Athletes can become dehydrated in any season, but summer football practice always brings this to the front of our minds as we hear stories of young football players overheating and sometimes becoming severely dehydrated during intense summer football practices. Unfortunately, some of your football players may already be slightly dehydrated when they come to practice so the key to keeping your football players hydrated is to proactively focus on a comprehensive dehydration prevention program.
Make it easy for your Football Players to Stay Hydrated.
Water is the natural choice for keeping athletes hydrated and keeping an Igloo water cooler on the sidelines is a great way to make plenty of cold water accessible. Of course, there’s the added benefit of dumping water on the coach’s head to celebrate the big win!
A power drinking system is another way to make sure your players have access to plenty of cold water. A Sports Cool Power Tanker or Team Drinker is like having a portable drinking fountain on the field with you.
When your football players need an infusion of electrolytes, sports drinks like Gatorade are a perfect addition. Even though water may arguably be the foundation of keeping your players hydrated there is no arguing with the fact that if your team prefers the taste of Gatorade over water, they will drink more. A Gatorade Sideline Kit puts everything you need at your fingertips. Kits come with a 3 gallon cooler, a case of Gatorade Thirst Quencher, cups, and squeeze bottles.
Energy drinks with caffeine increase the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Gatorade Prime Energy Chews are a safer alternative since they are caffeine free. Gatorade also has created the Gatorade Recover Protein Shake that is the consistency of a thirst quencher so your athletes get the benefits of hydration and muscle recovery in one drink.
Keep Football Players Cool with a Portable Air Conditioner.
Cooling fans are another measure you can take to ensure the safety and performance of your athletes. A Sports Cool Mister Portable Cooling System can drop the temperature on the sidelines between 10 to 20 degrees. Or you can keep players cooler for several hours with Portable Sideline Evaporative Coolers.
The Power Breezer® is another option for cooling sports fans and players. With its cutting edge technology, the Power Breezer® keeps players, staff, students, and fans cool by dropping the temperature as much as 27 degrees F. It can cool 3000 square feet of outdoor space for up to 50 hours without getting equipment or people wet.
To find the best solution for your team, talk to your BSN SPORTS Hydration and Cooling System Specialist today or visit BSN SPORTS @ http://www.bsnsports.com to learn more.
Football Player Safety Spotlight: Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Watch for signs of overheating, especially as your young athletes become acclimated to the heat during practice. Early signs of heat exhaustion include:
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
Remove the athlete to a cooler place if you notice any of these symptoms. Early intervention can prevent more serious heat related illness. The next symptoms include:
If you notice any of these symptoms, remove the player from practice to a cooler place, lay him down with his feet slightly elevated, loosen clothing and remove excess items such as a helmet or shoulder pads, give him water or a sports drink, and spray or sponge with cold water. If left unchecked, heat exhaustion leads to heat stroke. Symptoms include:
- Fever over 104 F
- Irrational behavior
- Dry, red skin
- Weak but rapid pulse
If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Don’t underestimate the severity of any heat related illness. A few basic precautions can mean no one on your team will become a statistic.