Tamara Hew-Butler, associate professor of Exercise and Sport Science in the College of Education, wrote an article in The Conversation, "Overhydrating presents health hazards for young football players"

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Young athletes should stay hydrated, but too much water can be deadly

By Tamara Hew-Butler

Tamara Hew-Butler, associate professor of exercise and sports studies, wrote an article for The Conversation about the health hazards of overhydrating among young football players. Hew-Butler wrote: “With August football practice fast approaching, every coach’s favorite cheer will be to “stay hydrated” and “keep urine clear” during the summer heat. In 2017, a University of Texas football coach created a urine-based “Longhorn Football Hydration Chart,” which labeled players with yellow urine as “selfish teammates” and those with brown urine as “bad guys.” This “hydration shaming” practice has permeated high school sports, thereby encouraging a sporting culture which equates superior performance with superior hydration.” Over the last four years, two high school football players have died during August football practice from overhydrating - a medical condition known as exercise-associated hyponatremia.” In conclusion, Hew-Butler wrote: “While we all need water, drinking until our “urine is clear” is money (and water) flushed away. And with the threat of overdrinking high in motivated athletes, I ask coaches/trainers to reconsider before enforcing the urine color chart in athlete locker rooms: Is it worth the risk?”