If you want to play your best and get the most out of your workouts, you must be sufficiently hydrated. If you ignore your hydration needs, your performance will suffer from fatigue, nausea, cramps or worse.
To put this in perspective, think about a car engine. To run smoothly, it must have a sufficient supply of oil. If the oil supply is low, the engine's performance will decline. It could break down or even be damaged beyond repair. Do you want this to happen to your body? I didn't think so.
To stay hydrated and keep your athletic performance at its peak, arm yourself with knowledge:
I recommend athletes primarily drink water and chocolate milk (a great recovery drink) to satisfy their hydration needs. Of the two options, water is the more convenient choice. It is readily available and won't spoil on the field when left out for extended periods of time. However, chocolate milk is also an excellent source of hydration and provides other benefits, which I will cover in a future article.
Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness director at the Greater Morristown YMCA in Cedar Knolls, N.J.
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