It’s no secret there are many factors that go into molding a star athlete. Conditioning, strength training, practice, game play and competition are always the front runners. Unfortunately, often times, remembering to stay properly hydrated is an important factor that falls to the wind.
As a coach, I feel it is my job to ensure my players are always hydrated and healthy.
In the beginning of the season, on the first practice after tryouts I like to pass out handouts on healthy eating and go over in-depth how important hydration for volleyball players really is.
On the “stay healthy” handout I give to all my players, there are few hydration bullet points I like to make sure they all follow; not just on the court, but in their everyday lives:
- Drink water all day long! Keep a water bottle on you at all times during school, in your backpack or locker and be sure you’re refilling often.
- If you have a choice, drink tea instead of coffee (for the older kids)
- Stay away from soda or fruit juices high in sugar! These types of drinks will in fact dehydrate you!
- Pre-game, on the court and post-game: switch to a drink loaded with electrolytes to add, maintain and replenish the elements in your body. The 6 best electrolyte drinks for athletes are:
- Gatorade – The most well-known and popular brand on the market.
- Propel Fitness Water – Owned by the same company that makes Gatorade, it typically has less calories than Gatorade.
- GU2O – Comes in powder form and is mixed with water, only has 100 calories and comes in a variety of flavors.
- PowerBar Endurance – Created by the company that makes the PowerBar, This company aims their electrolyte beverage towards athletes alone. Is a powder-based beverage that also adds energy.
- Cytomax – Comes as a powder or premixed drink. Athletes can choose between their many products: Cytomax Protein, Fast Twitch and Recovery.
- Accelerade – This drink is a protein-driven electrolyte drink that packs in a whopping 10g of protein into each serving.
- Don’t forget the “recovery” aspect of each workout. It’s important to replenish your body with electrolytes once your workout or game is over before switching back to water for the remainder of time before your next practice.
It’s very important to remember when considering proper hydration for volleyball players that they must follow the 3-step (before, during and after) regimen in order to not only keep hydrated, but also remain healthy and injury free!
As a coach, it is your job to be sure to give breaks during practice drills, and time-outs during a game. Keeping properly hydrated, your players will have more energy, and be less prone to injury and fatigue.
Hey, there are already enough hurdles as a coach, why not eliminate what problems you can!