Hydration in Adolescent Football Players
During all periods of training and performance; staying hydrated should be an athlete’s top priority. Water intakes and general hydration play crucial roles in bodily regulatory function. Body temperature, electrolyte balance and safe optimal performance can all be attributed to a person’s hydration status. This is crucial to athletes looking to perform at their very best in frequent sessions both on and off the pitch. This is of note as the current FIFA World Cup, held in Qatar, may possess extreme weather conditions whereby dehydration may come at great a risk to athletes if simple hydration is not kept in check during repeated intense performance. Dehydration, however mild, can be noticed at a bodily fluid loss of <1-2% and at the rate at which these athletes sweat in extremely hot climates, wouldn’t take long at all. This %loss may sound negligible but when put into terms of a world class athlete, can have severe repercussions on health and overall performance. Simple signs of dehydration can include:
- Physical fatigue and Muscle Weakness
- Frequent Cramping and accelerated exhaustion
- Dizziness and Headaches
Extreme dehydration can be extremely dangerous and any bodily fluid loss excess of >2% can begin to compromise a person’s health never mind physical performance. Increased heart rates, thickening of the blood and an inability to effectively transport oxygen around your blood stream can lead to potentially life-threatening scenarios.
Written by Nicholas Fielden, 7th December 2022