Teen Athletes and Hydration

Friday, November 12, 2010

Proper hydration is critical to optimize sport performance and prevent dehydration. This can be especially important in teenage athletes. Dr. Edward Hill discusses hydration in teenager athletes in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Water is just as important to athletic performance as food. When you sweat during exercise, its easy to become overheated, especially in hot or humid weather. Even mild dehydration can affect an athletes physical and mental performance.

Experts recommend that athletes drink before and after exercise as well as every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. In general, most athletes need 1 to 2 cups of water prior to exercise and one-half to 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes throughout exercise. Dont wait until you feel thirsty, because thirst is a sign that your body has needed liquids for a while.

If you like the taste of sports drinks better than regular water, then its okay to drink them. But its important to know that a sports drink is really no better for you than water unless you are exercising for more than 90 minutes or in really hot weather. The additional carbohydrates and electrolytes may improve performance in these conditions. Give yourself that competitive advantage and stay well hydrated.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.