Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our Thirst for Sports

It's no secret that my family loves sports.  This season alone, my oldest three kids are involved in sports.  

Claire is in softball, she's the one on the base.

Iain is in baseball and soccer; that's him on the pitcher's mound.

Ellis is in soccer.  That's him catching his breath in the middle of the picture.

It's true that I am, by all definitions, a Sports Mom.  In this role, I have learned the importance of relying on other moms for advice and guidance on how to manage life as a Sports Mom.  One mom that I consider myself to be very privileged to have learned from is Stephanie Hamm, the mother of professional soccer player Mia Hamm.  I recently participated in a conference call with her in which Stephanie offered many wonderful pieces of advice for myself and the other Sports Moms on this call.  We also got to view the amazing video of Stephanie's story, and I highly recommend that you check it out here: Stephanie Hamm.

One of the most important responsibilities of being a sports mom is ensuring that my kids eat a balanced diet and get the proper hydration they need before each practice and each game.  I thought I was doing a good job.  Once I learned the steps toward proper hydration, however, I realized that it is way more than the simple steps that I've been taking.  I have been doing my best to make sure that my kids have a balanced diet, which is a very important thing for athletes.  I also send them off to each practice and game with a Gatorade in hand, knowing that they'll need it for hydration.  I really, truly thought that was enough.  I recently learned that it's not.

Gatorade is nothing new to our family (and no, I'm not just saying that because this review is sponsored by Gatorade; that statement is completely true)!  Thanks to our Costco membership, Gatorade comes at a pretty decent price, and it's something that is ALWAYS overflowing in our beverage refrigerator (yes, we have two refrigerators, the refrigerator in our basement is dedicated to beverages).  During the sports season, this refrigerator is taken over by Gatorade!  Throughout the year, we will have maybe 10 bottles of Gatorade in the fridge at one time, but when sports season arrives, we dedicate two entire shelves of the fridge to Gatorade, totaling around 50 bottles!

Having so much of this much loved beverage helps me to keep my kids perfectly hydrated, right?  Well, not completely.  Unfortunately, the things I've learned in this past week reflect on the fact that I'm not preparing my kids to fuel and hydrate themselves before a game.  Don't get me wrong, they go to the game with a Gatorade in hand, sometimes two.  Drinking this during their games is a great way to keep them going, but I recently learned that there is so much more to fueling and hydration than just drinking during activity.

Did you know that 70% of athletes show up to games and practices dehydrated?  70%!!  That's pretty extreme.  Upon learning the reasoning why, I realized that my kids are very likely included in that 70%.  In order to be properly fueled and hydrated, you are supposed to be drinking a beverage up to four hours before athletic activity, and you are to continue drinking during that activity.  I thought I had it down when I was sending my kids to their sports with a Gatorade in hand, little did I know that their hydration should be taken into consideration long before I drop them off!

According to the experts at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI), there are other factors that contribute to their performance on the field, including the level of sodium they have in their body, as well as the level of carbohydrates (carbs).  Along with your beverage, you should be taking in carbs three to four hours before you exercise. Again, this is a way that I have learned that I am not properly preparing my kids for their sports.

Sometimes it feels like there is so much to know, and yet you wonder where to turn to find the right answers.  Well, Gatorade understands the needs of Sports Moms and has created a website specifically for us!  You can visit that website here.  This site provides information for Sports Moms, as well as stories of women just like us, trying our best to support our children in their every endeavor.  The "Gatorade Moms" site has so many helpful articles, I really do encourage you to check it out!

I know that I've learned far more about helping my kids perform their best through this website and I hope that you will make it a favorite of your own as well!  You will find a lot of helpful information when you Visit the Official site.


As part of this review, I have been selected to give away a $100 gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods!  It's easy to enter, so please play along.  Here are the official rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment
on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on
this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about
an alternate form of entry.

The giveaway will run from Wednesday, June 1, 2011 through Thursday, June 30, 2011.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. 

You can also check out the rules online: Visit the Official Rules. 

Make sure to stop by the Prizes and Promotions Section for more chances to enter!