Hydration - tips for training in the Florida heat.
Let's face it - if your child is going to be playing tennis in south Florida in the summer time, things are going to get sweaty. Really sweaty. When a player practices in this type of sun and heat, and sweats the amount that our kids do, they can become dehydrated if you aren't aware of proper hydration techniques. If you find that your child complains of a headache, is overly tired or tends to be irritable after practice, they are most likely lacking proper hydration. Thankfully, minor dehydration after a sweaty tennis practice is easily fixed, and can be avoided in the future.
Following are a few tips to ensure your family stays hydrated this summer & fall:
1. Remember that hydration of the body begins before exercise. For our kids, this means ensuring they drink around 12-16 ounces of water within a two hour window prior to playing tennis.
2. While at tennis children should be encouraged to drink water throughout practice. This is why you will often see us break for water more frequently in the summer months, and give children a chance to cool off for a few minutes in the shade while they drink. During exercise, players should be encouraged to drink 4-8 ounces for every 15-20 minutes they are actively sweating on the courts.
After practice children will often need additional nutrients to replace electrolytes lost through sweating. Although we tend to stay away from artificially colored overly sugary foods and beverages for our athletes, those drinks do have a place as a last resort. Instead, we recommend pure filtered water, fruit infused water, and extra fruits and vegetables as snacks after practice. For our older athletes who are usually playing longer and sweating more, a hydration multiplier like Liquid IV after practice is a good idea. This supplement will dissolve in water and has no artificial colors or flavors and will replace the nutrients lost during practice.
Do you have any additional tips to share on how you keep your tennis players hydrated during the super hot summer months in South Florida? Do your older kids now know how to ensure they stay hydrated by drinking before and after practice? Comment below to let us know!