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Swimming and Dehydration: Help Your Kids Stay Hydrated At the Pool

We all know hanging poolside is a favorite summer pastime – especially for kids. But a day at the pool could have an unintended consequence: dehydration.

The truth is swimming – and even just playing in the pool – is a strenuous activity, and like most sports, working out in the pool causes the body to lose fluids through sweat. Although we don’t see it, we sweat quite a bit at the pool, and this is a main reason some kids neglect to hydrate at the pool. Not to mention, the addition of summer heat can make the pool a risky dehydration zone.

But there’s good news: Dehydration caused by swimming can be prevented and/or quickly reversed. Whether your children swim competitively or just like to splash, here are a few tips for keeping them hydrated.

Playing in the Pool:  Don’t Forget to Hydrate

Dehydration prevention begins with preparation. So long before jumping in, kids should be drinking enough fluids. This is particularly important because starting a workout or day at the pool mildly dehydrated can lead much faster to moderate dehydration and its symptoms like cramping, dizziness, headaches and sluggishness.

But hydration is a constant battle, too – your kids should hydrate before, during and after swimming. During the day, for instance, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids aged 9-12 years old should drink 3-8 fluid ounces of water every 20 minutes. For adolescents, the AAP recommends 32-48 fluid ounces every hour.

Competitive Swimming and Dehydration: Staying Hydrated at Swim Practice

The fluid requirements of competitive swimmers are determined by factors like age, workout intensity and environmental factors (like water and ambient temperatures). But there are a few rules of thumb that can help prevent dehydration.

First, water is the best hydrator during workouts that last an hour or less, and kids should be drinking water throughout their workouts.

For workouts lasting longer than an hour, though, the AAP and USA Swimming recommend adding electrolytes and carbohydrates to your water. Here’s why: Electrolytes like sodium and potassium are lost through sweat, and they must be replaced to prevent cramping and regulate water in the body.

Carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide the body with a source of fuel, and therefore adding a small amount of carbohydrate can boost performance. Carbohydrates are also important, because once the body burns through its carb supply, it will begin burning muscle protein.

Why DripDrop is Perfect for the Pool

Not only is DripDrop medically formulated to help kids rehydrate; DripDrop’s sodium-electrolyte content actually promotes the thirst response, which encourages kids to drink more voluntarily. Plus, DripDrop tastes great.

Additionally, DripDrop contains carbohydrates, a great fuel source for longer workouts, but that doesn’t mean it’s loaded with sugar like many sports drinks. DripDrop contains just a fraction of the calories of sugary sports drinks, while maintaining 2-3 times the electrolytes.

And DripDrop is extremely easy to use. As a rehydration powder, DripDrop can be easily mixed into any bottle of water to create an instant poolside hydration drink.

Next time you pack up for a day at the pool, along with the towels, don’t forget some DripDrop. It’s a healthy, great-tasting and effective addition to every bottle of water that will maximize hydration at the pool. Image via Flickr.

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