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Nutrition, Heat & Hydration

Sports Science and Safety

A healthy diet and good eating habits are essential for a young athlete's development and performance.

Jackie Berning, Ph.D, a registered dietician and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who serves as a member of the US Lacrosse Sports Science & Safety Committee, notes that for athletes in season and for those engaged in daily workouts, consuming carbohydrates within 30 minutes after exercise and again after two hours can help muscles reload and rebuild by replacing glycogen up to 50% quicker. Berning cites chocolate milk as an excellent source for this energy replenishment among younger athletes.

Recovery nutrition is not as critical to athletes during offseason exercise, Berning says, because consuming rehydration beverages and salty foods in routine meals will also help the body to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.

Guidelines for fluid intake and hydration provided by Berning include 2-3 cups of fluid in pre-exercise mode (2-3 hours prior to exercise) and 1-2 cups approximately 15 minutes before exercise. She also encourages enough fluid to maintain weight during the workout, and three cups of fluid for each pound lost post exercise.

US Lacrosse Partners with US Anti-Doping Agency

US Lacrosse has joined with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in an effort to end the dangerous and unscrupulous practices of "rogue" manufacturers within the nutritional supplement industry. USADA’s initiative, "Supplement Safety Now," will work to eliminate the practice of selling dangerous products containing steroids and other drugs as "safe and legal" dietary supplements.

More About USADA

USADA is a non-governmental entity responsible for the testing and results management process in the U.S. for athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic Movement. USADA manages a drug reference phone hotline and Global Drug Reference online, conducts educational sessions with national governing bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as nutrition and dietary guides, which can be found at

Heat Illness & Dehydration

When an athlete exercises, the body's temperature is elevated and the body sweats to cool itself down. During this process, body fluid as well as critical electrolytes are lost. If the body isn't replenished with fluids and electrolytes, dehydration may occur and increase the risk of a heat illness. Heat illness is best understood in three separate degrees of severity: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and the most serious form, heat stroke.