Today’s Ultimate Transformation Moment is directed towards parents and coaches.

We’re approaching football season, the beginning of school, and our children are participating in conditioning programs getting ready for their respective sports. Many of these activities are being done outside in the sun. As they participate in these practices, hydration is an important component that will enable youth athletes to have a positive experience.

One of the things that I want to make sure is understood is that water is the way the body supplies oxygen to the bloodstream and to muscles. That means when your child is hydrated, his or her performance is going to be better. In addition, they’re going to feel better while performing.

I want you to understand some of the signs of dehydration. The number one sign is headaches. If your child is coming home and has headaches, you probably need to start getting him or her hydrated.

Other common complaints related to dehydration are dizziness, nausea, and suffering from a lot of muscle cramps, especially in their lower extremities or in the back area. More than likely that means the kidney area is not functioning properly due to a lack of water, and a lack of oxygen.

To get them hydrated you need to: Have them drink between 8-12 ounces of water every 30 minutes the day before heavy exercise and activity. Two hours before the activity, make sure they take in a minimum of 16 ounces of water.

For coaches, if your athletes are participating in a strenuous workout, they should sip water every 15 minutes to ward off dehydration.

Aside from the steps we’ve outlined to hydrate them, there are times when more acute measures are necessary. For example, if they’re no longer sweating and they are starting to get dizzy and nauseous during their workout, you need to probably stop them from working out for that day.

Then spend the next 24 hours re-hydrating them, before they get back to the workout. This is the time where the sports drinks can help–the Gatorades, the Powerades.

Have them take that in, because the body will absorb it as food and take it in much quicker and differently than if it were water. It will also help them recover a lot quicker. But remember, water is definitely the only way you’re going to get the muscle system regenerated again. If any of these symptoms persist, please seek professional medical help. Remember, water is your friend.

The last piece to this is everyone who has a child participating in sports needs to make sure the youngster is eating enough fruits and vegetables along with the water. The carbohydrates and proteins in these foods also help the muscle system recover. So, if he or she is enduring a hard workout, these foods will help them to recover.

Back to hydration: Get the water in–16 ounces two hours before exercise; 10-12 ounces of water the night before, and they will have a positive experience in their exercise.

That’s our Ultimate Transformations Moment. Peace and be more.

Erich Nall is the owner and founder of Ultimate Transformations Training in Los Angeles, Calif. The certified trainer, nutritionist, motivational speaker, and dedicated life coach is a regular guest and commentator on KJLH 102.3 FM’s the Front Page with Dominique DiPrima.