooting guide. If you have any questions, please make sure to contact us at support@stayfueled.com.

 

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What If I’m Not Hungry When I wake Up?

Regularly practicing athletes should be hungry and ready to eat again by the time morning arrives.

Many athletes complain that they are not hungry for breakfast when they wake up in the morning or they feel queasy at the thought of food.

99% of the time this is because an athlete is dehydrated. Once the athlete’s hydration has been corrected hunger will return in the morning like magic!

So how much liquid should an athlete be consuming?

Most studies stated that athletes should be drinking 16 fluid ounces of liquid while they’re working out and training!

  • 1 hour of practice = 16 fl oz
  • 2 hours of practice = 32 fl oz
  • 3 hours of practice = 48 fl oz
  • 4 hours of practice = 64 fl oz

And, as a general rule, you should drink about 3-4 fluid ounces every hour not in practice.  All you have to do is take 4-5 gulps every hour!  It’s that easy!

Fluid intake is one of the main factors in determining the strength, flexibility, and stamina of most athletes.

When they’re hydrated, they excel.  

When they’re dehydrated, you can see their performance decrease. 

Increase your liquid and you’ll see an incredible turn towards greatness in practice and games!.