Hydration is arguably among the foremost priorities youth athletes, parents, and coaches habitually consider as vital for sports. Insufficient hydration and a resultant measurable sweat-induced body water deficit can negatively affect performance and, in some athletic scenarios, can be a danger to a young athlete’s health and safety, especially during vigorous physical activity in a warm-to-hot environment. Accordingly, it is essential to be well hydrated prior to practice, training, and competition and minimize total body water deficits incurred while being mindful of the greater sweat losses and hydration needs/challenges that accompany physical growth and maturation. Informed clinicians can play a key role as trusted resources in providing the most effective guidelines and making the best overall individual recommendations regarding hydration for youth athletes.
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