ATHLETIC TRAINER’S TIP OF THE WEEK
Performance Physical Therapy Licensed Athletic Trainer
Due to the fact that football is a high intensity sport requiring a rigorous level of exertion, hydration is key to success and survival in a practice or game situation. This is especially true during the warmer months when exercise with the addition of football equipment can raise the body temperature to a dangerous level. It is nearly impossible for an athlete, at any level, to perform well without proper hydration. Losing as little as 2% of ones body weight in sweat will cause a noticeable decrease in athletic performance. It is common for an athlete to lose double this amount in one practice or game if he is not properly replacing these lost fluids. This is not a new phenomena, yet it still goes unnoticed at times.
In order to maintain peak performance and good health, avoiding dehydration is key. It is important to prepare the body for physical activity before even stepping on the field. It is important to drink plenty of healthy fluids all day, including water, Gatorade at 100% juices, and steer clear of sugary and caffeinated beverages. Also, it is important to take multiple drink breaks during practice and games. This will help to replace all of the fluid lost through sweat. If an athlete is feeling thirsty he/she is already dehydrated! Take a break to take a drink.