Guidelines for Hydration (Water Intake) to help Players stay Fresh Alert and Active Always

I am 14 years old and have been in cricket camps for the last 2-year. I drink only 2 liters of water a day. Is this enough for a cricketer?

While counselling young cricketers in the academy one of the biggest reasons for fatigue that I have seen is poor water intake. A normal person requires 8-10 glasses or 2-2 and a half-litres water daily. If you are training and playing daily, then you are sweating more than normal people do and you must 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 cricketer you are always making mental calculations and you must be properly hydrated if your brain wants to perform at its highest level.

Cricket is a game that goes on for many hours and is played in the open so 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 litres 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.

One more important message is that you need to drink at least 3 liters of water even on a rest day, so that your body and muscles are well hydrated and ready for you to start playing well the next day.

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
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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