What a great message from Taylor Cummings on Body Image! Love it!!!
I wanted to make some points about hydration so you have some scientific reasoning as to the why your youth athlete should be drinking water every day. First, water is the largest component of our bodies, accounting for about 45-75% of our total body weight. Second, water acts as a lubricant, shock absorber, and solvent. Maintaining a positive fluid balance aids in nutrient transport, which means getting the converted sugars from food to the right places for when we are training and recovering. Third, it is essential for the body’s temperature regulation; during training we lose water through sweat which helps keeps our skin cool once we reach a certain threshold. Post training your youth athlete should be hydrating 150% of what he/she sweats out; we don’t have the tools at our facility to objectively measure what the athletes loses pertaining to sodium and nitrogen during a single training bout. However, if your youth athlete is unable to complete their training for the day, this may be caused by dehydration. What can happen is (if not taking in fluids) they may exceed his/her hydration status, which means once he/she starts to sweat from training, he/she may be sweating out more than what is available for that function.
A couple things about dehydration, adolescents and kids are at greater risk of dehydration than adults are resulting from an increase in gaining heat from the environment because of the greater surface ratio compared to adults. Increased heat production during training, a decreased ability to dissipate heat through sweat, and a decreased sense of thirst compared to adults. This all can lead to a decrease in athletic performance, increasing fatigue; can lead to a decrease in motivation in some cases, decrease in neuromuscular control, accuracy, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and overall general performance. Dehydration can increase the core body temp, reduce stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped per beat), cardiac output, decrease in blood pressure, reduction in blood flow (thickening of the blood), increase in heart rate, increase the risk of heat stroke, and rhabdomyolysis (which is very dangerous).
What I can recommend for your youth athlete is that they drink water daily to satisfy their body being in a hydrated state every day. Signs they can monitor for themselves is what color their urine is when they goes to the bathroom. If dark yellow, he/she should drink 12oz of water ASAP. A lighter the color is a good indication of chronic hydration. What may skew their assessment of hydration can be consuming beets, blackberries, B vitamins, and certain medications may turn the urine dark yellow, bright yellow, pink, red, or orange.
A quick way to estimate hydration status can be having your youth athlete weigh in at the begin training, and again concluding training. Preferably with minimal clothes on to get an objective estimate of his/her bodyweight. An example of this can be without a shirt, or shoes. This is something he/she can do on their own, privately in a bathroom here at our facility, and recording his/her weight on the daily workout card. Additionally, tracking bodyweight over time can assess changes over time which may help to identify chronic dehydration. For example, losing several pounds over the course of a few days.
To wrap this up, your youth athlete should be aiming to avoid losing more than 2% of their bodyweight at the conclusion of every training bout, and hydrating during training. He/she should be prehydrating before training to allow for fluids to be absorbed, and post training replacing fluid and electrolyte (sodium, potassium, chlorine) loses, by way of drinking water and post workout meals (protein, and carbs). For an aggressive approach, if dehydrated, he/she can consume 1.5L of fluid per kilo (1lbs = 2.2KG) of bodyweight lost immediately.
Recommendations for youth athletes
Four hours before event (training session, or athletic event):
- Consume appx 5-7ml (0.16-0.23oz) water or sports drink per KG bodyweight
- Example, if he weighs 100lb, that’s 45kg x 0.19 = 8.56oz of fluids
Two hours before event recommendations:
- If not adequately hydrated, sip on 3-5ml (0.1-0.17oz) of fluid per KG bodyweight
During event recommendations:
- Adolescents weighting 60KG (132lb) should drink 9oz every 20 minutes even if they don’t feel thirsty
Journal of Applied Physiology 1992 73:4, 1340-1350
To avoid overuse injuries in youth and adolescent athletes, it is important that they participate in multiple sports. Sports that require different movement patterns, along with energy requirements. Early specialization can limit the athlete in the directions that they move, along with limiting variety of joint actions. More and more young athletes are being treated for the same overuse injuries that their collegiate and professional counterparts are in hopes of gaining scholarships at top schools in the country. The NY Times published an article on October 14, 2019 written by Zach Braziller investigating this occurrence that is becoming more and more prevalent within the youth athletes of today.
What’s keeping you from making that leap from JV to Varsity? Are you sidelined because of injury or performance? Whether you’re in-season or off-season, our Athlete Performance Training Sessions will make a difference. Check out the video below and come in to see what we can do for you!
In today’s athletic world, adolescent strength & conditioning is becoming more prevalent, as more and more young athletes are realizing the benefits of resistance training on their performance on the courts & fields. This wasn’t always the case, and there are still many out there that believe lifting weights as a young person can be detrimental to their health. The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. Just as with any physical activity, there are some risks, but these risks are mitigated by having those youth athletes train under supervision from certfied youth strength & conditioning specialists. Roughly 10 years ago the National Strength & Conditioning Association released an updated position on Youth Resistance Training. This article (you can find HERE) goes on to conclued that “Despite outdated concerns regarding the safety or effectiveness of youth resistance training, scientific evidence and clinical impressions indicate that youth resistance training has the potential to offer observable health and fitness value to children and adolescents, provided that appropriate training guidelines are followed and qualified instruction is available.”
The truth of the matter is young athletes should be spending less time specializing in a sport, and should in turn spend that time conducting proper resistance training under qualified coaches. Spending even just 1 day a week performing moderate resistance training would go a long way in preparing the young athlete for sport, as well as help create more resiliance to injury through being a stronger athlete. “Strenght is never a weakness” -Mark Bell