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 THE GAME
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.
AFTER THE GAME
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.