Proper hydration is crucial to topnotch soccer conditioning, and during the hot summer months it’s especially important to maintain a proper fluid level. If you plan to attend soccer camps or participate in tournaments over the summer, keep these hydration tips in mind to avoid injuries due to dehydration and fatigue.
- Start hydrating four hours before the match or practice. The average high school athlete needs to drink 12 cups or 96 ounces of water per day to stay hydrated during any workout.
- During intense competition or exercise, athletes should drink four to eight cups – or 32 to 64 ounces – every 30 minutes to maintain proper fluid levels.
Find your Sweat Rate
An athlete’s sweat rate determines how much water they should consume during competition. You can find your sweat rate by simply weighing yourself before a match and immediately following a match – within 10 minutes. Track how much fluid you’ve consumed during the match – 16 ounces equals 1 pound of body weight. If you lost 2 pounds during a two-hour match and consumed 16 ounces of water your sweat rate is one pound per hour. This means you should try to consume 16 ounces of water per hour of intense competition or exercise to maintain proper fluid levels.
Sports drinks deliver essential electrolytes and are a great way to prevent dehydration during exercise and practices. Electrolytes help the body hold onto fluid during competition, which reduces cramps over long periods of exercises. Dehydration greatly affects overall performance. Here are some warning signs:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- Dry mouth
- Lack of sweat
In addition to staying hydrated during a match, it’s also important to refuel after a match to retain strength. Do so by drinking a low-fat chocolate milk or protein shake following a match or practice. Make sure to check back with Semper Soccer’s blog for more Semper Soccer conditioning tips.