There is a reason why we regularly see players utilising stoppages to grab a water bottle and rehydrate during football matches. Being adequately hydrated can be the difference between having that extra bit of energy to get past an opponent or running out of stream at the vital moment and costing your team the match.
Water plays a vital role in performance levels since it makes up around 60% of our body and even moderate dehydration can lead to a significant drop in fitness performance levels.
Appropriate hydration will reduce your risk of injury while also helping you maintain peak fitness levels during a match or training session.
Sometimes it’s a case of not knowing if you are hydrated or not and listening to your body might not always be the best indication. The colour of your urine is a good way to determine your level of hydration. Ideally, you should aim to have clear to light yellow urine and the darker the shade of yellow indicates how dehydrated you are.
It can take time for fluids to be absorbed into your body so we wouldn’t suggest chugging a 1-litre bottle of water right before a match or training sessions but drinking steadily during the day. Bupa suggests “drinking around 500ml of fluids at least four hours before you exercise… In the 10 to 15 minutes before you exercise, top your fluid levels by drinking about half of this again.”
During a football match, it is more difficult to take on water as the match is so fast paced and breaks aren’t as frequent during play. Always make sure that you have a filled water bottle ready whenever breaks do occur. For example, if you take throw-ins or corner kicks, keep a water bottle close by so you can take a quick mouthful when the opportunity presents itself. Similarly, make sure you are regularly taking sips of water throughout your training session. Keep a water bottle nearby and during breaks or while the coach is giving instructions for the following session, take the opportunity to have a drink.
How much water you need varies on how much you sweat, weather conditions (how hot it is) and intensity of the exercise. Playing a 90-minute game of football or participating in an intensive training sessions means you will sweat and in hot conditions, you will obviously sweat a considerable amount more. You can hydrate with a variety of drinks but water is considered optimal to replace the fluids lost, help your muscles to recover quicker and avoid dehydration.
At Discount Football Kits, we supply a wide range of branded and nonbranded water bottles. You can buy 8 x 750ml Sports Bottles & Carry Bag for only £12.50 to ensure your team stays hydrated through matches and training sessions. The 600D Fabric help to keep bottles cooler than an open carrier and the carry bag has a dual zip for easy access.