Earlier this summer during my ‘E’ Coaching License class, the instructor touched on proper hydration and asked ‘What is the best thing to re-hydrate a player’. About half said water and the rest said Gatorade. The instructor felt water was better and that one of the key benefits about Gatorade – the extra potassium, could be covered by having a player eat a banana after the match (~400mg of potassium in a banana vs 30mg in 8oz of Gatorade). Interesting. Of course US Youth Soccer suggests sports drinks over water for one very important reason. The kids tend to drink more fluids during activity when its Gatorade (i.e. sweet) vs. water. So regardless of all the research on both sides as to what is better or worse (not opening THAT can ‘o worms), the goal of keeping kids properly hydrated wins out.

But I digress. In my rambling around the net, I found a new post by The Suburban Soccer Mom who has discovered a new secret weapon for energizing her young soccer player. Grape Kool-Aid.

So, we’re practicing soccer and Thing Two has HAD it. He’s dragging and he’s whining and I am trying to get him to get a little animated, so for his drink I mix him up a grape Kool aid. He drank the whole thing in 20 seconds and RAN out to the field and scored two goals within three minutes.

The same thing happened last year, only it was Capri Sun. Thing Two would play hard, and come back dying, and I’d give him his Capri Sun, and he’d spring right up and get in there. It was almost comical, watching the change the sugar made in him.

So this year’s (slightly more sugary) secret weapon? Grape Kool Aid. Soccer players, beware!

I’ll admit – during our end of season tournament I put Gatorade in the drink cooler instead of water. The kids loved it. But if the chips are down and we’re behind by a goal, I just might have to toss in some grape Kool-Aid instead! Or just give them those powdered sugar stick things. ZING!

UPDATE: I probably was a bit too subtle, but, the last part of this about the Kool-Aid is meant to be humorous, not a suggestion for a new sports drink :)