Optimizing Hydration for Performance and Health in High School Athletes

Mitchell Zaplatosch- HS Symposium 1.0 Speaker

This presentation addressed current research on proper hydration assessment, including practical recommendations for assessing hydration status among high school athletes both by coaches and the athletes themselves. The presentation will also address appropriate fluid intake guidelines for before, during, and after practice or competition, with consideration for other variables impacting fluid intake recommendations. This will include sport-specific hydration recommendations for a variety of team sports, as well as hydration recommendations for weight-category sports. The presentation will address strategies to encourage healthy hydration throughout the rest of the high school athlete’s day to encourage better academic performance as well as long-term health.

Q&A for Session #2

What are the ingredients in a typical energy drink that cause the stimulation of the kidneys? What level of dehydration can one typical energy drink cause?

  • Depending on the caffeine level in the drink, if it is above the threshold that could make the drink dehydrating
  • The main takeaway is to avoid energy drinks with high school athletes more so than avoiding specific ingredients that have a direct negative effect on the kidneys

What are your thoughts on the recommendation to consume half of your body weight in ounces of water per day as a general goal?

  • Differences in sweat rates can affect how much water one will need for the day

Some Athletic Trainers increase sodium intake 3-4 hours before a significant hot and humid event (i.e. HS Football). What are the pros and cons of doing this? Should they be more concerned with more concentrated electrolytes 45 minutes before active sweating vs loading 3-4 hours before?

  • Pros: may promote longer-term fluid retention than just consuming water alone
  • Cons: possible digestive distress

What are your tips for improving the hydration of chronically dehydrated people?

  • Water flavorings to increase taste preference
  • Carry a refillable water bottle throughout the day

Athletes who take a multivitamin or B complex series and are concerned about their urine color, what would you suggest for them to balance the output color?

  • The color output is just a product of metabolism, your own reference may just be specific to you. Look at one's individual day-to-day urine color as a reference

When athletes actually listen and do hydrate with water/electrolyte drinks, what then, if there isn't over-hydration? Do you have any info on calorie intake for energy source?

  • It's recommended for longer events to consume the carbohydrates as well.

How much water/fluids should high school athletes consume to replace body water losses from strenuous exercise? Is it the same as the recommendations for adults (12-24 oz fluid per lb of body weight loss)?

  • It would be about the same as adults, about 100-150% of what they lost during exercise

For those athletes that are "salty sweaters" what are your best recommendations?

  • Find an alternative to a standard sports drink that isn't as high in sodium, so for example the chicken broth that was mentioned during the presentation. Another option would be to consume a salty snack with the sports beverage

I know you mentioned 60-70 degrees for the best hydration effect of water. However, during extended events like track meets, where you are in the elements for hours. Is the warmer water or cooler water more important?

  • It comes down to what the athlete will drink more of; if the athlete will drink more when it's cooler, then they are better off consuming cooler water