Dehydration awareness should be priority for coaches, parents

Athletes should drink plenty of fluids before, during and after practices and games.
Athletes should drink plenty of fluids before, during and after practices and games.

Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez has emerged to be one the top relievers in the game in the past two seasons, but his availability for his team's season opener is now in question. A few weeks ago, the All-Star closer strained his left oblique muscle – an injury that he may have been able to prevent had he been properly hydrated.

"I was doing what I normally do when I throw a bullpen. I felt a cramp, so I think I was a little dehydrated," Perez told reporters.

Muscles can become weak and susceptible to strains and tears if athletes aren't properly hydrated. But, if their dehydration is severe enough, athletes both young and old can experience heat stroke or even death.

According to the Mayo Clinic, coaches and parents should look for the following symptoms of dehydration in their young athletes: dry or sticky mouth, thirst, headaches, dizziness, cramps and excessive fatigue. Since it's impossible to keep an eye on an entire team at once, coaches should share this information with their athletes, so they can take the appropriate measures to rehydrate and rest if they think they may suffer from a heat-related illness.

If an athlete seems confused or passes out, emergency help should be sought immediately.

The best way to prevent dehydration is to encourage athletes to drink plenty of fluids before and after they take the field, but especially during the game, match or practice.

Coaches should make sure that team hydration is one of their top priorities and stock their benches with Gatorade brand water coolers, water bottles and cups available at Anthem Sports. 

For larger capacity, be sure to check out our selection of team hydration products from Waterboy including the Tanker Power Hydration System, the Chilled In-Line Hydration System and the economical In-line Team Hydration System that hooks up to a standard watering hose. Coaches can utilize these products to ensure that players have the available resources they need to refuel and stay healthy during matches and games.

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