Athletes always need to perform at their best level.
With the stakes high, the competition tough, the obstacles unrelenting, an athlete must do all he or she can to keep healthy and strong. In order to be able to win the gold, every aspect must be taken into account: stamina, agility, strength, reflex, technique, emotion, stress, endurance, and tactic just to name a few. These areas are influenced easily by external factors, most prominent being nutrition. The dietary component impacts all the categories mentioned.
In terms of diet and nutrition, it is imperative that proper portions of vitamins and minerals are consumed. It is absolutely indispensable that water intake is adequate. Water, a crucial element of every day becomes even more vital to athletes.
Unfortunately, dehydration is not an uncommon case for many athletes. Dehydration occurs when water intake is not sufficient enough to replace water loss. Whether one is playing professionally or simply recreationally, the importance of water is often understated. Up to sixty percent of an adult human body is composed of water. Water regulates body temperature and lubricates joints. It transports nutrients for energy and all in all keeps one healthy. If hydration levels drop, your body will not be able to perform at its highest level. Instead, you will give way to fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, and several more fatal symptoms.
For physical activity, one should typically:
– Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water approximately two to three hours before exercise
– Drink 8 ounces of water every half hour during warm-up
– Drink 7-10 ounces of water every ten to twenty minutes during exercise
– Drink 8 ounces of water no more than thirty minutes after you exercise
Since these are general guidelines, one should drink according to personal needs. There are no exact measurements, water intake should be according to length of exercise, humidity, environment conditions, and ones own hydration level.
If your body does not have enough water to go by, not only is one not at their best game, they can give way to heat illness. Heat illness can occur when your body cannot cool itself effectively, resulting in heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. In such ways, it does not matter if you are an athlete or not, anyone involved in a physical sport can suffer from dehydration and subsequent heat-related problems.
Next time you are out playing for your school, competing with your friends, exercising in hot weather-don’t forget to DRINK WATER!
“Athletes: The Importance of Good Hydration.” Athletes: The Importance of Good Hydration. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2015.
“Dehydration.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2015.