While your young athlete can’t compete with their team right now, ambitious little all-stars may still be training for the day they get to head back out on the field. If they’re still training, it’s important to ensure they are drinking plenty of water. Staying hydrated during off-season training is just as imperative to their health and performance as it is during competition season. To better understand the importance of keeping your young athlete hydrated, continue reading.
One of the main reasons why it’s important to encourage your athlete to drink plenty of water is because staying hydrated will help prevent injury. Even small levels of dehydration can contribute to muscle fatigue. Such fatigue can hinder them from maintaining proper form when training, which increases their risk of injury from tripping or falling.
Another danger associated with poor hydration is heat illness—especially as the weather starts to warm up. During exercise, one’s core body temperature rises. To reduce excess heat, the body then produces sweat. When an athlete suffers from dehydration, however, they produce less sweat, which reduces their ability to cool themselves down and increases their risk of heat illness. Symptoms of heat illness include dizziness, cramps, exhaustion, headaches, and even stroke.
To ensure that young athletes are getting the most out of their training, keeping them hydrated should be a top priority. Proper hydration facilitates healthy blood flow and circulation, which helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Not receiving such oxygen and nutrients reduces muscle function, which will affect nearly every facet of your child’s athletic performance—from muscle function and strength to agility and endurance.
Dehydration increases your child’s risk of high blood pressure. When the body’s cells don’t receive enough water, the pituitary gland releases a chemical that causes blood vessels to constrict, which increases blood pressure.
High blood pressure can cause one’s heart to work harder than normal to push blood throughout the body during exercise. In addition to impairing your kid’s athletic performance, high blood pressure could also result in heart complications later in life. To ensure that your child’s blood pressure stays at a healthy level, it is important to keep your young athlete hydrated.