It’s not just the match that should fire you up!


Nutition - Liquids.



The water lost from the body during any exercise needs to be replaced to stop you getting tired quickly, liquid intake also speeds up the recovery process. Failing to replace these fluids can result in dehydration therefore you will continue to feel tired.


drinkfrontOver the years I have seen the change, especially in youth football where the importance of liquid intake has been stressed to players. What has not developed is a full understanding of the types of liquid they should be taking and why some drinks are better at certain times. Good old H2O helps with rehydrating but it does not add energy if that is what you need. Water should be taken often even outside of exercising. You need water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to your organs and tissues. It also helps transport oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs.


There are many acceptable sports drinks to choose from as they contain minerals that help keep or boost the energy during any exercise, they are also ideal in helping with recovery after a hard work out. Avoid those with added sugar or carbonated. In general terms, consume sports type drinks during exercise to help control or keep up the energy levels, water at all times for reasons already mentioned and especially if liquid is required because of dehydration.


Tips about liquid intake:




   1kg of weight lost during a training session or game is equal to 1 litre of fluid lost.

   Do you monitor your weight before and after exercise?


   Solution: If seeing weight loss, take more breaks for liquid intake.




  liquidsBeing thirsty should not be an indicator of when you need to have a drink. If you’re thirsty then dehydration has

  already started.

  Finishing a training session or game gasping for a drink is a giveaway you haven’t taken enough fluid on board.


  Solution: Drink often during exercising even though you may not be thirsty.




   If it is dark coloured it means you need to drink. Lots of trips to the toilet producing lots of clear coloured urine will indicate you have

   taken on sufficient fluids.


   Solution: Again the same message - Take on more fluid at regular intervals.


 Quantity of    



   It is best to have little but often. Don’t drink too much too quickly as this can cause stomach upset.



 Types of



   Sports drinks that contain ‘carbohydrates’ and water. Water on its own is good for hydration and should be consumed regularly

   but at times you need the glucose to add energy during exercising.


   Avoid drinks that are carbonated as this can cause stomach pains.



Similar to food that I mentioned using up other reserves because you get hungry, you should not wait to get thirsty before you drink. Consumption of various acceptable liquids should be something you do regularly throughout any exercise. You should never get to a point of having to drink volumes at any one time as the damage will already have taken place. Think of your body as though it were a car, the oil is the nutrients that keeps the engine operating, the petrol is the fluid that makes it work, would you wait for them both to run out before replenishing!


Both food and liquid are key elements for faster recovery and remember that it is not just any type but the correct ones that will speed the process. That drink or pie in the bar with the players after the match or the trip to the local burger store is okay so long as they are not the first thing you give the body. Let’s get the correct intakes first and enjoy the rest later knowing you have replenished those energy cells and obtained the right balance of the blood sugar levels.


Realistically I know some of you will be giving the body the correct nutrition at all times so that you can perform to your best and of course ensure a healthy life style, others may not be as serious but whatever your stance ensure you don’t ask the body to do what you have not prepared it for or you can expect to incur injuries or other damage.


So next time when you think that you have prepared correctly but you just don’t have the same energy, look back on what you have given your body over the last few days, was there enough nutrition? For those that just want to play without having to consider what to eat or drink, why not at least try to see if taking the right food and drink will improve your performance – and health?


The information contained in this article is for educational advice only and should not be taken as coming from an expert nutritionist. If you have any concerns regarding your dietary intake, consult an expert for advice.