The STOP Sports Injuries Campaign hosted its third-ever #SportsSafety Twitter chat on Monday evening. This particular chat focused on heat acclimatization and heat illness for youth-athletes.
Below, I compiled the highlights into a Storify.
Storified by Schooled in Sports · Wed, Jul 11 2012 13:56:16
The chat started with a basic question: How do you teach young athletes to avoid heat illness and stay hydrated?
The responses highlighted the complications involved.
#SportsSafety A1 I use the lemonade/urine comparison and emphasize drinking during first, formative days of practiceDV Training Room@SportsSafety have them check urine color & inform them that light to clear is hydrated.JaysonI also tie in performance to the equation and highlight that they aren’t performing optimally if they are not hydrated #SportsSafetyM. GutierrezA1: I think the challenge w young athletes is having them drink adequately before games/practices and not wait until thirsty #SportsSafetyDr. David Geier@DrDavidGeier not to mention the weekend warriors that remain relatively under-hydrated at their baseline #SportsSafetyTad Seifert@DrDavidGeier also remembering that the only substitute for #water is #water!!! No sodas, juices, high energy drinks!!!! #SportsSafetyDr. SapnaThe conversation shifted after those last few tweets to focus on the types of drinks student-athletes should be consuming. Specifically: Are sports drinks an acceptable replacement for water?A2: I promote water for short periods of exercise/sports. If longer, more strenuous activity, hotter day, maybe sports drink #SportsSafetyDr. David GeierA2: I’m okay with sports drinks during activity >30min but they are right up there with regular soft drinks otherwise #SportsSafetyAaron Gray, M.D.Hydration: @DrDavidGeier @drsapnasriram Not always that simple when younger kids wont drink adequate unflavored water. #SportsSafetyHeatherChambliss PhD@HChamblissPhD @drdavidgeier @drsapnasriram we are seeing a huge problem of dehydration I am happy to see almost any fluids flavored or not!Vincent BurkeNext, the conversation moved to energy drinks. Are they common in youth sports? How did the experts feel about youth athletes consuming energy drinks?
The consensus seemed to fall pretty strongly against energy drinks for youth athletes.
@SportsSafety A3: I discourage them at the HS where I work...increase in heart rate unsafe #SportsSafetyM. GutierrezA3: Energy drinks not uncommon with kids. Think caffeine, other stimulants dangerous in setting of exertion, heat, dehydration #SportsSafetyDr. David Geier@DrDavidGeier @hchamblissphd @drsapnasriram creatine & caffeine is more of a worry. If they drink 2 much sugar or Calorie drink they pukeVincent Burke@DrDavidGeier @hchamblissphd @drsapnasriram vitamin water is a winner for my athletes!Vincent Burke@SportsSafety @vince_burke @drdavidgeier @hchamblissphd another great option is #agave nectar & lemon in their water! Tastes grt & hydratesDr. SapnaI don’t advise energy drinks but there are performance advantages with caffeine.It is banned by WADA,USADA at very high doses. #sportssafetyAaron Gray, M.D.The last question revolved around what can be done to help youth-athletes monitor their hydration status:A4: I think the easiest 2 ways to know hydration status: urine color (clear vs dark) and body weight before & after activity #SportsSafetyDr. David GeierWays to monitor hydration status in youth athletes A4: urine color charts in bathrooms, pre and post practice weights #sportssafetyAaron Gray, M.D.@DrDavidGeier @neurodoctad @vince_burke When u consider injuries, concussions, etc, heat illnesses are the only thing 100% preventableBJ Maack#sportssafety important point yet to be discussed is availability of water. Ideally each athlete has their own water source entire H2O breakAaron Gray, M.D.And with that, the chat wrapped up.
For more on heat illness prevention in student-athletes, check out these resources via
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.