How football players stay hydrated
October 25 2022 – Ivy Zhou
Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, let alone the United States. For almost all of those professional players that perform at the highest levels means they have played the game from a very young age. So by the time players make it among the professional ranks, they learn the proper ways to take care of their bodies–and more specifically hydrate themselves. But even though professional football players are grown adults that are more autonomously capable of taking care of themselves does not mean they must be any less vigilant about hydration.
Since football is an outdoor sport, it’s crucial that team organizers take the lead to facilitate that players acclimate themselves to the heat and outdoor environment. When organizing practice sessions, it’s important to note whether it’s one with full equipment and helmets on, the maximum duration of the session, and whether or not sessions are contact or non-contact.
It’s important that even before taking part in a practice or a game that football players hydrate themselves beforehand. Consuming fruits and vegetables with high water content is also advisable. Moreover, the sodium in foods and drinks are helpful to stimulate thirst and retain fluids. Since the lack of fluid palatability will hinder pre-exercise hydration strategies, the fluids should typically be lightly sweetened, should contain sodium, and should be cool in temperature.
For all types of exercise, water is always welcome. But keep in mind that water increases chances of urination during practice or games, and in so doing may also dilute the body’s sodium levels and could cause hyponatremia. To that end, the lack of palatability may hinder from pre-exercise hydration strategies.
To reiterate, fluid retention is key. Thus, fluids ingested should be lightly sweetened, should contain sodium, and should be cool in temperature. So a sports drink (like Vitalyte!) is recommended for training and games lasting longer than 60 minutes in the heat.
This is the time for players to replenish fluids and electrolytes. Players should continue to be mindful about consuming hydrating foods and drinks, as well as sodium intake. Sodium is one of the key nutrients that football players should consume in between training and games because it will help retain ingested fluids and stimulate thirst.
Throughout this whole process of remaining hydrated, it’s also important to remember what the signs of dehydration look like. These are some key symptoms: nausea, fatigue/exhaustion, lightheadedness, vomiting, fainting, poor concentration, and loss of muscle coordination.
Vitalyte is a great option for football players (and all athletes alike) as it provides hydration and muscle recovery all in one. The low sugar content provides sustainable energy for optimal performance, and it contains no additives or caffeine, as those dehydrate you and can cause loss of valuable electrolytes.
Back in August before the regular NFL season, we partnered with EnterSports Management again to provide their NFL Training Camp athletes with Vitalyte! Training for a full season gets exhausting, and we’re glad they had Vitalyte for faster hydration and muscle recovery.
If you live an active lifestyle, try out our Stand Up Pouches for at home workouts or our Individual Stick Electrolyte Packets, which are perfect for gym days.