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Health Tip: Young Athletes Must Drink Enough Water

Don't wait until thirsty

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDay News) -- If you have a young athlete at home, it's important to educate him about the importance of drinking enough water, advises the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Here's what your child should know:

  • Drink before you're thirsty.
  • Avoid caffeine. It causes water loss and can deplete calcium levels.
  • The best drink choices are water, 100 percent fruit juice and milk. During exercise, cold water is ideal since it clears the stomach quickly. Have sports drinks during events lasting more than an hour.
  • Overall, drink between 80 and 96 ounces of caffeine- and alcohol-free fluids throughout the day.
  • Monitor your hydration levels by weighing yourself before and after exercise, then take in two cups of fluid for every pound of body weight lost.
  • If you're well-hydrated, your urine will be light yellow or clear. Dark yellow urine means dehydration is setting in.


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