Proper pre-game hydration tips for athletes

Starting a game, run, or workout well-hydrated is critical for optimizing performance. Our bodies are made up of 55-63% water on average, meaning water plays an important role in many bodily functions such as nutrient transport, blood flow, temperature regulation, muscle contraction, and more. 

Why Hydration Matters For Athletes

When we sweat during exercise, our bodies begin to lose water and electrolytes. Yes, we can replace some fluid lost by drinking water or a sports drink during the game, but we cannot keep up with the amount of fluid we are losing through sweat. As our bodies lose fluid, we become dehydrated. Dehydration decreases athletic performance, increases risks of cramping and injury, and even worse, can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke when we exercise in hot temperatures. We want to avoid dehydration at all costs. 

Hydration Tips For Student-Athletes

By starting the game well hydrated, we decrease the likelihood that we will become dehydrated during the game. Use the following tips as a guide for starting the game well hydrated:

  1. Drink ½ your body weight in fluid ounces each day.
    1. For example, a 140-pound athlete would need to drink a minimum of 70 ounces (about 9 cups)
  2. Check your pee color – aim for light yellow pee (lemonade color) all day and at the start of the game
    1. If your pee looks like apple juice (dark yellow/orange color) that is a sign you are dehydrated
  3. Drink at least 16-20 ounces of water in the 2-3 hours before the game and continue to sip water or sports drink leading up to the game time
  4. If you cramp often during exercise, add an electrolyte booster like DripDrop to your water bottle before the game. 
  5. Meet with a Registered Sports Dietitian to plan out an individualized pre-game hydration strategy

Learn More About SportsGrub

Sportsgrub is a local food delivery service for athletic groups in the northeast. Our team provides meal kits for games, camps, practices, and more. Our goal is to make nutritious meals that taste good and are easy to order. By using our very own app, it is easy for coaches and athletic directors to share our menu with their team and makes it easy for athletes to order and personalize their food. If you have any questions about SportsGrub or would like to set up your first event with our team, please contact us.

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