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Keep Your Players Hydrated this Little League® Season

Hydration is important to the health of your players and success of your team. The need for being adequately hydrated does not stop when your team leaves the field of play. Help keep your players safe this upcoming season, both on and off the field, by being knowledgeable about hydration.

“As little as two percent dehydration (two percent drop in body weight through fluid loss) is associated with impaired athletic performance,” said Lindsay Baker, PhD, Principal Scientist at Gatorade Sports Science Institute Performance. “Measures such as skill, agility, and running have been found to be adversely affected and athletes also have increased feelings of fatigue as they accrue a body water deficit. The negative effects of dehydration on performance are most apparent when athletes are exercising in hot and humid conditions.”

Following the tips below provided by Gatorade will help ensure the well-being of your players for the season ahead.

Understanding Dehydration

To ensure the health and safety of your players this season, it is important to understand the signs, symptoms, and side effects of dehydration.

  1. Keep Hydration Top of Mind: Maintaining open communication and educating athletes is essential to helping prevent dehydration. Remind athletes to check their urine before practice. If it is the color of pale lemonade, that is a sign of proper hydration. Allowing enough time for hydration breaks between drills at practice or in between innings is an excellent way to keep a player’s fluid levels up.

  2. Keep Fluid Levels Up: Players should drink enough fluid to maintain hydration without over-drinking. Be cautious about over-hydration. Over-hydrating can be dangerous and will decrease the ability for the body to retain fluid.

  3. Keep the Body Cool: Drinking cool fluids will help maintain body temperature. If a player experiences heat illness, have them rest in a shaded area with a cool beverage, get fluids into the body, and regulate body temperature.

  4. Keep Hydrated Before, During, and After Activity: When you are not at practice, the need for adequate hydration does not end. Players should get in the habit of regularly drinking fluids outside of practice to ensure hydration throughout the day and leading into practices and games. Drinking after a practice or game will also help replace the fluids lost through sweating.

  5. Keep a Recovery Schedule: Resting and recovery are essential to avoiding heat illness. Also, encourage players to get between 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Staying hydrated, healthy, and well-rested off the field will help ensure top performance on the field.

Click here for more information from Gatorade on proper hydration. To keep your team hydrated this season with a Gatorade Hydration Pack, contact your League President to request an order.

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Coach's Box | March 2015 | Archive | CRC