One hot mama’s tips for keeping your cool

I am one hot mama. You can tell by the flushed cheeks and sweat dripping down my back. I mean, geez, Benny, I’m baking like a toasted cheeser!

And who wouldn’t be? Summer on the ball field or soccer sidelines is pretty steamy stuff. It makes things downright uncomfortable, and high temps can lead to serious health conditions including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. So in the spirit of helping you keep your cool, here are a few tips from the last of the red hot mamas.

Can find shade? Make it

Find some shade
Obvious, I know, but easier said than done, since shade trees are hard to come by at the fields. So get inventive and make your own shade. A shade umbrella  is about as easy as it gets. You can tie a tarp or a blanket over the top of the dugout to keep the sun away from the players. Pop-up portable canopies are easy to set up on the sidelines and offer great Three Stooges opportunities when setting up and taking them down. (I’d put our softball parents up against anyone in the canopy erection competition.) My canopy chair has saved me some serious sunburn and is also lightweight and easy to carry. It’s got the added benefit of saving me from foul balls to the head. Read the rest of this entry »

Sports and energy drinks for the young athlete

A post-game chocolate milk

Cold and chocolatey

The hot topic in the news the last few days, other than Jim Tressel’s resignation, is the latest report from the American Academy of Pediatrics about the use of sports and energy drinks by kids.  NPR has a piece on it; so does Yahoo! News and various other media outlets and blogs.

I had the opportunity to chime in with my views, which you can read here in this ABC News piece. (skip the video, it’s not the same story) It’s true, my kids mostly drink water, and lots of it. But, thanks to the advice of Bret, my son’s hockey coach, we’ve become big fans of the regenerative power of chocolate milk.

Turns out chocolate milk has an optimal carbohydrate to protein ratio, essential to restoring muscles and energy, and a bunch of other good stuff like Vitamin D that helps athletic performance and growing kids. We’ll buy a gallon of chocolate milk for tournament weekends, or grab a bottle from the concession stand or vending machine after a game. Since snack stand prices often require a second mortgage, it’s cheaper and more convenient to mix up a few drink bottles of chocolate milk to keep in the game cooler. Recently we tried some of the shelf-stable milk boxes, which I pick up at Costco, to decent reviews from the athletes, even though they prefer the other kinds.

Occasionally, only a Gatorade will do but, if you find your kids getting in an unhealthy habit, break out the chocolate milk. You’re welcome to drink something a little stronger, after the game, of course. Just open one for me.