Staying hydrated is important for any athlete, but is especially important for soccer players due to the heat and the length of play. With as little as a 2% drop in hydration, performance can start to suffer. Tournaments can be three-day events where as many as three games are played each day. Staying hydrated can result in top level performances throughout. A good hydration strategy will ensure that you show your potential game-in-game-out. Here is a sample hydration plan that can be followed:
Drink at least 12 ounces of water before a game starts. The ensures hydration during the start and early stages of a game. Stick to water so that there is nothing that the body will need to digest as this can affect energy levels.
During the game:
Consume around 10 ounces of water every 20 minutes of gameplay. During times of extreme heat and humidity drink an electrolyte drink like Gatorade. Split the 10 ounces in half and have 5 ounces of water and 5 ounces of a sports drink.
Drink more water after the game. Once again look to drink around 12 ounces. One option is to have a recovery drink if there is no immediate follow-up game. Recovery drinks need to have a four to one carb to protein ratio. The easiest and most popular option is chocolate milk. Afterward, resume drinking water until the next game.