Drinking Enough Water – Avoid Cramps


Question: The coaches keep telling us we need to drink more water and Gatorade. I understand all that but what happens if you don’t other than catching a cramp?

Answer: Catching a cramp is pretty painful and entirely preventable by simply drinking water. To add insult to injury if the the cramp is in your hamstring and you happen to be running down-field there is a good possibility you could strain it or tear it.

Even if you’re fortunate enough not to experience muscle cramping, being dehydrated affects athletic performance. Studies have shown that by being dehydrated by as little as 2% to 3% can affect your performance by 10%. That may not seem like a big deal but if your normal speed running 100 meters is ten seconds then you would have to add 1 second to your time. If your best bench press is 300 pounds and you make an attempt when you’re dehydrated then your best bench would only be 270 pounds. During a game you would feel like you’re moving at half speed and would feel like a marshmallow getting pounded.

With the recent heat and humidity you should consume about an ounce of water for every pound of body weight per day.

It’s not just what you do on game day that makes the biggest difference. It’s actually what you need to do the day prior to the game day. So make sure you hydrate well on Thursday since you play on Fridays. During the game, drink water first and then alternate with Gatorade throughout the game.

After the game, it’s Gatorade or another electrolyte replacement drink and back to water.

One last point is remember to drink throughout the day. Don’t try to get it all in at once.

God bless and keep training,