9 Tips for Staying Hydrated and Healthy During Tournament Weekends

Written by Mark Bailey
Last updated on

Tournament weekends are thrilling and exhausting in equal measure. With long hours under the sun and back-to-back games, it’s crucial to stay hydrated and healthy to keep your energy up and avoid burnout. Here are nine tips to help you and your little leaguers power through the weekend.

1. Start Hydrating Early

Hydration doesn’t begin when you step onto the field—it starts days before. Encourage your child to drink water regularly leading up to the tournament weekend. Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day and include hydrating foods like cucumbers and watermelon in their diet. Starting early ensures their body is well-prepared for the physical exertion ahead.

2. Pack a Variety of Hydration Options

While water is essential, having a variety of hydrating options can make it easier to stay hydrated. Pack sports drinks for electrolytes, coconut water for its natural hydration properties, and even homemade electrolyte drinks. Here’s a simple recipe: mix water, a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon or lime, and a teaspoon of honey. This homemade concoction can be a healthier alternative to store-bought options.

3. Snack Smart

Healthy snacks are key to maintaining energy levels. Pack fresh fruits like oranges and grapes, nuts, granola bars, and yogurt. These snacks provide essential nutrients and help sustain energy without the crash that comes from sugary snacks. Preparing snack packs in advance can save time and ensure you have healthy options readily available.

4. Take Regular Breaks in the Shade

Finding or creating shaded areas is vital during hot tournament days. Bring portable shade solutions like umbrellas or pop-up tents. Set up a designated rest area where your player can cool down and relax between games. This practice helps prevent overheating and gives everyone a chance to recharge.

5. Stay Cool with Cooling Towels and Fans

Cooling towels and portable fans can be lifesavers during scorching days. Wet a cooling towel and place it around your neck for instant relief. Battery-operated fans are also handy for providing a quick cool-down. These small tools can make a big difference in keeping body temperatures down and spirits up.

6. Monitor Urine Color

Monitoring urine color is a simple way to check hydration levels. Pale yellow or clear urine typically indicates proper hydration, while dark yellow or amber signifies dehydration. Teach your child this easy method and encourage them to drink more water if their urine is darker.

7. Avoid Sugary Drinks and Caffeine

Sugary drinks and caffeine can lead to dehydration and energy crashes. Opt for healthier alternatives like water, herbal teas, and diluted fruit juices. These options keep you hydrated without the negative side effects of sugar and caffeine.

8. Personal Anecdote: Keeping Kids Hydrated

During one particularly hot tournament, I noticed my son was becoming sluggish and irritable. I realized he hadn’t been drinking enough water. We started a routine where he drinks a cup of water every hour, and we incorporate hydrating snacks like watermelon. This simple change made a huge difference in his performance and mood. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the simplest solutions are the most effective.

9. Plan Ahead for Meals

Planning and preparing balanced meals ahead of time ensures you have nutritious options ready. Pack meals that are easy to eat on the go, such as sandwiches with lean proteins, whole grain wraps, and salads. Including a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats helps maintain energy levels throughout the day.


Staying hydrated and healthy during tournament weekends is essential for both players and parents. These tips can help keep energy levels up and prevent burnout. Have any tips of your own? Share them in the comments below—your advice could be the game-changer another parent needs!