As warm weather approaches, football players and coaches are starting to pull out the helmets, shoulder pads, blocking shields and lesson plans for spring workouts.
One key to a good football practice is proper hydration.
Throughout training – including before, during and after – players and coaches both must focus on maintaining adequate hydration levels. Drinking plenty of fluids and staying well-hydrated benefits onfield performance while reducing the risk of heat stress or illness.
This story was orginally posted Nov. 3, 2009.
You play the way you practice. Every athlete at any level has heard this motivational speech from his coaches before. Coaches know that practicing is essential to progress, but if done inefficiently or incorrectly, it can actually hinder one's improvement.
JohnEric Smith, Ph.D., a Senior Scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, wants athletes and coaches to use that same concept and apply it to proper hydration during cold weather seasons.
Athletes often look for a quick boost to gain an edge.
Some – including youth players whose bodies can’t handle the elevated levels of caffeine – are turning to caffeinated energy drinks to provide a burst prior to practices and games.
This is a short-sighted and sometimes dangerous approach, said St. Vincent Sports Performance sports dietician Lindsay Langford. A proper diet and adequate hydration provide young athletes all the energy they need.