It is vitally important that a gymnast concentrate on staying fully hydrated both at practice and during the recovery period outside of gym (those 20 hours between practices). The muscles need to be continually offered fluid in order to build and repair.
If your gymnast experiences headaches, chapped lips, dry mouth, has trouble going or staying asleep, or trouble waking up in the morning it may be because she is dehydrated.
A 5′ tall 120 lbs level 10 gymnast who is practicing 4 hours per day should consume at least one gallon of water or other fluids each day. A 4’6″ tall 80 lbs level 5 gymnast who practices 3 hours per day should be drinking at least 2/3 of a gallon each day. This can be a challenge, especially if your athlete has never concentrated on hydration in the past. Here are some tips to help your athlete get there:
- Offer water with every meal and snack
- Have your athlete drink 1 cup of water before they even get out of bed in the morning
- Have your athlete drink 1 cup of water or herbal tea before they go to bed
- Athletes should have a water bottle with them at school and plan to refill it 2-3 times during the school day