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Summer Heat Has Arrived

We often don’t think of the necessity of hydration until Summer is upon us. While we have hydration needs during cooler months, it is especially necessary to focus on hydration during Memphis’ summers.

A good way to monitor your child’s fluid intake is by using this 3 point system:

  • Prehydrate – ask your child to consume fluid beginning at least two hours before outdoor events and exercise. No more than one quart of fluid should be consumed per hour since this is the amount that can be adequately absorbed into the bloodstream from the stomach and the small intestine. Surplus fluid will remain in the “gut” and create a bloated feeling, force frequent urination and possibly cause nausea.
  • Trickle – have your child consume 8 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes during exercise. Try to drink at predetermined intervals, rather than wait for thirst to present itself. By scheduling drink breaks into exercise sessions and outdoor activities, and monitoring that intake, you will ensure your child is maintaining adequate hydration levels.
  • Recovery¬†– Following physical activity, additional fluids should be consumed in order to retrieve and maintain appropriate hydration levels. Teach your child to continue to drink more than they are thirsty for. For those who are old enough to understand, teach them to be aware of the color of their urine. Clear, colorless urine indicates good hydration has been achieved. Fruit and vegetable also offer naturally high water content and therefore can be an excellent way to replace fluids.

Choose Fluids Wisely

Water is the best vehicle to achieve and maintain hydration, especially during activities of one hour or less. Choose drinks with the lowest amount of sugar. Avoid sodas, fruit juices and high sugar sports drinks. Caffeinated drinks are also not advisable since they can leech fluid from the body and contribute to dehydration. For events that span more than an hour, the replacement of carbohydrates and electrolytes becomes a concern. Low sugar sports drinks can be effective for prologued periods of exercise and offer the added benefit of being more attractive to many young athletes. Consider Pedialyte as a preferable effective means to regain lost carbohydrates and electrolytes without consuming unnecessary amounts of sugar.

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