Proper Water intake for Players

While counseling young players (cricket,badminton,tennis,etc.) one of the biggest reasons for fatigue that we have observed is due to poor water intake. A normal person requires 8-10 glasses or 2-2 and a half-liters water daily. If you are training and playing regularly then you are sweating more than normal people do and you have to drink more water or you will be like a plant that is not watered sufficiently. It does not die but is drooping and withered. You will be tired and exhausted easily.

Research has also shown that a person's mental capacity to calculate numbers is lower if the body is not fully hydrated. As a player you are always making mental calculations and you have to be properly hydrated if your brain wants to perform at its highest level.

Especially in the game of cricket which goes on for many hours and is played in the open, you tend to sweat a lot and also lose salt so most players suffer from cramps and severe pain. To avoid this, the only medicine is to drink plenty of water and keep your muscles fresh and moving smoothly.

So your body and brain need the water, 3-4 liters is minimum. You need to consciously drink water, even above your thirst signals. Don't gulp it down, keep sipping half to one glass at frequent intervals so you don't feel heavy when you run.

Guidelines for Proper Hydration

Drink at least (200-400ml) 1-2 glasses fluid 2 hours before practice or match.
Drink at least half- one glass fluid immediately before exercise
Drink half glass fluid every half an hour while training or during the match
Drink a glass or two at every break.
Drink at least 1-2 glasses fluid immediately after exercise or game.
Drink 1 glass fluid with each meal and between the meals (e.g. between breakfast and lunch).

Aerated drinks (cola's) and alcohol, are best avoided during matches as their high calorie content causes dehydration rather than hydration. Coffee / tea too have a dehydrating effect. Dilute fresh fruit juices like musambi or lime juice with glucose or sugar and a pinch of salt are a good choice. Please avoid energy drinks as many of them may contain caffeine which is not good for the body.

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