Trebol Soccer Club

Winter Hydration Tips: Keep the Water Flowing!

November 2014 Edition

Can dehydration occur in cold weather?

As leaves fall and temperatures dips you may not be thinking as much about hydration as you did in the heat of the summer. However, it is important to remember that dehydration can happen in the winter, too! Although your young soccer player may not be sweating as much as he or she did in August, it is just as easy to become dehydrated in cold weather. This is especially true in a dry, high altitude climate like Colorado.

In cold weather sweat can turn into water vapor instead of forming on the skin, which can be misleading – we have all seen steam literally rising from athletes in cold temperatures. This lost water vapor needs to be replaced, which can be more challenging in the winter because your child may not feel as sweaty or as thirsty as he or she did in the summer. It is important to dress in layers in the winter because the Colorado sunshine can make it feel much warmer than the air temperature, increasing the risk of dehydration for young athletes.

What are the signs of dehydration?

Most adults and children do not drink enough water. Even mild dehydration can affect your child’s health, as well as his or her academic and athletic performance. Signs of dehydration include headache, dizziness, irritability, lack of energy and sudden decline in performance. As we approach cold and flu season, please be aware that your child might be more vulnerable to dehydration if he or she is recovering from a fever or a bout of vomiting or diarrhea, has a chronic health condition such as diabetes or is not well rested.

How can I get my child to drink enough in the winter?

It may be challenging to convince your young athlete to drink ice cold water in frigid temperatures. Luckily, other beverages and certain water-based foods like fruits and vegetables also contribute to proper hydration. While the majority of water intake should come from, you guessed it, pure water, try swapping iced beverages for warm ones this winter. Herbal teas, organic unsweetened apple cider and winter lemonade (see sidebar for recipe) are all winners with children before and after workouts. Seasonal fruits such as pears, apples, oranges and grapefruits, as well as vegetables such as salad greens, broccoli and cabbage are excellent natural sources of water. As an added bonus, these water-packed super foods are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals growing children need to thrive both on and off the soccer field. Homemade soups and stews are a nutritious and delicious way to increase your child’s water intake, too!

Thirst is not always a reliable indicator of hydration status so set a water goal. As a general rule of thumb, your child should drink about six to eight cups of water per day and consume lots of hydrating vegetables and fruits. Always send your child with a water bottle to school and practice, and consider tucking a thermos of warm herbal tea with honey into his or her soccer backpack on chilly practice days. It is well worth a little extra effort to keep the water flowing this winter!

For additional information or answers to questions, email Certified Nutrition Therapist Diana Walley at [email protected]. 

Meet the Nutritionist

Diana Walley

Every Bite Counts Nutrition

Email Diana:
[email protected]

Diana Walley is a Master Nutrition Therapist and the founder of Every Bite Counts Nutrition, LLC. Diana specializes in family wellness, with a focus on digestion and detoxification. Her services include one-on-one nutrition consulting, nutrition lectures and corporate wellness programs to help adults and children achieve their health-related goals.

Diana is a certified Gut and Psychology (GAPS) Practitioner. She also holds a certificate in Environmental Health from the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and is certified in FirstLine Therapy, by Metagenics. In addition, Diana serves on the Naturopathic Doctor Advisory Committee for the State of Colorado. Diana lives in Louisville with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, practicing yoga, cooking and volunteering in the community.

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