by Jeff Smith
You've noticed how hot it's been so far this June, and it's not even officially summer yet! Heat and humidity are key reminders of the importance of hydration for beach volleyball athletes.
Keeping your body hydrated is one of the most vital responsibilities of beach players. Here are five simple tips you can follow to ensure that you're at your best for every practice and tournament this summer.
1. Start drinking plenty of liquids several hours before your workout. This will prepare your body to be hydrated for your activity.
2. Drink seven to 10 ounces of water or another healthy liquid every 10 to 20 minutes as you play, as recommended by the American Council of Exercise recommends, especially on hot and humid days when you are expending extra amounts of energy and perspiring heavily.
3. Drink water or a sport drink regularly throughout your workout, even when you don't feel thirsty, and a couple of hours after your workout concludes. Consuming an entire water bottle of Gatorade after going without liquids for an hour will not immediately hydrate your body. In fact, it may make you feel sick. You'll be better off drinking seven to 10 ounces of a sport drink every 15 to 20 minutes than in essence binge drinking a large drink once an hour.
4. For longer practices and tournaments, beach athletes should use sports drinks instead of only water. Your body will be losing vital electrolytes and sodium that can't be replaced by merely drinking water.
5. Just say no to drinking caffeine prior to and while playing beach volleyball! Besides coffee products, even caffeinated energy drinks aren't good for you when exercising, as they can cause your heart to palpitate and your body to feel jittery when combined with the physical stress of intense beach volleyball activities.
Get and stay hydrated to feel great and be on top of your beach game this summer!