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Q. I’m the coach of both a youth football team and a youth baseball  team. in the summer, I’ve have noticed that the kids ask for water breaks during baseball more often than in the fall. Since the weather is typically cooler in the fall, should I schedule fewer water breaks or should I give the football players the same drinking opportunities as the kids in the summer?

 

ANSWER:
Yes, you should indeed schedule as many water breaks! For youth football players, the weather can become tropical inside their uniforms. They can sweat a lot, even if the weather feels cool for the coaches and parents. Yet, because the weather is cool, the kids may not think to drink as often.

 

If the kids become dehydrated, they will be cranky, tired, and have less fun. One goal of youth sports is to have FUN! So please do offer your team frequent drinking opportunities. You can use the breaks as a time to educate the kids about the importance of staying well hydrated so they feel better and prevent needless fatigue.

 

As for what to drink, water is generally fine for youth sports. As long as they have had a pre-practice snack, they will have the energy they need to perform well and will not need sugar-based sports drinks.They will not be sweating enough to require the little bit of sodium (electrolyte) that is in a sports drink. Sports drinks are designed to be takenduring endurance exercise that lasts for more than 1.5 hours, such as marathons; sports drinks generally are not essential for youth sports.

 

While many kids enjoy sports drinks before, during and after practices and games, I’d encourage wholesome foods before exercise (banana,bagel, orange, graham crackers), water during (or water fruit such as watermelon chunks or orange slices if they seem low on energy), and chocolate milk afterwards (if the kids will not be eating a meal soon thereafter). Chocolate milk for recovery contains both carbs to refuel the muscles, as well as protein to build and repair muscles – as well as calcium for growing bones. While the kids should not be training to the point of becoming depleted at which point they would really need a recovery drink, teaching them about optimal sports nutrition practices will invest in their future athletic career when sports becomes more intense.

 

With best wishes for a rewarding season,

 

Nancy Clark MS RD

Boston-area Sports Nutritionist

Author, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

www.nancyclarkrd.com

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Pro-what?? Probiotics!

Probiotics are foods that nourish the harmless bacteria that live in your gut. 

Just as antibiotics kill bacteria, probiotics enhance their growth.

 

Bacteria and other microbes might be very influential regarding good health.

The human body contains 10 times more microbial cells than human cells.

About 2 to 6 pounds of these microbes live in the intestines, where they help

digest food, synthesize vitamins, and enhance the immune system. This gut

ecosystem changes according to diet, use of antibiotics, heatstroke, and other

factors (some known, some unknown). For example, the gut bacteria of obese

children can differ from that of lean kids, just as the gut bacteria of gastric

bypass clients can change after surgery. (Maybe this is one reason why bypass

patients lose weight faster than predicted?)

 

Microbes might play also play a role in Alzheimer's disease, hyperactivity in

kids, and heart disease, so take good care of your gut! This means enjoying

fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (microbes like to eat fiber) as

well as cultured foods (yogurt, kefir) and fermented foods (miso, Kimchi, tempeh,

blue cheese). Probiotic supplements might also be helpful.

 

For female athletes with PMS, taking probiotics for the seven days before the

start of the menstrual period might reduce PMS symptoms, as well as the risk

of diarrhea (a common problem at the time of the menstrual period). Give it a try?

 

 

For more information on how to eat well to stay healthy:

Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

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As a coach, would like to give a sports nutrition book to each athlete on your team?

As a group exercise leader, would you like to raffle a doorprize to the folks who show up for class?

As a health teacher, would you like to provide a practical nutrition text at a minimal cost?

 

Well guess what: the fourth edition of my Sports Nutrition Guidebook is on sale!

 

Special Sale: 24 Sports Nutrition Guidebooks for only $240.

         That's one case of books at half price! I can even autograph them, upon request.

 

Please pass along this info to people who might be interested in this special offer--
--collegiate athletes -- a book for everyone on the team
--coaches and parents of youth sports organizations (soccer, football, gymnastics)
--health teachers who want an inexpensive text book (or supplemental text)
--corporate wellness programs as a give-away upon enrollment

 

Disclosure: A new 5th edition of my Sports Nutrition Guidebook is hot off the press. Hence, I'd like to sell the copies of the 4th edition that remain in my garage. The nutrition information in the 4th edition is accurate, so this is still a good book.

 

For more information, email nclarkrd@rcn.com

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could win with good nutrition?

 

Nancy

 

For a single copy of book: www.nancyclarkrd.com/books

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Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

View Nancy Clark RD CSSD's profile