Hydration for Youth Athletes
The recommendations of how much fluid a child (ages 9-13) should drink, set by the Institute of Medicine, is 10.5 cups a day for boys and 10 cups for girls. 80% of peoples total water intake comes from drinking water and other beverages including soda, coffee, and energy drinks. The remaining 20% of fluid intake comes from the food we eat.
Athletes require more fluids than the daily recommended level of fluids. Unfortunately, there is no specific set number that a youth football athlete should take. This highly depends on the athlete and the type of activates the person engages in, their exposure to heat and their metabolism. In general, the more active the individual the more fluid that person should drink.
Athletes in general are using more fluids and burning off more fluids than the common individual. Healthy individuals can let their thirst drive them to replace fluids. We understand that football is a grueling sport- there is an obvious necessity to hydrate.
For adults- there are many medical conditions in which case, drinking the recommended fluid level changes. Some examples where the recommended amount changes includes: diabetes, heart disease, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. This list is in no way comprehensive.
Kids need to hydrate.
A technique used to determine hydration is to look at the urine. The color of urine should be fairly clear. If the urine is a dark yellow, then that is an indication that the body may not be receiving enough water.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is purely opinionated. Please do not use this information as a means for medical management. Please consult your physician for further information.