According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), water comprises 55-75% of our bodies. Water is essential in our daily life. Athletes, especially soccer players, have more strenuous demands on their bodies than the average person. A soccer player of any level must prioritize hydration in his or her training regiment.
Benefits of drinking water
The benefits of drinking water and staying hydrated are numerous and felt immediately. Key physical measurements such as endurance, strength, power, speed, agility, and reaction time are negatively affected with just 2% dehydration.
Optimal oxygen delivery and circulation
Not having enough water intake can lead to dehydration which restricts the airways to conserve water. When dehydrated, the maximum oxygen intake decreases, and it will be harder and harder to perform. Additionally, blood consists of more than 90% water. Keeping hydrated will allow for better blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout all bodily systems and an optimal VO₂ Max.
Staying hydrated helps regulate body temperature by giving the body the liquids it needs to sweat. Athletes may lose 10% or more water of body weight during a session. Additionally, drinking lots of water before, during, and after exercising can help in lowering blood pressure and increasing metabolism.
Improved muscle function
Drinking enough water will also ensure that the muscles are performing at their best. Muscles are made up of about 80% water. Staying hydrated also helps flush out lactic acids that accumulate in the muscles from high-intensity workouts that cause sore muscles.
Water is essential in lubricating joints, tissues, and muscles as they work hard during exercise to keep you moving. Keeping yourself well hydrated keeps your body in optimal shape and minimizes strains and cramps.
Drinking the right amount
Proper water intake amounts depend on your body size and weight.
A good rule of thumb is:
½ – 1 fluid oz of water per lbs of body weight
40-60 mL per Kg of body weight
- Popkin, Barry M et al. “Water, hydration, and health.” Nutrition reviews vol. 68,8 (2010): 439-58. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x
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- By Happiraphael – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
- By Jarrett Campbell – originally posted to Flickr as IMG_0173, CC BY 2.0
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