Hydration necessary to promote athletic success

Bradley Jung takes a water break. Hydration is a crucial issue in all sports. Photo by Megan Hamann
Bradley Jung takes a water break. Hydration is a crucial issue in all sports. Photo by Megan Hamann

Athletes don’t get enough hydration during practice. Most people don’t drink enough liquids, but for athletes water is essential. During practices a coach may not give players enough water breaks, leading to problems such as cramps and, of course, dehydration. That light headed feeling athletes often get is the body saying: “Drink something.”  The question is how do we prevent getting dizzy from dehydration that happens to athletes?

Coaches should frequently ask each player how he or she is  doing (after drills for example). This way a coach can get a feel if players need water and let them drink the water or Gatorade needed. Also the coach should keep in mind what type of drill the team had just done. For instance in basketball, if the players are doing a passing drill they won’t be working nearly as hard and exerting as much energy as they would be while scrimmaging against one another–therefore they wouldn’t need a drink of water/Gatorade after a passing drill as much as they would need to after a scrimmage.

Not only is this healthier it makes them better athletes.

“I always feel as if I play faster and harder when I’m hydrated rather than when I feel dehydrated,” junior basketball player Cameron Lemon said.

It also depends on the individual since some people naturally sweat more than others and need to be refueled or given a break more often. Take a taller 6’5”, 180 lb athlete versus a smaller 5’10”, 140 lb athlete–there is quite a difference between the two; the taller one has more mass, so he is going to have to produce more energy for his body and is going to get tired quicker and sweat more, while the shorter, more agile, athlete is going to have to produce less energy and sweat a little less simply because he is not as tall and has not as much mass.  

Even though athletes come in all sorts of sizes, they are still humans and eventually will become dehydrated. So if you’re an athlete, drink. If you’re a coach, ask: “Do I give my players enough water breaks?”


Nathan Wargolet

Hi I am Nate Wargolet, I enjoy writing and playing sports with friends. My favorite thing over summer is baseball in which I get to spend the days with my boys.

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