Eating healthy meals and snacks and drinking enough fluids (staying hydrated) are important for good health as well as school and sport performance. Drinking enough fluid helps your body to control its temperature. Not having enough fluid (being dehydrated) can increase the risk of injury, lead to low energy, and have an impact on performance. Active youth need to drink enough fluid before, during and after exercise to help the body function at its best.
Try these simple tips to help your child stay hydrated:
1. Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day so they arrive at sports events well hydrated. Ensure that your child has easy access to free water:
- provide water stations during sport events
- send your child to school with a water bottle to bring to gym class and to keep at their desk
- ensure easy access to water fountains
2. Make sure your child drinks enough fluid during activity by stopping them for regular water breaks every 15 to 20 minutes. Most children do not need a sports drink during activity.
3. Encourage fluids after activity is over as well. Water, milk, and soups are great options.
Discourage children from drinking soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks and energy drinks. These are higher in sugar (which could cause stomach aches and tooth decay). Some may contain caffeine which can be harmful to children.
Healthy food and drinks are an important part of school, physical activity and sports performance. Active children need plenty of fluids throughout the day with extra water during and after activity.
Source Alberta Health Services