Guidelines for Optimal Hydration
Sports Drinks: Not!
Save money. Skip the Sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade. These drinks are not — repeat, NOT — made for everyday use. They are formulated for consumption by athletes who have been exercising and sweating intensely for 90 minutes or more. They are high in sugar and acid and can harm teeth, especially if sipped on for long periods of time.
In fact, sports drinks make you thirsty.
Water is the best drink for athletes. Instead of a sports drink, try water and a carbohydrate-rich snack (see the snack list below) .
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) provides the following guidelines for the maintenance of optimal hydration:
Before Exercise: 16 – 20 full ounces within the 2 hour period prior to exercise
During Exercise: 4 – 6 full ounces
Post Exercise: replace 24 full ounces for every one pound of body weight lost during exercise.
NOTE: Your child has lots of beverage choices, but the best source of hydration is still good old fashioned water. The problem is getting your child to drink that much. If you can couple your hydration and nutrition efforts, eating snacks like bagels, trail mix, dried fruit, or pretzels will stimulate the athletes’ thirst and encourage them to drink more. Alternatively, sports drinks like Gatorade are designed to stimulate thirst, so the athlete drinks more.