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Fluid & Recovery

Fluid

Being well hydrated is critical to athletic performance. By the time a player feels thirsty they are already partially dehydrated. Research has shown that a loss of two percent body weight through dehydration can adversely affect sports performance.

As a general rule, everyone should drink two litres or eight glasses of water daily (in addition to tea, coffee and other beverages). Athletes who are in training may well need more, particularly in hot conditions.

Have your players become accustomed to drinking water before, during and after training and competition. All players should have their own drink bottles immediately available to constantly maintain their fluid intake - sharing drink bottles may also share unwelcome infections.

Recovery

The intake of fluids and carbohydrates immediately following competition or training replenishes the players' glycogen stores and reduces the effects of fatigue.

Water is the best fluid for rehydration, although sports drinks and fruit juice are also suitable for recovery. During repeated bouts of exercise over the same day or a number of days, eg at a rowing regatta, it is important to replace glycogen during the recovery phase with small carbohydrate snacks between races. A post-competition meal high in carbohydrates also aids recovery.

Refuelling the body after exercise is just as important as before exercise. Recovery will be faster and more effective, and the player will be recharged ready for the next day's training or competition.