As the smoldering heat sizzles around the country during the summer months, it’s more important than ever to take care of your body before, during, and after you play. But sometimes, we swing and miss on preparing for a day under the sun. All of us have been there. Exhausted, dry mouth, no energy, maybe even the occasional headache. All caused by one thing - not properly hydrating before a long day at the courts! Being properly hydrated is just a good idea in general, but especially if you’re expecting to be active and outside a large portion of the day. Being dehydrated is a day-to-day struggle that can affect your mood, energy levels, and health. According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, drinking only two and a half cups of water (or 20 ounces) per day. Below, the Paddle Experts at JustPaddles discuss the ins and outs of pickleball hydration.
Pickleball Hydration Tips
Here are three of the best ways to keep your body hydrated when preparing for a long day or even a weekend of pickleball.
Stop guzzling, start sipping!Attempting to properly hydrate your body is almost identical to cramming for a big exam the night before. It’s not going to work! Your body can only utilize up to 33.8 ounces of water per hour, but that’s during high heat or activity. Your best bet for proper hydration is to have a water bottle with you at all times throughout your day and to sip on it here and there. This will give your body the best chance of absorbing and utilizing the highest amount of water.
Water is great before, but consider a hydration beverage during!Consistently sipping on water several days before your activity is the best way to properly hydrate your body, but what about during your matches? During high exertion, your body loses more than just water. Yes, 99% of your losses are water, but the 1% is important electrolytes that play an essential role in your body’s function. Sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are several of the minerals lost through sweat, which is why a hydration supplement is a great source of replenishment while you compete. In today’s world, hydration supplements are abundant, come in every flavor imaginable, and can be purchased in every market, convenience store, or gas station. Pick what’s important to you, but consider having an electrolyte-replacement option always available in your bag. (Take a look at the ingredients and be sure to choose what you feel you need the most!)
You stopped playing, don’t stop drinking!Whether you won, lost, or tied, you’ll need to keep riding the hydration train! Sometimes it feels like a full-time job getting through a gallon jug of water during the day. Heck, you might even ask your boss for the desk nearest the restroom, but it’s equally as important to keep hydrating after your match as it is before or during your match. You just put your body through the wringer, you have to replenish what you lost during the activity. As great as an electrolyte replacement can be, consistently sipping on water after competition can lead to a better tomorrow and beyond.
One of the biggest (and often silent) contributors to low performance in any walk of life is dehydration. Now that you know the best ways to keep your body primed and ready to go, put it into action before your next match!
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