I am not sure how the weather is where you live but in Northern California it is getting hotter. We are so used the mild weather here that even the mid 80’s feels very hot when outside. Lack of rain and drought only adds more to the misery. Feels like this summer is going to be a scorcher.
Just last weekend one of our 10U players had a heat stroke while practicing specially on the Big League dream sports complex which did not allow us to take team coolers. Recently I was referred by my doctor to see a nutritionist since I was having a lot of joint aches. The first thing I was asked was how much water I was drinking and it seemed like I was not drinking enough water. My nutritionist asked me to drink about 96 to 120 oz of water everyday. At best I think I was drinking may be 24 to 30 oz. Adding more water together with more protein and limiting carbs has helped me get rid of my joint aches in a week. I was surprised with the results I was seeing by increasing my water intake. I was trying to learn more about hydration and took a Hydration Quiz on Webmd. Needless to say I only got a little more than half the questions correctly 🙁
May be some of you know more about hydration than me, but for others like me it is an eye opener. Here is another interesting link for Hydration Calculator I found online which calculates the amount of water someone needs. Try it out and see if you are drinking enough water. I also read another article which said you need about 3/4 to 1 oz of water per lb of body weight. Are you drinking enough water?
Coming back to our softball athletes, it is tremendously important for them to stay hydrated. Our coaches sometimes tell our kids to start drinking lot of additional water 2 or 3 days before the weekend when we play in the summers. Here are some signs and symptoms of dehydration.
* Dry mouth
* Sunken eyes
*Feeling weak and dizzy
* Failure to sweat
* Decreased urine output
The quickest way to help our young athletes who get hydrated is to have them drink water. But if they are too dehydrated that they passed out, you may have to call the medical professionals to get them hydrated ASAP.
If athletes play for over an hour of sports in hot and humid weather then they not only lose water but also some salts. So sports drinks may give them some salts in addition to water. But there has been debate about what is in these sports drinks that is not good for you. Without getting into a debate about the good and bad of sports drinks, I think a bottle of Gatorade or Powerade is probably okay to drink if your kids are playing for more than an hour under the sun, but water is the BEST and safest way to get hydrated on a regular basis. During travel ball, kids usually play 3 games a day, each game lasting an hour and a half so dehydration is a serious issue.
So please emphasize the importance of drinking water to your young athletes. I am also going to try drinking as much water as I can. Only downside to this is to be stuck in a softball field with bad bathrooms. The bane of softball fields. I am sure you are all too familiar with that situation.