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
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
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?