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Football Parent Tip of the Week – Don’t Let Cool Weather Fool You! Stay Hydrated and Play Better.

You still need to hydrate in cooler weather.

Water

The body is predominantly composed of water. All systems in the body are dependent upon water. Premature fatigue during a game and poor recovery can be the result of not drinking enough water each day. Most athletes live in an under-hydrated state, which significantly decreases the efficiency of all systems in the body. There is no fountain of youth, no magic pill or potion to enhance performance. But there is water…few things cripple athletes faster than dehydration.

 You don’t need to be in an exhausted state to negatively impact your performance. A one to two percent drop in body weight due to water loss can cause a 15% decrease in performance. Athletes simply don’t drink enough water.

How do you know if your water intake is adequate? A rule of thumb you can use is the color of your urine. It should be almost clear in color. If it is bright yellow you’re not drinking enough water. Another rule of thumb is to replace each pound of weight lost with a pint of water. A pint of water weighs approximately one pound. When the body gets hot it perspires in an attempt to cool the blood down. About 50% of your body heat is lost through your head.

Thirst is not a reliable indicator of proper hydration; those who work out tend to replace only about two-thirds of the water they’ve lost during exercise. Players prone to cramping should use extra salt during periods of abnormal sweating. At their testing laboratory in Chicago, Gatorade researchers have discovered that we lose sodium in significantly greater amounts than other minerals. Salty snacks (pretzels) and additional table salt are recommended during periods of high heat and humidity. A football player should drink 20 ounces of water two hours prior to practice, and about eight ounces every 30 minutes throughout the duration of game.

ParentTip--Hydration

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