Our friends at nuun, the hydration supplier of LaceUp Running Series, have a great blog. We know a lot of families race LaceUp, and with the addition of a 1k Kids’ Race at Riverside on Dec. 6, we want to share this blog about children’s hydration. 

By Vishal Patel, nuun chief nutritionist

While the focus of most scientific research is on adults when it comes to the importance of hydration and exercise performance, practicing good hydration techniques is important for children as well. Behavioral studies conducted on children often indicate they pick up habits in regards to food and beverage at a very early age (3). Practicing healthy hydration early will set them up for success down the road. This is especially true when exercise and physical activity come into play. Children actually produce more metabolic heat than adults, due to the their height to weight ratio (1,2). So it is important to educate children and coaches to pay attention to dehydration symptoms (headaches, nausea, goose-bumps, excessive thirst) and drink frequently. It is also important to consume sports drinks with low carbohydrate count, with a balanced electrolyte profile. All of the benefits of hydration that is true for adults are also important for children. With proper hydration, your brain can function properly; your muscles will perform better, among other benefits (4).

photo: @pedalthoughts

5 Tips for Children’s Hydration

  1. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages as much as possible
  2. Hydration can come through fluids, and food–consuming fruits and vegetables can contribute to overall hydration status
  3. For exercise–look for sports drinks that are low in carbohydrates, with a complete electrolyte profile
  4. Small amount of carbohydrates and sodium will help stimulate thirst–helping increase fluid consumption
  5. Follow these daily fluid guidelines:
    1-3 years: 1.3 liters (5 glasses)
    3-8 years: 1.7 liters (7 glasses)

    9-13 years: 2.4 liters (10 glasses)
    14-18 years: 3.3 liters (13 glasses)

    9-13 years: 2.1 liters (8 glasses)
    14-18 years: 2.3 liters (9 glasses)


1. bar-or, o. (1983). pediatric sports medicine for the practitioner. from physiological principles to clinical applications. berlin: springer-verlag.
2. bar-or, o. (1989). temperature regulation during exercise in children and adolescents. in: c.v. gisolfi and d.r. lamb (eds.) perspectives in exercise science and sports medicine, vol. 2, youth, exercise, and sport. carmel, in: cooper publishing group, pp. 335-367.
3. bates b et al (2012) national diet and nutrition survey headline results from years 1, 2 and 3 (combined) of the rolling programme (2008/2009 – 2010/11). department of health and the food standards agency, london.
4. clark, n. (2008). sports nutrition guidebook. (4 ed., pp.183-185). champaign, il: human kinetics.