With School just about to end and Summer starting it is important for athletes to stay hydrated. Hydration is sometimes an over looked aspect of preparing your body for physical competition. Being dehydrated can lead to headaches, over heating, poor focus, and in serious cases death. For Athletes its not only important to drink water to avoid dehydration, but being properly hydrated allows you to perform at your highest potential.
For a day without practice athletes should be shooting to drink 32 oz. of water every day. A good rule of thumb is that you should be drinking about 6-8 tall glasses of water a day. While you practice or play in a game, you should try to drink about a cup of water every 15-30 min. After practice you should try to drink at least 2-3 cups of water after the event or practice. Those are the basic guidelines for staying hydrated as an athlete.
Over the years I have learned a couple of tricks that make staying hydrated easier.
1: Carry around a water bottle with you everywhere! The best thing to get is the large plastic water bottles from Target as they are refillable and they can usually hold up to 32 oz. of water. This makes it easy to make sure that you are hitting your 32 oz. of water each day if you fill it up in the morning and make sure that before you fall asleep it is empty.
Tip 2: If you don’t want to buy a new bottle then make a cheat sheet on your phone or in your kitchen. Every time you drink a tall glass of water, mark it off on your cheat sheet. Remember you want 6 – 8 tall glasses a day!
Tip 3: Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up. This is an overlooked yet easy to achieve trick. The reason that this is important and beneficial is that when you wake up, you are going to be dehydrated. It has probably been 8 hours since you last took a sip of water and your body needs to refuel itself. The easiest way to achieve this is to put a glass in your fridge, so that way when you go to look for something for breakfast, you will see your water and it will remind you to drink it.
These are three tips are the ones that helped me the most while I was playing to stay properly hydrated during the long months of summer when it gets hot in Southern California!
– Coach Eric