Team sport is different to individual sport, when it comes to staying hydrated. It is not easy to get time to hydrate yourself in team sports, as the interval between two breaks can be long.

It is best advised to take every possible opportunity to hydrate and minimise the loss of fluids. Here are some ways to stay hydrated during team sports:

Hydration during sessions and games


Fluid loss during exercise or competitive sport is very specific to environmental and physical conditions, and the kind of clothing worn. Temperature, relative humidity, sunshine, wind and other similar factors have a direct impact on dehydration. The clothing demands of different sports may add to fluid loss. Sweat rate also varies between individuals.

Physical factors that impact hydration levels for the athlete’s body include gender, position on the field, length of the game, size of the athlete and the format of the sport.

Most research on fluid loss has been carried out on soccer players. Male players generally tend to have higher sweat rate than their female counterparts. There have been reports of sweat rates of 3 litres/hour for players in the American Football League. Female soccer players generally tend to have lower average sweat rates (around 800 ml/hour during summer), possibly due to smaller body sizes on average.

Field sport players have consistently been reported to replace on average, less than 50% of their fluid losses during training or competition.

Sports drinks help meet fluid and mineral requirements, and keep the athlete well hydrated.

What fluids to consume

 The flavour you love most is the best to have. Studies suggest flavoured drinks are consumed more than ones without flavour.

Sodium in fluids increases the retention of the fluid in the body, compared to plain water. At times when volume of fluid intake does not match what is required, quality of fluid consumed effectively matters a lot. Since team sport duration is longer, carbohydrates are important to maintain fuel supplies to the body.

Considering the duration of many team sports, carbohydrate is also important for maintaining muscle fuel supplies all the way through.

What should be the temperature of the fluids?

 The optimal temperature for the fluid must be around 15 degrees Celsius. That temperature helps maximal absorption from the stomach. Recent studies suggest that fluids between 4-10 degrees Celsius help cool down the temperature of the body.