Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Kris Osterberg MS, RD, gave an interesting poster presentation at the recent 2007 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.

A former college basketball player, her research focused on how well hydrated NBA basketball players were before and after Summer League games in Salt Lake City, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada.

It wasn't pretty.

Over half of the players showed up under-hydrated before the games and didn’t make up for this during the game even though they could have as much water or sports drink as they wanted…. Now that’s just sad.

Why is that sad? Well, research has shown that dehydration (as little as 2%) can decrease an athlete’s endurance and performance. This has been shown to be the case in many different sports, including basketball. So here are these NBA Summer League players, trying to get noticed by scouts or make the team, and they’re already putting themselves at a disadvantage because they didn’t drink enough liquids before the game.

While you might want to model your crossover dribble or post-game after some of these players, don’t follow their poor pre-game hydration habits!! Maybe they didn't know any better, but you should.

What can you do? Prehydrate.

Step One
About 2-3 hours before your game or practice, drink 12-16 ounces of fluid (water, or a sports drink but NOT an energy drink-more on this in a future post).

Step Two
About 20 minutes before your game/practice drink another 8-12 ounces of fluid.
Remember, these are general guidelines and you should talk to your doctor or sports nutritionist about what amounts are right for you. But if you follow recommendations along these lines, you’ll improve your (and your team’s) performance when you step onto the court.

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