Last summer we wrote about the importance of hydration and how it affects the body ability to perform. I am still receiving a lot of questions about what to drink and when so we decided to post a short helper article on the subject.

When athletes are sweating and exerting themselves for long periods of time they are losing more than just water weight. Athletes are losing vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that control the body’s ability to keep muscles and brain functioning properly. All athletes will sweat and lose fluids at different rates this depends on a number of things like how well conditioned the athletes is, nutrition, pre-practice hydration and level of exertion at practice or game.

Hydration is a key component to recovery as well. Not hydrating properly post practice correctly can really catch up with an athlete. Improperly hydrated and fueled will lead to fatigue, sluggishness, poor mood and injuries. Some of the ways to avoid this from happening are the following:

  • Always have some type of pre-season conditioning  (athletes spending a summer on xbox then go to sports in august is a recipe for disaster)
  • Hydrate the night before and always start drinking about 30 minutes before activities (don’t wait til you are sweating to hydrate)
  • Weigh your athlete before practice and after every pound of weight lose should be replenished with 20 oz. or more of fluids.
  • Water isn’t always enough you need to replace the minerals and electrolytes as well. Sports drinks have their place and are filled with the with the minerals and electrolytes. (magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorous and calcium)
  • Always have plenty of fluids on hand don’t send a athlete to a 2 hour practice with a 16 oz water bottle or a 20 oz sports drink that are only enough for the first water break.

HYDRATION CALCULATION (from CPPS manual by Joe Defranco and Jim Smith)

BODYWEIGHT (prior to event) – BODYWEIGHT (post event) = LBS. X 20 FLUID OZ.

EXAMPLE    100 LBS – 96 LBS = 4 LBS X 20 FLUID OZ. = 80 fluid oz.

I am not a big fan of the big commercial sports drinks out there. They contain a ton of sugar, artificial colorings and artificial flavors. When it is the only option these are good in a pinch but better options are Coconut water organic preferably and a newer drink out now is Body Armor. Body Armor is a sports drink gaining some ground and I like it because it has no artificial colors or flavors and is lower in sugar. It also has coconut water concentrate in it as well.

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