As kids are returning to in-person sports in some of the hottest temperatures of the year, it is increasingly important to ensure proper water hydration before, during, and after participation in vigorous outdoor sports that may expose them to dangerous conditions. Proper hydration may seem like common sense but is often neglected because of not having enough access to safe water dispensing products that can accommodate many athletes at the same time with speedy dispensing. WaterMonster makes water dispensing easy and safe at scale through its combination of large WaterMonster tanks, combined with its UltraSpout water spigots and foot pedal dispensing products that make getting water faster and touch-free. Some important tips for all coaches and athletes can be found below:
What's the ideal amount of fluid an adolescent athlete should consume during training and competition?
In general, high school students require from 10 to 12 cups of fluid per day so that they can start their exercise schedule in a hydrated state. During exercise, students are recommended to consume 4 to 8 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes. A good metric to determine whether the student is properly hydrated is if they can produce urine that is in a good volume and is light in color. Another way to determine proper hydration is for the athlete to weigh themself before training at least two times per season to gauge fluid needs. Again, it’s critical that the student-athlete starts their exercise regimen in a hydrated state and can work out in a hydrated state to prevent weight loss.
What types of fluids should you avoid while training?
Energy drinks are not recommended for children and adolescents. Water and sports drinks are both recommended to ensure student-athletes maintain proper hydration through water intake. In addition, have water tanks and dispensing products that can dispense water quickly and in high volume ensures that student-athletes do not skip hydration periods due to long lines or inadequate access.
What are the warning signs of dehydration?
Heat illness occurs in three stages:
- Heat cramps, which are categorized by excess sweating, fatigue, thirst, and cramps, usually in the stomach, arms or legs. This condition is common in very hot weather or with moderate to heavy physical activity. Heat cramps can be treated by ensuring the student-athlete is re-hydrated through drinking water and fluids and getting rest in a cool or shaded air-conditioned area.
- Heat exhaustion occurs when you don't act on the signs and symptoms of heat cramps and your condition worsens. Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include a headache, lightheadedness, nausea, skin that feels cool and moist and muscle cramps. Usually, heat exhaustion can be treated using the same steps as heat cramps. Making sure the student-athlete is able to re-hydrate and stays out of excessively hot situations until their symptoms are 100% gone.
- Heatstroke. Heatstroke is defined when a body temperature rises above 104 degrees F. A tell-tale sign of a heat stroke is when the skin feels hot and dry to the touch. In addition, it can be common for the student-athlete to be short of breath and have symptoms such as vomiting. In extreme heat stroke, the student-athlete may pass out or even fall into a comatose state. If a student-athlete exhibits any signs of heatstroke, emergency medical attention is recommended.
In summary, we know much more about what adolescent bodies need to stay properly hydrated during sporting practices and events today. Ensuring convenient water dispensing devices are at hand during all events may seem like common sense, but is often overlooked. In addition, because of increasing caution around germ spreading, ensuring the student-athletes have a clean way to dispense water quickly in a hands-free manner is important.