Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate Posted on May 22, 2017 By Pamela Rosow, MS, RD, CDN, Connecticut Children’s Sports Nutritionist The importance of hydration cannot be stressed enough, not just during the warmer months but all year round. Younger athletes especially need to be careful when it comes to drinking enough fluids before, during and after playing the sports they love. In fact, children are more likely to get overheated from strenuous activity and are at an even greater risk for dehydration. Since their bodies do not perspire as much as teenagers and adults, they actually generate more body heat during exercise. Thirst is a common symptom of dehydration and one that people of all ages experience…so if you ever find yourself thirsty, you are not drinking enough fluids! To hydrate, water is always the best option and cool water even more so because it helps lower and normalize the body’s core temperature. If you are exercising more than one hour, a beverage with some carbohydrates (sports drinks) will help you maintain a consistent energy level. Signs of Dehydration: Flushed skin Fatigue Increased body temperature Increased breathing Increased pulse rate Dizziness Weakness To avoid dehydration, be sure to drink plenty of liquids (milk, water, juices & sports drinks) about 2 hours before activity and up to 15 minutes before an event. Pouring water on yourself may help you feel cooler but to truly get your body temperature down, you need to consume it. If possible, during activity, try to drink from your water bottle about every 15 minutes or during breaks.