Dehydration has a HUGE influence on performance, so the goal is to always start training sessions and games well hydrated. Dehydration causes us to become physically and mentally fatigued, meaning it is harder to concentrate, make decisions and maintain our skill level on the netball court. It also makes us feel like the exercise is harder than it actually is – something we certainly don’t want happening!
Here are my tips to staying well hydrated:
- Aim to drink 2-3L every day (more in hot and humid conditions)
- Sip on water consistently throughout the day and drink water with all your meals and snacks
- Just prior to trainings or games drink 200-300mls (about a cup) of water. This will help your body take on fluid during the game and boost hydration
*Water is all that you should need for trainings and games however there are some circumstances where additional carbohydrate and fluids may be beneficial.
During the game:
- Take advantage of breaks in training and games by sipping water. Try not to gulp water or you may be left feeling a little water-logged!
- Begin rehydrating immediately after the match by sipping on water or other fluids such as reduced fat milk, flavoured milk, fruit smoothies or yoghurt.
Fluid loss is very individual and can be monitored by changes to your urine or weight.
Urine: Keep an eye on the colour to monitor your hydration level. Pale urine means you are well hydrated and dark urine means you are dehydrated (please note that some vitamin supplements can make your urine a bright yellow colour.)
Weight: If you can another way to monitor fluid loss is weighing in before and after training or a game. For every 1kg of weight loss you need to replace it with 1.5L of fluid. For example if you lost 1.5kg during training or game you would need to drink 3L of water in recovery (4-6 hours).
One way that helps me stay hydrated is to carry around a drink bottle every where I go – let me know your tips on how to stay hydrated?