A couple of summers ago researchers from the University of Connecticut's Department of Kinesiology showed up at youth soccer and football camps on the East Coast to study how kid's rehydrate themselves after exercise. What they found is that most kids did not drink enough and that most of them became very dehydrated day by day. By the end of the four day camp between half and three quarters of the kids were seriously dehydrated. This happened despite the fact that there was lots of water around to drink. This is partly because kids just don't think to drink water.
The reason your kids need to stay hydrated is because even alone percent to two percent reduction in body mass through perspiration reduces aerobic performance. Kids weight less than adults so water loss is a very serious thing because in just 90 minutes of exercising without enough water their core temperatures can increase very rapidly.
In a Canadian study, when the kids were offered grape-flavored water, they voluntarily drank 44.5 percent more than when the water was unflavored. And when the drink included 6 percent carbohydrates and electrolytes â€” when, in other words, it was a sports drink â€” they eagerly downed 91 percent more than when offered water alone. Does this mean that the parents should be stocking their refrigerators with Gatorade, Powerade or the new Crayons sports drinks for kids (
Some experst say that they will likely drink more of a flavor they like as compared to water, and will benefit from the carbs and electrolytes. Furthermore the salt in these drinks increases the body's ability to retain fluid.
The problem is that sports drinks are not exactly healthy for anyone. They are just sugar water with salt added. They have also been linked with obesity and weight gain.
Sports drinks are also really expensive. Why not try making your own version using the recipe below.
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 1/2 cups cold water
In a quart pitcher, dissolve the sugar and salt in the hot water. Add the remaining ingredients and the cold water. The drink contains about 50 calories and 110 mg of sodium per 8 ounces, approximately the same as for most store bought sports drinks.