Soccer players and athletes in any sport will have days when they perform well and days when they don’t seem to be able to perform even close to the level they know they are capable of performing at. It is important for soccer players and soccer coaches to try to understand what is causing a good or a bad performance. Sometimes all of the efforts the athletes and coaches are putting into trying to improve their game are hinered by overlooking one or two simple aspects of getting a body to perform at a high level. Sometimes, just staying hydrated can make a phenomenal difference in an athlete’s performance. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Groups of people who are at risk for dehydration; and heat related problems are: active children,athletes,eldery individuals who work outdoors.
Bottled water, tap water, energy drink, gatorade or some other type of sports drink, orange juice, fruit juice, V8 juice, tomato juice, and or other non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic drinks should be consumed before, during and after exercise. Hot, humid and sunny conditions are other occaisions when people should try to consume adequate amounts of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic fluids. Anyone who sweats heavily should always be aware of whether or not they are consuming adequate amounts of proper fluids. Anytime athletes or others who are at risk for dehydration will be outdoors for prolonged periods of time. They should avoid thirst by keeping a water cooler where it is easily accessible. Make sure there is a water bottle available for everyone. A Spillproof water bottle or a soccer water bottle are easy for soccer players to keep with them when they are practicing on the field.
Frequent headaches, irritability and tiredness can be a sign you are chronically dehydrated. Some benefits of proper hydration< are: Optimal muscle function. If enough fluid is presant; muscles can be stimulated and contract more quickly than they can if they are not properly hydrated. Your endocrine gland function will improve. Bodily wastes will be quickly flushed from your system; which will help alleviate constipation. Helps prevent sagging skin. Can rid your body of water retention. When not enough fluid is presant, your body will cling to the water it does have, which will cause your extremities to swell. Drinking water can quickly alleviate that swelling. Suppresses appetite. Is essential for weight loss Your liver helps metabolize fat. If you are dehydrated, your kidneys won’t function optimally and your liver will need to assist your kidneys with their daily functions. If your liver is busy helping your kidneys. It will not be as available to metabolize fat. If your liver is unable to convert fat into a source of usable energy, you will lack energy and your ability to lose weight will be hindered. Your body can absorb cold water more quickly than it can absorb warm water.
Maintaining great health and a great performance level as an athlete require many things including: Proper rest, proper diet, proper training, proper hydration, proper mental attitude, proper amount of effort, determination and stamina, proper level of vitamins and minerals in your system. Proper knowledge to know what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Listening to your body. Knowing when you need rest and when you are ready to push yourself to a more challenging level Succeeding in most of the above categories, but neglecting once category, such as staying hydrated can hinder everything else you are trying to accomplish. Even if you are not desperately trying to improve your soccer game or performance level as an athlete; you can benefit dramatically from maintaining proper fluid levels in your body simply because doing so will help you feel good.
Written by: Dawn Perucca