Wednesday, June 6, 2007

and Drink Some More !!

In my last post I talked about pre-hydration, or making sure you have enough fluids before training or competing.

While it's important to be well hydrated when you step onto the court, it's just as important to make sure you stay hydrated during your practice or game (to optimize your performance) and to re-hydrate yourself afterwards (to make sure your body recovers easily and is ready to go the next time).


During a game or workout, you should drink 8-12 ounces every 15-20 minutes to keep yourself hydrated.
If you're playing half-court for less than an hour, drinking water is the best (and least expensive!) option.
If you're playing more than an hour, you might consider using a sports drink to help provide some energy (in the form of sugar/carbohydrates) and replace some of the sodium you sweat away.


The first 30 minutes after the game is the best time to rehydrate (not to mention the best time to restore your carbohydrates, and provide your body with some protein to help build your stressed muscles back up).

Focusing on rehydration, your post-game liquid consumption really depends upon how much you've failed to replace during the game (see above).

Weigh yourself before the game and then again afterwards (uniform off!).
For every pound of weight you've lost, you've fallen 16 ounces behind in your liquid consumption and you need to drink that much after the game or practice to make it up.

While water will help with the rehydration, many people suggest using a recovery drink that also includes protein and carbohydrates to help your body better recover.


majorwade said...

I'm a boys' varsity basketball coach, and we're having some debate here about what's best to drink during a game. I thought I had heard that there was no evidence that sports drinks were any better than just drinking plain water. My Assistant Coach says "recent studies have shown" that sports drinks are preferred. What's you advice on this?

Doctor J said...

Dear majorwade,
Your assistant coach is (somewhat) right.
A research article that appeared last year in "Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise" compared the basketball performance of fifteen, 12-15 year old boys when they were A) 2%dehydrated, B) hydrated with Gatorade and C) hydrated with a flavored drink that didn't contain the 6% carbohydrate found in Gatorade.

No surprise that the dehydrated group performed significantly worse than either of the hydrated groups in almost every category, but in their abstract/study summary, the authors also reported that hydration with Gatorade significantly improved shooting performance and on-court sprinting over hydration with water alone.
This is what's been touted by the various sports drink companies (including Gatorade, who's Gatorade Sports Science Institute was one of this study's sponsors).

What's not touted, but is noted in the body of the article, is that there was no significant difference between water and Gatorade in any of the other measurements (lateral movement times, zig zag times, lane slides, vertical jump times and heights, etc.).

Bottom Line? If I were coaching and had access to an appropriate sports drink with carbohydrate, I would provide it to my players. But more importantly, I'd make sure that my players began each practice and game well-hydrated, continued to replace their fluids throughout the activity, and then replenished any residual loss after the game to help with recovery.

Anonymous said...

i'm going with the doctor

Anonymous said...

i'm going with the doctor