I was watching a program about athletes and hydration this week and realized two things:
1) How important it is to stay hydrated; and
2) Most of us tennis players don't hydrate enough when we're playing.
Although Agua (water) is the best and most essential tool for staying hydrated there are several other ways that we need to replenish ourselves during our matches; especially with the summer approaching. What is that you ask? Electrolytes!
What the heck are Electrolytes exactly?
- Many beverages claim to have electrolytes, while other say less about these interesting things that supposedly help us stay up while playing, but what are they?
Electrolytes are important to keep us athletes from dehydration. So what is it?
Electrolytes come in the following common forms:
Yup that's it. If you make sure that your sports drink or even your water has some salt and sugar in it you should be ok. You can make an electrolyte rich drink at home before playing by putting together: proportions of water, sugar, salt, salt substitute for potassium, and baking soda.
However, effective electrolyte replacements should include all electrolytes required by the body, including sodium chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium that can be either obtained in a sports drink or a solid electrolyte capsule.
So the next time you grab a sports drink, remember to check out the content of the above minerals to make sure that you will be properly hydrated. Another thing to remember is that most of us are dehydrated before getting on the court, so it's pretty hard to be over hydrated while playing.
The common rule is that you should drink about 8-10 oz. of water before you play and continue drinking every 15 minutes of cardio, this also goes with working out.