– Connie Evers, MS,RD
is essential because children do not instinctively drink
enough fluid to replace body water losses," says Dr. Steen.
And, she cautions, kids in all sports need to replenish
their water stores. While swimmers or ice skaters may believe
their cool environment keeps them cool enough, muscle work
of any kind causes the body to lose water through sweat.
offers the following guidelines for kids active in sports,
exercise, or active play:
10-14 ounces of cold water 1-2 hours before the activity
and another 10 oz. 10-15 minutes before activity. During
activity, water breaks should be provided every 15 minutes
with the goal of drinking at least 3-4 ounces. Plain, cold
water is the best because it is quickly absorbed by the
child involved in sports and active play should have their
own personalized water bottle.
drinks taken during sports or activity are suitable only
if they have a sugar concentration of 6-8% or less, which
translates to 15-18 grams of carbohydrate per 8 ounces (check
the label). More concentrated drinks slow the absorption
of water into the body.
many sports drinks fit this guideline, fruit juices and
other sugar-flavored drinks need to be diluted by mixing
with an equal amount of water.
soft drinks are not a good choice for playing-field water
replacement because the bubbles can cause a stuffy, bubbly
feeling in some children. Iced tea and soft drinks which
contain caffeine -- a diuretic -- actually cause the body
to lose more fluid.
young athletes before and after practice and games. Each
pound lost should be replaced by drinking 16 ounces (2 cups)
as the heat pours on this summer, be sure to "pour in" the
fluids. Water is by far the most important nutrient - yes,
it is a nutrient - and a deficiency can seriously hamper
summer fun and play.