Hydration is critical to performance. Being dehydrated can cause you to become fatigued during the game. It will also decrease hand-eye coordination and put you at risk for heat exhaustion and heatstroke…two conditions that can be life threatening. Sadly, there have been athletes who have died as a result of dehydration. To avoid dehydration, follow these steps:
1. SHOW UP FOR PRACTICE AND GAMES HYDRATED. You cannot drink enough fluids during a game or work out if you start the practice or game already dehydrated. Players should be drinking enough fluids throughout the day. Do not wait till the hour before practice to become hydrated. Throughout the day, drink more beverages like water and sports drinks, like Gatorade. Avoid beverages like soda and energy drinks with high sugar and caffeine or guarana like Red Bull, Adrenaline Rush,180, AMP and Monster.
2. TO CHECK FOR DEHYDRATION, MONITOR YOUR WEIGHT. The weight you lose during workouts and games is water weight. You must replace these fluids or performance will be affected. For every pound you lose during workouts, drink 3 cups of fluid. If you do not replace this fluid, your performance decreases.
3. DO NOT WAIT TO UNTIL YOU ARE THIRSTY TO DRINK. If you wait until you're thirsty to drink, you are already dehydrated. Being dehydrated will also affect performance and will not allow your body to work harder. Drink before you become thirsty and drink frequently throughout the game, even if you are not sweating and are not thirsty.
4. MAINTAIN HYDRATION DURING THE GAME. 75% of muscle mass is water. When muscles dehydrate, small microscopic tears occur. This type of injury can damage the muscle and will not allow you to perform at your best. Making sure that the muscles stay cool throughout practice and the game by drinking plenty of fluids allows the muscles to recover and become bigger and stronger
5. HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU BE DRINKING?
a. Before Exercise
i. Drink 12 to 20 oz. (400-600 ml) 2-3 hours before
b. During Exercise
i. Drink 6 to 12 oz. (150-350 ml) every 15-20 minutes
c. After Exercise
i. Drink 150% of sweat losses
ii. Drink 3 cups (24 oz.) for every 1 lb. of weight lost through sweat
d. Before next practice, replace 80% of weight lost