At the beginning of Dwyane Wade's stellar nine-year NBA career, the Marquette University product had some bad habits, ones that plague many gifted young athletes. Despite being able to play above the rim on a nightly basis, the talented two-guard noticed that his body wasn't always performing as it should, especially late in games.
Wade attributed the fatigue to his diet. "I used to cramp up in the fourth quarter," he says. "Early on in my career, I was eating terrible and also drinking a lot of soda."
Fortunately, Wade made the connection between the fuel he was putting into his body and his tendency to fatigue. "It's just not good for your body," he says. "You get cramps a lot faster. Your body just feels drained."
Even while averaging 28 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists per game in the playoffs and leading the Miami Heat to the 2005-2006 NBA Championship, Wade was sometimes forced out of games. The key for him was learning the importance of staying hydrated throughout the entire day, not just before and after workouts (although that's obviously important, too).
D-Wade says, "I drink Gatorade with my breakfast in the morning. I know how it makes me feel." The electrolytes in Gatorade provide his muscles with the raw material they need to continue working through the long hours of training and game action. When he's on the bench, Wade makes sure to continue hydrating, and not the way most athletes do.
"During a game I don't drink water," says Wade. The superstar opts instead for Gatorade products during competition, and he's noticed a difference in the way his body feels.
Having learned the importance of proper nutrition and staying hydrated, Wade no longer has to worry about his muscles locking up as he drives to the basket and dominates the competition. "I haven't caught cramps in years," he says. "I've really been on top of it.