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Hydration...How Important Is It?

For me, March Madness is the greatest time of the year. I love seeing young college players capture the nation's attention, overcome impossible odds to win games they shouldn't even be a part of, and push their bodies to the limit. In many of these games I have noticed certain teams and players either fall off or kick it into a whole other gear as the game nears its final moments. There are many reasons why teams fall off or get stronger towards the end such as physical conditioning, mental stamina, substitution patterns, game plans, nutrition, and hydration. Having proper nutrition and staying hydrated are two components of peak athletic performance that every athlete has the ability to manage. As parents and coaches, this responsibility falls on us. Welcome to my two part series on hydration and nutrition. This week we will talk about how to stay hydrated during competition.

Sweat is a common byproduct of sports. It is the body's way of cooling itself during activity so it doesn't overheat. During sports, we push our bodies very hard in order to compete. It's part of the fun-to push your body and training to the limit and see where you stack up. However, as we push our body harder and harder, our body excretes more and more sweat. When sweat loss exceeds fluid intake, athletes become dehydrated and their athletic performance is compromised.

The importance of hydration for good health and properly functioning body systems can not be overstated, especially for the young athlete. According to researcher Dr. Susan Yeargin from the University of South Carolina, up to 75 percent of young athletes aged 8 to 18 are dehydrated before they even arrive at practice. And because most athletes are only replenishing 2/3 of the water they lose after competition, they are in danger of consequences that include heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Hydration plays a major role in the health of the young athlete, which is why Brandon Capaletti, Vice President of Cisco Athletic, an athletic apparel manufacturer of adult and youth custom uniforms, created this guide on how much of a sports drink or water the youth athlete should consume. Check out the guide below.

At Next Level Sports Camp, we take hydration and nutrition very seriously. Camper safety is our number one priority which is why we have scheduled water and nutrition breaks, a full time, certified athletic trainer, and each of our coaches is CPR and First Aid certified. Sign up to today to give your child an athletic experience unlike any other while experiencing peace of mind that they will be safe and well taken care of while they are at camp.

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