In a regular match a soccer players runs a distance that ranges from 7 to 9.5 miles according to STATS. All this running makes the soccer player lose a lot of fluid through the process of sweating and breathing. This happens whether you are playing in the cold or under scorching hot conditions. For this reason, you should consider hydration before, during, and after a soccer match. Hydration simply means fluid replacement, and proper hydration can help your soccer performance.
Dehydration affects performance
Dehydration negatively impacts performance during a soccer game because it reduces skin blood flow, and decreases sweating. This leads to decreased heat dissipation and increased core temperature, which can make you strain in the pitch. You are also at a greater risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion if your body cannot regulate temperature effectively. In addition, it causes a decrease in blood plasma volume, which forces the body to retain more sodium making the blood thicker.
As a result the heart has to work harder to pump the thick blood. Your glycogen concentration also decreases during prolonged soccer game or soccer exercise. When glycogen is depleted, fatigue quickly sets in. Drink water that has a hint of flavor so that it may drive you to drink more – this will help you avoid dehydration.
Hydration tips for replenishing lost fluids
During a soccer game you can’t get out of the pitch every few minutes to drink water. So, you need to start hydrating 24 hours before the soccer game even starts. Then one to three hours before the match, drink 17 to 20 ounces of water as recommended by the American Council of Exercise. Drink about 10 ounces after every 10 or 20 minutes of the game if you can.
However, the amount of fluids and the number of times you have to take the fluids sometimes depends on the weather conditions. Under hot and humid conditions, players can lose up to 1 percent of their body weight or 33 ounces of water, even after they have consumed 67 ounces of water during the session. This is according to an advisory about preventing heat stress published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. So you may have to drink more water than you normally do when playing under hot and humid weather conditions.
Fluids you should take
Drinking water is the best way to hydrate but you can replenish your body fluids by drinking a variety of other fluids. You can drink coconut water and sport drinks, which unlike water also replenish electrolytes in your body. Replenishing electrolytes is important especially when you are playing under hot and humid conditions, because electrolytes help you feel refreshed, and prevents muscle fatigue. Some sodium in your drink makes the rehydration process faster.
You can also eat vegetables and fruits to replenish body fluids before and after a soccer game. Remember that hydration is not the only factor that determines how well you play. You still have to exercise and eat the right foods for you to be a great soccer player.