Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Nutrition Part I: Hydration... but Mom I'm not thirsty!?

Athletes need more calories and fluid than non-athletes.  THEREFORE:

More calories should come in the form of carbohydrates (wheat/fruit/cereal)

More fluid should come in the form of water or Gatorade.


Our first topic is going to be hydration!


                PowerAde has finally put money into researching their product and has improved their brand dramatically- it used to have a bad rap due to the little research and the high percent of sugar, however, it has improved a LOT and is second to Gatorade. 

                                Sports drinks rehydrate the body by replenishing it with electrolytes and sugars the body uses to create energy with.

                                “Energy” drinks should not be confused with sports drinks as they do nothing to rehydrate the body but are designed to boost energy by using caffeine, sugars, and other ingredients that are not considered safe to use when exercising.

                                The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents do not exceed 100 mg of caffeine a day. 

Instead of caffeine-

Make sure they are getting 8 hours of sleep a day

Make sure they are properly hydrated with 8 different servings of 8 ounces of water

Limit their sugar and fatty food intake

Hydration is one of the most important nutritional concerns for an athlete.  More often than not, people wait to drink until they are thirsty.  However, thirst is not an accurate indicator of how much fluid a person has lost.  Encourage your athlete to drink water BEFORE he/she is actually thirsty.  When they drink enough only to quench their thirst, they most likely will still be dehydrated.  For best results:

                Encourage your athlete to drink water throughout the day

                Make sure they keep a bottle of fluid available when exercising

                Do not restrict fluids before, during, or after exercise

                Do not rely on thirst as an indicator.

If your athlete is exercising for 60 minutes or less WATER is the BEST option, if they don’t like water and prefer a sports drink then you should mix it half water/half sports drink.  Sports drinks contain too much sodium and sugar and that content is not needed during or after light exercising.  For 60 minutes or more sports drinks are designed to replace sodium lost through perspiration and the sugar is to maintain glucose levels at a time when muscle glycogen stores are diminished. 
AS ADULTS!  AS PARENTS!  It’s our job to educate and advocate for our athletes!  If you are seeing an athlete with an energy drink inform them, educate them!  If we are at a place that is selling energy drinks to athletes, ask them about it!  What place do these dangerous products have at our children’s sporting events?  What message is this sending kids about temporary fixes to problems?  Talk to your athlete about the difference in sports and energy drinks.

Article about Orange Juice-  Orange juice is a great source of nutrients, HOWEVER, it should not exceed the daily limit, NOR should it be drinken before or during a race.  It is too sugary and acidic to benefit an athlete. 

My personal opinion when it comes to hydration and athletes?  Drink BEFORE DURING and AFTER-

                Water or watered down Gatorade/PowerAde before or during and chocolate milk after. 

put:  Water will replace fluid loss from sweat- chocolate milk will replace carbs loss in energy use.  See article: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/chocolate-milk-after-workout/
******* Disclaimer- I am by no means stating I am an expert on any of this.  I am only combining my research, classes I have taken, articles, and scientific studies to form my best opinion.  **********