Chandler Prep Athletic Training
Athletic Trainer’s Blog:
Athletes Guide to Hydration:
How much water should you drink daily? How do you know if you are hydrated? Can dehydration affect my performance as an athlete? These are all frequent questions related to the topic of hydration. A common recommendation given to most on hydration is to drink eight glasses of water per-day. However, how much water you need daily is very individualized and depends on many factors including age, gender, weight, environment, and activity levels.
So why is it so important to stay hydrated?
The body is 60% water. Water is the key component to maintaining biological functions, maintaining core temperature, transporting nutrients to our cells, removing waste products and keeping our pH balanced. Staying hydrated also helps protect us from heat illnesses such as heat cramps, exertional heat exhaustion, exertional heat stroke, sickling, hyponatremia, and many more.
How do we lose water?
- Water is loss is seen through sweating
The best way to monitor hydration and fluid status is by evaluating urine color throughout the day. If your urine is a pale yellow to clear, it likely indicates a well-hydrated state. If it is dark in color it indicative of dehydration and more fluids are needed. Another method is through weigh-in before and after a workout, and replacing the weight difference with fluids. A gain of 1lb to a loss of 0-1lbs indicates a hydrated state. A loss of greater than 2lbs is indicative of dehydration. Lastly, thirst is an indicaor that the body needs fluids. Below is a hydration urine chart that you can follow when evaluating urine color.
How much water should an athlete drink to stay hydrated?
Once again, proper hydration should be individualized and is dependent upon many factors. The following are current recommendations American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine’s Fluid Replacement Guidelines.
Additionally, here is an infographic which will break down the guidelines into a much similar tool.
Baseline Concussion Testing:
In leu of the fall sport season, I will be completing baseline concussion testing. This will be a requirement for ONLY contact sports, as they are more likely to sustain a concussion (i.e. football and volleyball). Many athletes have already completed their testing. For those athletes who are involved in multiple sports, you will only need to complete baseline testing once. I will be utilizing two types of tests: the Standardized Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT5) and the ImPACT test. The SCAT5 is a paper test including a symptom checklist, memory tests, and balance tests. It takes about 15 minutes to complete, and will be utilized as a sideline assessment tool. ImPACT is a neuropsychological test completed on the computer (not Brainbook!) including a symptom checklist, verbal and visual memory, processing speed, and reaction time. This test, taking about 45 minutes on average to complete, is a very thorough tool that is utilized to monitor concussion recovery and help to determine if an athlete is ready to return to play following a concussion. Following a concussion, if it is determined that an athlete needs to visit a neurologist, the test can be completed at school with me, saving both time and money at the doctor’s office. It is one of the most widely-used concussion evaluation tools among athletic trainers and neurologists.
This season, high school football and volleyball athletes are required to complete both the SCAT5 and the ImPACT tests. Middle school athletes will NOT be required to complete baseline testing. If you are a parent of a middle school athlete and would like him or her to complete the ImPACT test as well, please contact me directly and I will be happy to administer a baseline test for them. If you are the parent/guardian of a high school athlete who does NOT participate in a contact sport OR has history of concussion and would like him or her to complete the ImPACT test as well, please contact me, again they are certainly able to if you so wish.
I have spoken with most of the teams already about completing their tests, and will continue to speak with them throughout the next week. We are currently working on reserving laptops for ImPACT testing. For your athlete’s convenience as well as the coaches, we will be conducting a mass testing time for each team which will not interfere with practice time. If you are the parent of a scholar-athlete who is NOT required to baseline and wish to have them baselined, again, please contact me directly so that we can set a one-on-one time period for your athlete to baseline. For some sports, it may be that the only time available to complete testing is following practice. I thank you in advance if your athlete is able to stay after school or practice one day to do so.
If you have any questions about either test, feel free to contact me. I have also provided the ImPACT website, which explains the test more thoroughly. https://www.impacttest.com/about/
Rebekah Gardiner AT, ATC, LMT
Throughout this year and next I am making it a personal goal of mine to utilize the Titan HQ – Athletic Training as a means of providing educational material for you all. I’ll be rotating the topic ideas, but if you ever have a topic of interest that you would like me to discuss, please let me know. Future topic ideas will include: ankle sprains, ACL tears, overuse injuries, hydration and exertional heat illnesses, lightening safety etc.
In leu of my last post regarding concussion battery testing, I found it appropriate to begin our discussion topics with concussion education. Below you will find an infographic which provides wonderful information regarding concussion.
“A concussion is defined as a “trauma-induced alteration in mental status that may or may not involve loss of consciousness.” This can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Concussion signs and symptoms can appear immediately or not be noticed until days or even weeks after the injury.” – NATA
Rebekah Gardiner AT, ATC, LMT
The Athlete’s Mindset and Word Choices
I came across a few recent posts and thought I’d share them with you for some inspiration as we approach the end of the fall season and enter the winter season. Much of being a great athlete comes from having the correct mindset and being able to overcome everything that is thrown at you. The first link is to an article about having a a positive attitude and work ethic. The second link is to an inspirational video that hits at if you set bigger goals you are going to have minor set backs, or “fails.” But these “fails” are what’s going to push you to become a better athlete.
Coming from an athletic background myself, I know how difficult it is to balance school work with the demands of athletics, especially for multi-sport athletes. No matter your level in school, this will likely always be a challenge. If you establish good study habits now, the transition to the next level of school will be a lot easier, whether you are in middle school going into high school, or in high school getting ready to go off to college. It is up to you, the student-athlete, to figure out what type of study schedule works best – and this may vary with each sport season. If you seem to do better in morning classes or wake up early, perhaps set aside time before school to study. If you seem to do better in afternoon classes, try to focus after school, if time permits, before practice to get in some studying or finish an assignment. Sometimes it is necessary to map out schedules on a weekly basis to work studying in around athletics and other extra-curricular activities. If you find yourself struggling to get studying and assignments finished, try writing down your daily schedule, and utilizing the extra 30 minutes here and there. I know it’s easy to spend this free time socializing with friends, but you will likely be less stressed out if you utilize your time more wisely. Another suggestion is to make to-do lists of assignments. You can make one for an entire week, or break them down in to daily, or even study-session lists. It’s rewarding to cross something off the list and feel a sense of accomplishment when it’s finished.
Always communicate with your teachers regarding assignments, and with your coaches if you feel you need extra study time. I’m sure most coaches (and parents) would agree that missing one practice to catch up on studying is more beneficial than missing games or entire weeks due to poor grades. Keep in mind that you are a student-athlete.. the STUDENT comes first!
I imagine many parents of student-athletes are concerned with proper eating habits, especially when they may be dropping off their kids at 7:00am and don’t see them until 7:00pm after practice – or later as with some sports. Ensure your athlete is eating a balanced breakfast. Think grains, plus dairy, plus fruit. For example: cereal, yogurt, and a piece of fruit, OR an omelet, bran muffin, and fruit with yogurt. Lunch is also important, and can be as simple as a sandwich with lean meats, and side of veggies or fruit. Your athlete should also be eating a small meal shortly before practice. If your child has only a half hour before practice, this can be a piece of fruit or granola bar. If there are a few hours before practice, a meal can be more substantial such as a sandwich or leftover dinner from last night. It is okay for the largest meal of the day to be a late dinner; athletes are typically very hungry after practice. Ensure this meal is balanced with carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
The following article does a very good job of outlining the importance of different nutrients and food groups for young athletes. Please take a few minutes to look over it.