Hydration – An Underrated Boost to Performance

Building the Soccer Players of Tomorrow.

Hydration – An Underrated Boost to Performance

July 24, 2017 Soccer Science 1

Hydration. A Simple Task. 

Let’s face it, hydration isn’t on our top priorities when it comes to our development because the simplicity of drinking enough fluids is taken for granted.

Let me tell you this…

Dehydration affects your performances by up to 20%…

In a 90 minutes match, that’s 18 minutes you spent not performing to your optimal level.

That’s why hydration is such an underrated performance booster every player should get accustomed to following.

My Personal Experience

It is recommended an athlete of a vigorous sport like soccer drink 3 liters of water each day.

However I want to insure that I am optimally prepared to perform, and choose to drink 4 liters each day.

I first learned about the importance of hydration when I was on my first national tournament. This was back when I had 11 maybe 12 years old. I was with my club, and we were going on a morning walk to get the juices flowing.

My coach specifically instructed me to bring a water bottle, to start hydrating since the morning. It surprised me how much amount of detail went into preparing for a match and how much a simple task like hydrating can have on my performance.

Since then and after researching it for a while, I decided to make it a New Year’s resolution goal almost every year since 2013 to drink 4 liters of water each day.

Hydration Routine

4 Liters

  1. After Waking Up.
  2. During School
  3. During Practice
  4. After Practice

I find I have a lot of success following this routine, and that the gallon of water I am consuming is boosting my performance on the pitch.

The routine includes 4 stages.

  1. Is my wake up call to get moving. After a lot of sleep the body needs fluid to get the blood flowing.
  2. Simple. Keep hydrated to keep the body temperatures at an optimal measure before practice.
  3. Hydrate during practice to keep focus and work rate levels to their maximum.
  4. Recovery fluids to lubricate joints, increase mobility, and restore important muscle tissue.

To track and make myself accountable for following this routine, I have downloaded an application for android called “Drink Water”. Drink Water allows me to set a hydration goal (4 liters) and input the amount of water I drank each day. It let me know when I hit my goal, or missed it.

Similarly to this, you could have a little notebook tracker or set a reminder on your phone to notify you when it’s time to hydrate.

From my years of drinking 4 litres of water, I have began to see some notable changes in my behaviour, performance, and overall state of mind.

  • I have more energy throughout the day
  • Production and determination levels have increased
  • Less acne or problems with skin care
  • More stamina in games or practice scenarios
  • Muscles work more effectively and efficiently and joints are lubricated
  • More confidence to due to optimal preparation
  • Body temperature is at a cool level

Science Behind It

It’s simple. Hydration keeps your body temperature at a cooler state and optimizes the lubrication of your joints while strengthening muscles for performance.

Every athlete should be drinking 3 liters of water or more daily to refine their system.

When you’re hot, your work rate drops to a substandard level. You are less engaged with the movement around you. You tend to concentrate less. I tell you because I am experienced it before on the football pitch.

Your concentration levels drop to a poor state and that’s where simply mistakes come by.

Other non-soccer related health benefits of having proper hydration include the aiding the digestive system, maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails, and helping your body absorb healthy vitamins and minerals it needs to function.

Psychologically, having the thought that you’re properly hydrated can lead to confidence, as you’re prepared to compete.

A method to telling whether you are properly hydrated or not can be this urine chart:

 

Also be aware, that for hydration to take full affect, you may need some electrolyte source to maximize recovery.

Many benefits come from keeping hydrated but many hindrances in performance also come from being dehydrated. 

What you Should Take Away

I understand, 4 liters of water is a lot of water to consume in a day. It took some getting use to. Slowly however, it has become a habit that has benefited me massively and not just in soccer.

It is extremely important to at least consume the recommended amount of 3 liters however, to really prepare yourself and your work-rate.

What I tended to do at the beginning is replace all the sugary drinks or all the juices with just water. Doing that made it so much easier to consume the 4 liters.

If you want to stay true to the 4 liters-a-day habit, I would recommend downloading the “Drink Water” application or setting up some sort of accountability system.

Hydration is easy to do, but easy not to do.

That’s why it’s underrated.

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One Response

  1. Nancy Sanchez says:

    I liked the tip about changing juice or pop for simple water.
    For people that drink coffee it is even more important since coffee retains fluids in the body.
    I will try to follow your advice and drink water instead of other drinks at the dinner table.

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