A No BS Approach To Proper Hydration

Did You Know - Just 2% dehydration can significantly increase one's performance and how they feel...

It's a scary thought, isn't it? Just 2% of dehydration can see a drop in our performance and how we feel

Did you know that more than 60% of your body is water... that's how important and vital it is for us. We thrive off it. This is especially true for young athletes, who barely have a moment to themselves these days between school, training, and possibly work

And yet water is often being neglected and forgotten about in our fast paced society. We're not hydrating ourselves properly before training or games, let alone during tem and after them. Hydration is not given a second-thought, and yet it is more important to our performance and recovery than ANY nutritional factor

Here are a few tips we go over with all of our young athlete's, and some other things to take into consideration:

Requirements change due to genetics, body size, fitness levels, the type of sport/training being done, the duration of this game/training, and the weather

It's impossible to know exactly how much water is required for a specific athlete to stay well hydrated and replace lost stores - unless weighing is being done prior and post training/game - this is unrealistic in this demographic however, nor is it essentially required

Instead there are a few key points to focus on:

  • Hydration should begin the day before training/the game.  A good rule of thumb is to aim for 3L of fluid (water, milk, sports drinks), trying to stay away from caffeinated or carbonated drinks, as they often act as diuretics, meaning you are more than likely to lose that fluid through urine losses
  • If you're feeling thirsty, that's the first sign of dehydration. If this happens, grabbing a 600mL bottle of water and sipping on it will be incredibly beneficial
  • It is beneficial to begin hydrating for an event/training prior to it and create patterns of sipping on a sports drink or water every 15-20minutes. The reason for sipping and not gulping it down is 'gulping' may upset the stomach, and if you're required to gulp, then you're not hydrating properly - watch the Australian Open or any Tennis Tournament, as these athletes are phenomenal role models at this
  • If you're training or playing for longer than 60minutes, consume a carbohydrate and electorlyte replacement drink like Gatorade, Maximus, or Powerade

WAIT A SECOND... THOSE SUGAR CONTAINING DRINKS? AREN'T THEY BAD!

For the general population, yes. But that's taking this out of context. These drinks are not meant for sedentary people, to enjoy as a treat, or whilst watching TV or playing the PS4. They are meant to be consumed around physical activity to aid concentration, energy levels, and proper recovery

You can find out more about sports drinks, including recommendations, in THIS ARTICLE

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Hydration is essential, and it begins the day before the game or training session
  2. Aim for at least 3L of fluid a day  - water, milk, sports drinks - trying to stay away from caffeinated drinks due to their diuretic effect
  3. Always sip, never skull. A good rule of thumb is trying to consume 200-300mL every 20-30minutes
  4. DO consume sports drinks pre, during, and post training - this is what they were specifically designed for. To rehydrate and replace lost stores of electrolytes and carbohydrates

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NutritionNick Maier