Hydration for the Young Athlete
In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics established the following exercise hydration guidelines for younger athletes.
- Provide healthy fluids for drinking before, during and after workout and fitness experiences.
- For most kids between the ages of 9 and 12 years old, 100 – 250ml (3 – 8 ounces) of fluid every 20 minutes is the general rule. Teenagers should have 1 – 1 ½ liters (34 to 50 ounces) per hour of moderate to vigorous activity.
- Experts recommend a pre-workout and post-workout body weight measurement to help assess loss of fluids through sweat.
- If kids exercise for more than an hour or sweat excessively, or workout in warm, hot, or very humid weather conditions, then they may need an electrolyte-based fluid for rehydration, but try to avoid sugary drinks as your first choice. Most kids should also not routinely drink energy drinks.
- Recovery or rest periods are also important.
- Remind kids that water, unsweetened tea and very dilute juices are best sources of hydration.
Quick tip: In very hot weather you can send your child frozen water bottles and cartons which will slowly thaw and remain cool.
-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach