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Athletes Should Monitor Hydration Status

Athletes should drink enough fluids that they need to urinate every 2 to 4 hours. A small volume of urine and/or a dark color are signs of dehydration, says sports nutritionist Nancy Clark

MomsTeam's sports hydration expert, Susan Yeargin, Ph. D, ATC, says a helpful way for kids to remember the link between urine color and hydration is for their goal to remind them to "stay in the clear" because a clear or light yellow urine color means they are staying hydrated.  Don't think your child can be taught to use urine color to determine if they are dehydrated? Research shows that children as young as 7 can remember the link if descriptive words or phrases are used that they are already know.

  • Light yellow or relatively clear urine ("lemonade") means the athlete is hydrated.a
  • Bright yellow urine ("mellow yellow") means that the athlete is slightly to moderately dehydrated
  • Brownish urine ("apple juice") means the child or teenage athlete is severely dehydrated.

Dr. Yeargin says that the best way to evaluate urine color is for the child to urinate into a clear cup of some kind. However, it can still be determined inside the toilet bowl as long as the dilutive effect of the extra water is taken into account.


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