June 05, 2006 06:00 ET

U.S. Soccer Federation Issues New Hydration Guidelines to Prevent Dangerous Heat Illness in Young Players

First-of-its-Kind Study Shows Chronic Dehydration Is a Significant Issue Among Youth Soccer Players

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 5, 2006 --

MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2006
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A new first-of-its-kind study from the University of Connecticut presented this week at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual conference found that adolescent males typically lose up to 1.5 liters of sweat per hour when performing intense soccer activities in the heat. The three-year research project also showed that nearly two-thirds of male and female youth soccer players are dehydrated before they even take the field and the average hydration routine observed by parents and coaches isn't preventing the problem. However, educational intervention implemented by researchers positively influenced hydration knowledge and attitudes among youth soccer players, and improved the chances of proper hydration status on the field.

This study, coupled with the extra attention soccer is getting leading into the sport's most elite international tournament and the quickly approaching heat of summer, has prompted the U.S. Soccer Federation -- the governing body of soccer in the United States -- to take a leadership role in developing and distributing new Youth Soccer Heat and Hydration Guidelines to coaches and parents nationwide. The goal is to help prevent the potentially deadly effects of heat illness among the 14 million U.S. children who play soccer and, as it relates to more elite levels, increase physical performance of the next generation of US soccer stars.

The guidelines provide coaches with an overview of the latest research and information on heat illness and dehydration and to make sure youth players recognize the signs of heat illness; gradually adapt to increased exposure to high temperatures and humidity; and realize that thirst is not an accurate indication of fluid needs.

To ensure the guidelines are memorable for coaches, parents and kids, the U.S. Soccer Federation has developed the acronym -- G.O.A.L. -- which stands for:

--  Get acclimated -- bodies need time to gradually adapt to increased
    exposure to high temperatures and humidity (especially young adults).
--  On schedule drinking -- youth athletes should be encouraged to drink
    on a schedule before they become thirsty, and should drink before, during
    and after practice and games.
--  Always bring a sports drink -- replacing electrolytes and providing
    energy is crucial to keeping kids safe and performing at their best.
--  Learn the signs -- if someone becomes unusually fatigued, dizzy, and
    nauseous or has a headache during exercise in the heat, have them stop,
    rest and drink fluids.
News Footage and Soundbites include:
--  B-roll footage of youth soccer players
--  US Soccer's Hydration Recommendations
--  Signs and Symptoms of dehydration and heat illness
--  Soundbites from US Soccer stars Mia Hamm, Landon Donovan, and Douglas
    Casa, PhD, ATC, FACSM, Lead researcher and Director of Training University
    of Connecticut
For additional information or to request a hardcopy please contact: ERIN KANE (323) 930-5838 or

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