Tips For Hydration
(Adapted from US Youth Soccer FUEL Soccer website)
Proper hydration requires a full-day commitment. An athlete cannot expect to perform at his or her highest level if he or she has not properly hydrated. Hydration is particularly important on hot days.
Boys ages 14 to 18 should be drinking 11 cups of water a day. Girls in the same age group should drink at least eight. A soccer player should drink eight to 16 fluid ounces of water two hours before practice and another eight ounces 15 to 30 minutes before the training session. (Cut these amounts by about half for children weighing less than 90 pounds.)
During practice, a player should drink four to eight ounces (depending on child’s weight) every 15 to 20 minutes. After practice, he or she should replenish with 24 fluid ounces for every pound lost.
An easy way to monitor hydration status is by assessing urine color. The goal for athletes should be to have pale, lemonade-color urine. If the urine is darker, that is an indication of under-hydration and should signal the athlete to drink more fluids.
Symptoms of dehydration include noticeable thirst, irritability, fatigue, weakness, nausea, headache, cramping, dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty paying attention and decreased performance.