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Youth Sports Hydration Guidelines

Surprising as it may seem the most important part of an athlete's diet isn't what he eats, it is what and how much he drinks. Hydration before, during and after exercise is especially important for pre-adolescent children because they have special fluid needs compared to adults, or even teenagers. As a parent or coach, here are the precautions you should take to prevent heat illnesses in exercising children and making sure they drink enough fluids.

Drinking On A Schedule Not The Same As Encouraging Young Athletes To Over-Drink, Experts Say

A recent article in the New York Times expresses one expert's concern that coaches and parents who press young athletes to drink fluids before, during, and after a practice, whether the athletes feel thirsty or not, may be putting young athletes at risk of drinking too much water, which can result in a dangerous, life-threatening condition called hyponatremia. We wondered what other experts felt about the article's advice, so we asked three of our go-to hydration experts for their thoughts.

Saying Most Kids Aren't Dehydrated Not The Same As Saying Dehydration Not A Concern For Youth Athletes

It may be a myth that people need to drink 8 glasses of water a day, and that most kids are dehydrated, but, says a sports hydration expert, that isn't the same as saying dehydration isn't a concern for kids playing sports.

Texas Youth Football Program: Ten Ways It Is Walking The Talk On Safety

Participation in youth sports in general, and in youth football in particular, is on the decline in some parts of the nation.  One of the biggest factors driving the decline is a concern about injuries. 

Lots of youth sports programs say they want to improve safety, but how many are actually making the effort to implement best health and safety practices?

Lots of youth sports programs say they want to improve safety, but how many are actually making the effort to implement best health and safety practices? I can't speak for every program, but I know one that is definitely walking the talk: the youth tackle and flag football and cheer program in Grand Prairie, Texas, where I spent the first week of August educating and training kids, parents, coaches, and administrators on ways to make football safer as part of MomsTEAM Institute's SmartTeams| UNICEF International Safeguards of Children in Sports project.

SmartTeams Talk: Enacting Pro-Active Policies To Prevent Sudden Death in Youth Sports Is Challenging, Says UConn's Casa

The leading expert on sudden death of youth athletes argues that youth sports safety policies need to be developed and implemented by sports medicine professionals, not athletic administrators, and notes that the level of risk of catastrophic sports injury often depends on how a state athletic association responds to the death of athletes in their states.

Practicing Football In Hot Weather: Ten Recommendations and Precautions

The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury (NCCSI) suggests that when football activity is carried on in hot weather ten precautions be taken to minimize the risk of heat illness.

NATA Releases Executive Summary Of Revised Exertional Heat Illness Position Statement

NATA has released an executive summary of a new position statement on exertional heat illnesses revising its 2002 statement to reflect new research and expert consensus.

Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps: Debunking Five Myths

We've all heard the myths about the cause, treatment, and prevention of muscle cramps that occur during or after exercise (termed exercise-associated muscle cramps or EAMC). We're told that to relieve EAMC you should eat bananas, mustard, or pickle juice, right? Is there any evidence for or against any of these so-called remedies? Actually, there is, says a leading expert

Over-Hydration (Hyponatremia): Another Point of View

In a recent article for MomsTEAM, sports nutrition expert Nancy Clark discussed the subject of over-hydration (hyponatremia). MomsTEAM's sports hydration expert weighs in with some additional thoughts.

Can Education Help Keep Youth Athletes Well-Hydrated?

If you want your youth athlete to arrive at practices and games well-hydrated, and to maintain that status during and after sports, it stands to reason that educating them about the benefits of proper hydration could make a difference? But does it?  MomsTEAM's hydration expert says the studies suggest that education alone doesn't work.
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