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The affects of hydration on football performance

The affects of hydration on football performance

Water makes up around 75% of our weight, and is vital to allow our body's to function properly. Hydration is key to optimal performance, losing just 3-5% of our bodyweight through sweat leads to the heart having to work harder due to a drop in blood volume and can lead to a 8-10% loss in performance.

So what are some of the common signs of dehydration footballers should look out for?

  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output
  • Yellow urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Stop sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling light headed
  • Confusion

Dehydration will also effect the mental side of your game, perceived exertion will be increased and your ability to function well mentally will decrease; meaning poor decision making, slow reactions and a considerable dip in the standard of your game.

How can you measure your level of hydration?

  • Make sure your urine is clear before exercise, this is a great indicator of hydration
  • Weigh yourself before and after exercise, every kg of bodyweight lost corresponds to approximately 1L of fluid

What's the best way to stay hydrated?

  • Drink small amounts regularly rather than in less frequent, large amounts
  • Make sure your beverages are cool (15 degrees or below) flavoured, and contain a little bit of sodium where possible (this enhances the intake of fluid into your body)
  • Isotonic sports drinks are perfect during exercise (drinking water does not stimulate fluid intake to the same extent as a sports drink)

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