Kids heading off to a soccer game or football practice in this heat? It is important to know the signs of dehydration, and how to prevent it.
Dehydration occurs when too many fluids are lost, not enough are taken in, or a combination of the two. Kids can get dehydrated more quickly than adults, and the risk of dehydration increases when the weather is extremely dry & hot, especially if there is profuse sweating and intense exercise.
Taking dehydration symptoms seriously is important, as complications from severe dehydration can be life-threatening. And even mild dehydration in the muscles can negatively affect performance.
Coming to sports events prepared with plenty of extra water and electrolyte replenishing options like coconut water or Nuun hydration tablets is a good plan. Certain foods are also helpful for hydration. Foods high in water content like watermelon and orange slices are great for a halftime reboot. Hydrating fruits can help prevent dehydration, replenish lost glycogen stores, and offer antioxidants to repair free radical damage caused by exercise.
It is even better if you can plan ahead to prevent dehydration by prehydrating. One of my all-time favorite tools for sports performance is a smoothie with chia seeds. Chia seeds can help to prevent dehydration, and offer a multitude of other benefits. Naturally high in brain-boosting and heart healthy omega 3s, chia seeds have a very unique soluble fiber. Unlike the soluble fiber of oats or flax seed, chia’s fiber is hydrophilic – meaning it can absorb approximately 10-12 times of it’s own weight in water*. When chia seeds come in contact with liquid, they soak it up and turn into a gel. This gel prolongs hydration and retains electrolytes in body fluids which protects against dehydration. Chia seeds might also give an athlete an edge – naturally boosting energy, endurance, focus/attention, stamina and recovery. Read more about prehydrating with chia seeds, and try this delcious Orange Dream smoothie or the Choco-Banana Super Smoothie -which has nutrients that boost hydration, endurance, recovery, support strong bones, and brain functioning.
Don't have time to make a smoothie? Grab a Mamma Chia for the road, a delicous beverage made with organic fruit juices and chia seeds. Or you could just add a Tablespoon of chia seeds to your favorite drink.
*Because of it’s hydrophillic properties, it is important to consume chia seed with plenty of liquid to ensure that the seed is not soaking water internally from your body. Ideally, chia seed is soaked in liquid for 5 minutes before it is consumed.
©2011, All Rights Reserved. Sara Vance
This content is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons experiencing problems or with questions about their health or medications, should consult a medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before taking the above foods to be sure there are no interactions.