By Jennifer Davies, sports nutritionist
A scientific study published in The Sports Medicine Journal in 2017 showed that dehydration among baseball players led to performance impairments. If you want to play your best, and feel great while you’re doing it, following these hydration tips for MSBL/MABL players will be a smart strategy. Once you learn the warning signs of dehydration, find out how much hydration is needed and discover the most convenient ways to access hydration during games and practices, you’ll be ready to hydrate like pro baseball players do.
Discover the warning signs of dehydration…Mild dehydration symptoms include dry mouth, thirst, dark yellow urine, skin that’s cool to the touch, infrequent urination, muscle cramps and headaches. When dehydration is severe, urine may be very dark yellow, and skin may be very dry; other severe dehydration symptoms include sunken eyes, racing heartbeat, dizziness, mental confusion, sleepiness, irritability or fainting spells.
If you notice any of these symptoms, while you’re playing baseball or at any other time, you need hydration. Severe dehydration may require medical care. Don’t take chances with dehydration. Drink fluids regularly and get help from a doctor if you think that you need it. Dehydration is preventable, so make a point of drinking more fluids daily (and during sports).
How much hydration do you need?…If you’re a healthy male adult, you should try to drink 15.5 cups of fluids every single day. Men who drink fluids only when they are thirsty may be chronically dehydrated without being aware of it. Now that you know the symptoms of dehydration, you’ll understand how important regular and frequent fluid intake really is…especially during ballgames and baseball practices. While 15.5 cups of water per day may seem like a lot, a cup of water isn’t really a huge amount. A cup of water is composed of just eight ounces of water. To boost health and baseball performance, get in the habit of drinking more fluids.
Convenient ways to access hydration during games…Plain water is always a good choice and sports drinks are fine, too. Some athletes like drinking diluted fruit juice. Whichever drink you choose, you should drink from a reusable bottle. Single-use plastics are terrible for the environment. While they are technically able to be reused, most people don’t reuse them, and they trigger so much unnecessary pollution. Sports drinks are available in powder form, so you can mix them up at home, and then fill up a few reusable sports bottles. An eco-friendly option is a water bottle that is virtually indestructible and leak-proof.
Sports hydration is essential…Pro ball players know that sports hydration is essential. They’d never go through a game or practice without drinking fluid regularly. Now that you know the symptoms of dehydration, how much hydration is needed per day and the most convenient ways to access hydration during games, you’ll be ready to treat your body right. You may even set the stage for a home run or another winning play. Without sufficient hydration during games and practices, your baseball performance may suffer.