Sports Medicine Advisory Committee Alert - December


Definition of Dehydration

• A mismatch between water intake and body water loss
• Loss of greater than 2% of body weight
• Most athletes do not voluntarily drink adequate volumes to maintain hydration in practices/games
• Dehydration is impacted by the intensity of exercise, environment and availability of fluids
• Predisposes to heat illness
• Significantly impairs performance
• Knowledge does not always translate into behavior

Symptoms of Dehydration

• Thirst
• Irritability
• Cramps
• Headache
• Nausea/Vomiting
• Fatigue/Weakness/Dizziness
• Decreased Performance

Management of Dehydration

• Assess level of distress/symptoms, consider removing from activity depending on the level of symptoms
• Rest the athlete and establish a rehydration plan to replenish lost fluids
• Water or sports drink may both be utilized to rehydrate the athlete

Prevention of Dehydration

• Water is something all young athletes need prior to exercise
• Develop a hydration strategy: drink before, during and after exercise. Hydration plans need to be individualized.
• Daily hydration habits are important for overall hydration status
• Monitor hydration by evaluating urine color
o A light color like lemonade indicates adequate hydration
o A darker color like apple juice indicates dehydration
• Fluid volumes needed to maintain hydration vary by size of the athlete, the athlete’s sweat rate, and the intensity of exercise

Coach Responsibility

• Educate athlete’s regarding the importance of hydration for safety and performance
• Allow easy access to fluids and schedule water breaks especially in the heat
• Monitor hydration status and player status when exercising in the heat

Time Fluids Consumed
4 hours before 16 fluid ounces of water (about 1 water bottle)
10-15 minutes before 8 fluid ounces of water
Every 15 minutes when exercising for < 1 hour 4 fluid ounces of water (2-3 large gulps)
Every 15 minutes when exercising vigorously for > 1 hour 4 fluid ounces of sports drink (2-3 large gulps)
Do not drink > 1 quart per hour during exercise
Young athletes should continue to hydrate 2-3 hours after event
Consume 20-24 fluid ounces (1 to 1 ½ water bottles) of water or sports drink for every pound lost during exercise

For complete CHSAA Hydration/Dehydration Protocols information, please click HERE.