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?
- Decreased urine output
- Yellow urine
- Dry mouth
- Stop sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Feeling light headed
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)