Hydrating properly is not only a necessity in sports, but also in everyday life.
Too many of us spend the majority of our lives walking around dehydrated without even realizing it. One summer, while playing on the Twin City summer league team, I learned the consequences of being dehydrated the hard way.
With a training session scheduled in the afternoon, I spent the first half of this particular day walking around the mall with my family, enjoying multiple Dr. Peppers and who knows what else. I then proceeded to go to practice that afternoon like any other day. About halfway through this blisteringly hot session, I began to feel the effects of the lack of fluids in my body. If I recall correctly, getting the chills was the first thing I noticed. At this point, it wasn’t that felt bad, but i knew something was off. By the time the session had ended I felt awful and once my mom picked me up, it only became worse. I felt as though I had been hit by a train…splitting headache, chills, virtually my whole body was in pain. My mom, being a nurse, knew immediately that I was dehydrated and acknowledged the mistakes we had made earlier in the day. I eventually recovered and then vowed to never let myself get dehydrated ever again.
To this day, I drink water by the liters before any physical activity because I never want to have an experience like that again.
Drink Your Fluids
The moral of this story is somewhat obvious, but a very important one never the less. DRINK YOUR FLUIDS. BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT YOU ARE HYDRATED BEFORE YOU PLAY. NO MATTER WHAT THE CONDITIONS ARE OUTSIDE. When hydrating, lots and lots of water it vital. However, it is also important to pair the water with something that contains electrolytes (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.).
I know many adults probably already know this, but I would like to relay an elementary “trick” that I use every day to all of the young players out there. The trick to gauge how hydrated you are is to examine your pee after you use the bathroom. The clearer it is, the more hydrated you are. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are. So during the time leading up to practice, game or whatever the case may be, do not make the same mistake I did and be certain that you are properly hydrated.