WHY STAY HYDRATED?
Students become dehydrated very easily: dehydration can begin when a student loses as little as 1 percent of body weight. It is not uncommon for some students to lose as much as 5 to 8 pounds through sweat during a day of practice.
Dehydration affects performance: as little as a 2% decrease in body weight from fluid loss (e.g. 2 pounds for a 100-lb student, less than 4 pounds for a 200-pound athlete) can lead to a significant decrease in muscular strength and stamina.
Dehydration affects cognition: a 3% decrease in body water can adversely affect cognitive function. In the sports context, this may affect a student's ability to pay attention to the teacher or remember reharsal instructions. A body water deficit of 2% to 3% can compromise sports performance, heat dissipation, and cardiovascular function.
Most students are dehydrated when participating in the marching arts: studies of students at summer sports camps (similar in scope to the marching arts) showed that a majority were dehydrated, with 25 to 30 percent showing signs of serious dehydration putting them at increased risk of heat-related illnesses. Students were dehydrated despite the availability of water and sports drinks, frequent breaks and teachers' encouragement to stay hydrated. The studies also showed that, once students become dehydrated, it is nearly impossible for them to catch up quickly.
The majority of students are dehydrated before they begin rehearsing: similar studies found that almost two-thirds of students were dehydrated even before they hit the field to start rehearsing. This puts the student at a disadvantage in rehearsal achievement and increases their risk of heat illness.
SIGNS and SYMPTOMS
How to know if a studnet is dehydrated?
If a student tires easily and repeatedly during practices and appears irritable, or his/her performance suddenly declines, dehydration, and/or inadequate calorie intake may be the cause.
The following are also signs that a student may be dehydrated:
-Tired or feeling weak
-Urine is bright yellow in color (urine should be almost clear)
-Apathy or lack of energy
The following are signs that a student is severely dehydrated:
-Dry lips and tongue
-Bright colored or dark urine, or urine with a strong odor
-Small volume of urine
The progressive effects of dehydration are serious. As a student becomes dehydrated, heart rate increases, blood flow to the skin decreases, and a body temperature can rise steadily to dangerous levels. To avoid a potentially life-threatening medical emergency, students, parents and teachers need to be familiar with the symptoms of and treatment for heat-related illnesses.