Proper Hydration and Nutrition during Summer Youth Meets  

by Melinda Burris Willms

Summer months mean the time for youth track meets has arrived . . . and these multiple day meets often last 3-4 days. Each day begins with check in at 9 in the morning, with meets often lasting up to 12 hours. Participants compete in temperatures that often reach into the 90s, intensified by extreme humidity, which only increases the heat index and makes the heat even more oppressive.

Events take a long time to get underway and conclude as competitors are sorted into groups based on age and gender. Consequently, meet participants frequently face a lot of down time between events. These intervals can be quite long, frequently lasting up to several hours. While they wait, participants find some reprieve from the hot sun under team tents, which also provide seating[1]. This means athletes face the dual challenge of staying hydrated throughout a long and taxing day, during which they must contend with repeated warm-ups prior to each competition due to lengthy breaks between scheduled events for participants.

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