Youth Flag Football & Hydration

Youth Flag Football Equipment | Hydration Bottles

This is a guest post by Eddie D. Shackleford

Youth flag football is a very good sport for young kids today.  It is very inexpensive to play, requiring only the most basic of sports equipment.  It is also a productive, positive and healthy diversion for our youth.

There are, however safety precautions to be taken while playing this sport.  First and perhaps foremost is to keep the child hydrated at all times.

Youth Flag Football can be played at any time during the year, not just during what is considered “football season”.  Typically when youth flag football is played in the summer months, the chances for dehydration increases.

Dehydration basically means excessive loss of water from the body.  It usually occurs over a shorter time than normal, thus putting extreme stress on the body’s various systems. 

Just a quick fact check, symptoms of severe dehydration include: extreme thirst, very dry mouth, lack of sweating, low-level urination and low blood pressure. In some cases these symptoms can lead to permanent disability and even death.

It is very important for the youth football players to stay hydrated before, during and after the game itself.  There are various ways to do this.  The premier and the simplest way involve drinking lots of water. 

Drinking water before, during and after the flag football event is an effective way to make sure dehydration does not occur.  There have also been scientific breakthroughs, seemingly every day; there are other ways to keep hydrated as well.  Some have even been tested on the playing fields of NFL and NCAA teams.

One of these products is Gatorade. In 1965, college football players needed a way to deal with the extreme heat of South Florida. Gatorade was developed to help the players stay hydrated.  The key to the success of Gatorade is that it keeps carbohydrate and electrolyte levels high during the athletic event.  This keeps dehydration from occurring and enables athletes to perform at their optimum levels even in extremely hot temperatures.  You should make sure there is plenty of Gatorade on the sideline at a Youth Flag Football game.  Now Gatorade has a range of products for before and after the game to make sure the young player recovers from the exercise sufficiently before going forward to the next activity.

Another product that is helpful to battle dehydration is Powerade. Like Gatorade it promises to replace the electrolytes that heavy exercise causes to be sweat out of the body. It also replenishes carbohydrates but adds significant B vitamins to keep muscle energy balanced. These B vitamins include B1, B6 and B12 all vitamins that are critical for nervous system health.

Herbal teas are very good, natural hydrators.

Fruit juices are very good hydrators as well, for the simple reason that they contain water. It is true that fruit juice may be a more palpable beverage for someone wishing to stay hydrated because of its sweeter taste compared to water.  Fruit juice should be taken in moderation though as it does contain sugar and other food groups.  Kids definitely enjoy fruit juices.

This post was written by Eddie D. Shackleford. He loves to write and research topics about youth and professional sports. He writes and blogs for Direct2tv. You can follow Eddie on Twitter at @Eddie20Ford.

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