Kids can often become dehydrated quicker than adults as they aren’t able to regulate their body temperature as well. This means that drinking regularly throughout the day is an important habit for them to get in to. Unfortunately, kids aren’t always good at doing this. They will often need a little encouragement from parents, carers and coaches.
“When I am dehydrated I get a headache, can’t concentrate on the game and I find that my skill level decreases. Hydration is something I have learnt a lot about over the years and is one thing that I always talk to junior footballers about. When I was younger I used to carry a water bottle around at school and take every opportunity to drink. It’s better to sip small amounts over the day versus drinking a lot just before you train or play.” – Zenon Caravella
Everyone has different fluid requirements so there is no standard amount that I can suggest. Basically, follow this guide to find what works best for them:
It is possible to drink too much fluid and develop a condition called hyponatremia. However, this is very rare in football (including junior football) and generally occurs during really long events (such as the Cairns ironman).
If using sports drink (or any other carbohydrate containing fluids) encourage the kids to rinse their mouth out with water to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
“Drinking regularly is even more important for you all living in Far North Queensland, its hot and humid and we often sweat more when training and playing in those environments – meaning, you need to drink more.” – Nigel Boogaard – Newcastle Jets Captain
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